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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: If you are prompted to upload a 700U and Addendum Form in the eMTA system, you may ignore and upload any attachment. With the launch of Kuali COI, PDF forms are no longer accepted. 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, blood and tissue
  • Materials that contain third party rights

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

Like other contracts, the terms of an MTA must be developed and carefully negotiated to maintain our legal obligations as a public university and to ensure we follow UC policy. 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 has concluded the MTA will be signed by the authorized representatives and the fully executed 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

Some material transfers will require different steps:

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Lab moves

If a PI is moving their lab, either to or from another institution, and they plan to transfer tangible research materials, we need to make sure we have an MTA in place. Initiate the process as soon as possible because:

  • having an agreement in place allows the PI to continue using their materials.
  • notifying OCGA allows the contract officer to ensure that there are no breaches of contract.
  • the process can be lengthy and complicated, especially if there are a lot of materials involved.

Contact 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, and copy

Addgene materials

Addgene is a global, nonprofit repository that was created to help scientists share plasmids. To initiate the material transfer scientists request plasmids from Addgene through their system. 

All MTAs, including Addgene material transfers, are required to be submitted in the eMTA System.

Request Steps

  1. Place Addgene order. For more information go to Addgene Ordering Instructions.
    • Addgene sends the standard material transfer agreement to the MTA team.
  2. Submit eMTA request.
    • One MTA request per Addgene order (i.e.not needed per plasmid).
    • Include the Addgene Order Number.
  3. eMTA will send you a system generated notificaiton.
    • Your request will be placed in the MTA queue to be assigned to a contract officer and processed in the order it was recieved.

For depositing plasmids into Addgene, contact OIC at For other Adgene questions, contact

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.


Our office will handle the MTA portion of the packet, which involves review and signature by the MTA Team. 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

If you would like to be reimbursed for 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? (This question does not apply to outgoing human/blood/tissue material)

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 contact the Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) for a comprehensive total cost to provide to the Recipient Institution. 

To get the total cost, contact OIC at

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Email or call (858) 246-3682.