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Message from Ann M. Arvin,
Vice Provost and Dean of Research,
regarding Material Transfer Agreements

07/12/10: A messsage from Ann Arvin, Vice Provost and Dean of Research, to Stanford faculty

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to bring this information about our policies and procedures related to Material Transfer Agreements to your attention.

Stanford encourages the free exchange of information and materials with research colleagues, whether these colleagues are at other academic or non-profit institutions or in industry. The growing practice of using MTAs when non-human, biological material is shared for in vitro research purposes has become a barrier to these interactions. We have worked with our peer institutions to eliminate the use of MTAs whenever possible and to rely instead on the longstanding practice of publicly acknowledging colleagues for materials they have provided in papers and presentations. Accordingly, Stanford does not require or encourage the use of an MTA when you are giving non-human, biological material to be used for in vitro research purposes to your research colleagues. Restrictions to keep materials or research results confidential generally are not appropriate between academic researchers, and are usually not necessary between academic and industry researchers.

If circumstances require an MTA, the Simple Letter Agreement (SLA) or the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) should be used without changes. The (SLA and UBMTA forms are available on the Industrial Contracts Office (ICO) website). In the rare instance that modifications are appropriate, the revisions must be approved by the Industrial Contracts Office.

NOTE: (1) the transfer of human biologic material and specimens and materials for use in humans is governed by separate regulations (please refer to and) and (2) the transfer of any materials funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is subject to special MTA requirements (Please contact the ICO for instructions).

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Ann M. Arvin, M.D.

Lucile Salter Packard Professor of Pediatrics
and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Stanford University School of Medicine
G-311, 650-498-6227

Vice Provost and Dean of Research, Stanford University
Building 10, 650-725-4421