Material Transfer Agreements


NEW -  Important Information for Investigators with International Collaborations

Overview of the Material Transfer Agreement

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are executed when research materials are transferred into or out of Stony Brook University.  MTAs are important because they:

  • Preserve confidentiality, which is critical if the University decides to secure a patent covering the transferred materials;
  • Protect a researcher’s publication rights and the continued use of the transferred materials;
  • Shield the researcher and University from liability associated with the recipient’s use of the transferred material;
  • Allow the University to manage export control compliance issues; and
  • Enable a researcher to recover costs associated with material transfers such as shipping and handling. 

As a result, whether for inbound or outbound materials, MTAs are essential legal documents that ensure that each party understands and complies with the terms of the agreement.  MTAs also must be properly recorded and appropriately managed.

Process for securing an MTA

Send Materials

Where a Stony Brook University researcher seeks to send materials, originating or created at Stony Brook, the researchers should send an emaill to and include the following information:

  • Description of the Materials: The researcher should provide a short, one-sentence description of the materials that will be transferred.  The researcher should also include information that can help the OTLIR characterize the materials as a plasmid, software, virus, cell line, etc.  Finally, the researcher should clarify if the materials to be transferred include infectious biological materials.
  • Identity and Contact Information for Parties Involved: The researcher should supply the following contact information to our office: (i) full name recipient scientist, (ii) email address of recipient scientist, and (ii) the name of the university or company that employs the recipient scientist.
  • Draft MTA: The researcher should forward along any draft MTA they have received from the institution or party sending materials. 

Keep in mind that our obligation is ensure consistency with university policy including the  SUNY Patent and Invention Policy.  Accordingly, while we make every attempt to expedite the MTA execution process, we may require time to negotiate the terms of the agreement with the outside party.

Receive Materials

When a Stony Brook University researcher seeks to receive materials from another institution,  the researcher should email the other institution's MTA to for insitutional review and signature.

Information for Outside Institutions

The Research Foundation for the State University of New York (Research Foundation) manages intellectual property and contractual matters on behalf of Stony Brook University researchers.  The Office of Technology Licensing and Industry Relations (OTLIR) handles some of these issues for Stony Brook University researchers, including material transfer agreements (MTAs) on behalf of the Research Foundation.  Please send an email to for additional information.

For more information, please contact the OTLIR Office:
Technology and Licensing and Industry Relations
N5002 Frank Melville JR. Library
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Phone: (631) 632 9009
Technology Licensing and Industry Relations
Phone: 631-632-9009
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