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Requesting MTAs

How to request Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs).

Request Process

Step 1. Submit an eMTA Record

All material transfer agreements that involve sending or receiving tangible research materials must be routed through eMTA

Providing incorrect or incomplete information may cause delays.

Kuali COI update: With the launch of Kuali COI, PDF forms are no longer accepted or neccessary. If a COI disclosure is required, a Kuali system-generated email will be initiated by Conflict of Interest.


Step 2. MTA Helpdesk Triages eMTA Record

MTA requests are triaged to either OCGA or OIC depending on the type of request. 

Office of Contract and Grant Administration (OCGA)

  • Incoming materials that do not include payment terms
  • Outgoing human, biological materials
  • Materials that were originally received from another entity and unmodified by UCSD

Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC)

  • Outgoing UC San Diego intellectual property (e.g. patentable material or UC San Diego developed technology)
  • Outgoing materials that include reimbursement, see below on Reimbursements for materials

Requests are triaged in the order received.


Step 3. Negotiation time

MTA requests are triaged in the order they are received based on complete and accurate information. Once triaged, the MTA request will be assigned to the appropriate MTA Staff. The terms of an MTA must be developed and carefully negotiated to maintain our legal obligations as a public university, to ensure we follow UC policy in alignment with Principles Regarding Future Research Results. Negotiation time will vary based on:

  • Sufficient and detailed information provided in the eMTA request
  • Type of material being transferred
  • Value and novelty of the material (e.g. "state-of-the-art" materials may include more restrictive terms)
  • Complexity of the terms

Step 4. Execution of Agreement

Once negotiation is finalized the MTA will be signed by the authorized representatives and the fully executed MTA will be uploaded to the eMTA record.

Only OCGA and OIC have the delegated authority to sign MTAs on behalf of UC San Diego.

Other MTA Requests

Lab Moves

If a PI is moving their lab, either to or from UC San Diego, and they plan to transfer tangible research materials, MTAs capturing this is required. Notify UC San Diego OCGA (MTAHelpDesk@ucsd.edu) as soon as possible to ensure:

  • all parties are appropriately engaged in an effort to facilitate timely action.
  • there is institutional knowledge of the transfers to address existing contract obligations.
  • PI may continue using the materials at the new institution.

Contact MTAHelpDesk@ucsd.edu to start this process as soon as possible.

Tsien Lab Materials

The Tsien Lab no longer sends out samples directly. All of the Tsien Lab constructs are available either commercially or through Addgene, to non-profit or academic institutions. For more information visit the Tsien Lab website.

All MTAs for Tsien Lab materials are handled by Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC). Email mta@ucsd.edu.

Addgene Materials

Addgene is a global, nonprofit repository that was created to help scientists share plasmids. To initiate a material transfer to receive plasmids from Addgene, follow the below steps. 

  1. Place Addgene order. For more information go to Addgene Ordering Instructions.
    • Addgene sends the standard material transfer agreement to the MTA team automatically.
  2. Submit one eMTA request for your Addgene order.
    • One MTA request per Addgene order (i.e. all plasmids contained in a single Addgene Order can be included in a single eMTA request).
    • Include the Addgene Order Number in the eMTA request where prompted.
    • MTA Contact” and “Providing PI” can be entered as “Addgene MTA Help”-you do not need to identify the original plasmid depositor.
    • For Addgene contact information, you may enter: “Addgene.org”.
  3. eMTA will send you a system generated notificaton.
    • Your request will be placed in the MTA queue to be reviewed and processed in the order it was received.

For depositing plasmids into Addgene, contact OIC at mta@ucsd.edu. For other Adgene questions, contact MTAhelpdesk@ucsd.edu.

American Type Culture Collection (ATCC)

American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) is a cell line repository where departments can order from a portal.

ATCC Registration

To place an order, the department must first register an account in the ATCC portal. The ATCC portal requires the PI to complete a registration packet. The ATCC registration packet includes an MTA and other forms that might need review by other offices such as: EH&S, Export Control, etc. Please have these reviews completed (except the MTA document) prior to submitting the registration packet via the eMTA system.

ATCC's MTA

Our office will handle the MTA portion of the packet, once the department submits it via the eMTA request. The ATCC MTA requires authorized signature by OCGA. When the ATCC registration packet is completed and MTA is fully executed, the PI will be able to order cell lines without having to complete a new agreement for each transfer, however, an eMTA request is needed to keep track of each transfer.

Requests in eMTA

  1. New MTA: Upload the unsigned MTA from the ATCC registration packet.
  2. Ordering additional ATCC materials: Upload Fully Executed MTA from the original ATCC registration packet to the eMTA request.

Reimbursements for Materials

Requesting Reimbursements:

Reimbursements are not facilitated for outgoing transfer of human biological materials under an MTA.

For other types of material, you would like to be reimbursed when sending out materials under an MTA, select “Yes” to the following eMTA question:

"For UCSD developed technology, are there costs associated with the transfer that you would like reimbursed to your lab?" 

Reimbursement Cost versus Total Charges

The reimbursement amount requested by the UCSD investigator will differ from the total cost charged to the Recipient Institution. Total cost may include taxes and associated fees.

Be sure to contact the Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) at mta@ucsd.edu for a comprehensive total cost to provide to the Recipient Institution.