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Queen's University

Material Transfer Agreement

When is a Material Transfer Agreement needed?
Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) are used when sharing research material (usually biological material) with a collaborator at another research institution or an industrial collaborator.  A common form of MTA is the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement or UBMTA. The UBMTA is widely used and the terms are acceptable to Queen's.

Who should sign the MTA, the researcher or the University?
MTAs should be signed on behalf of the university by the Director of the Research Contracts Unit. This is currently Janice Mady. The researcher may co-sign at a sponsor's request.

What is the process for having an MTA signed?
In general, the process is as follows:

1. The MTA is provided by the researcher or the sponsor to the Contracts Coordinator. This is currently Diana Purvis.
2. The MTA is assigned to a member of the Contracts Unit for review/ drafting.
3. If the MTA governs material being received by Queen's, an MTA questionnaire is sent to the relevant researcher, for completion. This questionnaire assists the Contract Unit reviewer in assessing the acceptability of the terms of the MTA
4. Once reviewed / drafted, a copy and any related comments are provided to the researcher for their consideration.
5. A copy of the MTA and related comments are then provided to the sponsor, and the negotiation is undertaken.
6. Once agreement with the sponsor is reached on the terms, the Contracts Unit member will manage the signature process by Queen's and the sponsor.
7. Upon execution, a copy of the MTA is provided to the researcher and the relevant Department Head.

Amendments to MTAs should follow much the same process as outlined above.


Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000