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Update: Material Transfer Agreements Made Even Easier

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) just became even easier to manage and maintain thanks to the new and improved Transfer Agreement Dashboard (TAD). New features include an online catalog of frequently requested NIH materials and the ability to create MTAs for transfers of materials into the NIH.

MTAs are agreements that govern the transfer of tangible research materials between two organizations when the recipient intends to use the material for his or her own research purposes. The kinds of materials that can be transferred under MTAs include unique reagents, cell lines, plasmids, chemical compounds, vectors, and other types of research materials and resources such as animal models and software.

The Transfer Agreement Dashboard

The TAD Web site was developed to make the MTA process simpler and more efficient. TAD takes the guesswork out of managing MTAs by providing easy-to-use Web forms and automatically sending agreements to the appropriate people for negotiation and signature. TAD also saves valuable time by providing preloaded MTA templates and offering electronic signature capability, thereby eliminating the need to print or scan documents.

The new TAD Material Catalog enables external researchers to browse and request NIH materials available for transfer. TAD facilitates the entire request process, including lab approval and the creation of a new MTA. For example, when the recipient researcher receives approval for the transfer, TAD will automatically begin the MTA process using the material information available in the catalog. This step reduces errors in the agreement by ensuring that the document contains the appropriate information. Lab staff members can manage their lab’s list of available materials by using their TAD account.

MTAs for transfers into the NIH increase access to critical materials available from the external research community. TAD encourages external technology transfer offices to use the built-in NIH templates whenever possible to mitigate the need for extensive negotiation. For organizations that prefer using unique terms and conditions, TAD offers the option to reuse the language of a previously executed MTA to help streamline the negotiation process.

Registering for TAD is quick, easy, and free. Simply fill out the form on the TAD user registration page at