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Material Transfer Agreements

UBC has signed up with other leading research institutions to new simplified procedures that will allow for materials to be transferred to academic and some non-profit institutions far more rapidly.

Under these new procedures, materials will be transferred under one of four mechanisms:

  1. Without any Material Transfer Agreement
  2. Using the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA), of which UBC is a signatory
  3. Using a Simple Letter Agreement
  4. Under a negotiated Material Transfer Agreement

To transfer materials, or to receive incoming materials, researchers must first complete an MTA Contract Request form, which includes questions that allow us to establish the most appropriate method under which to transfer the material.

The questions on the form concern the following areas:

  • The PI's expectation of financial returns for intellectual property being transferred
  • The existence of Third Party Rights
  • Ethics requirements in connection with the material
  • The need to address liability concerns


UBC's preferred method will always be the most expedient means available

If the following criteria are met through completing the form, we may be able to transfer materials without any agreement:

  • If the PI:
    • consents;
    • has no concerns about confidentiality;
    • is not concerned about potential revenue from the commercialization of the material;
    • does not require progress reports on how the material is being used;
    • does not need assurance of acknowledgment in any publications;
  • The material is being transferred to an academic or non-profit institution;
  • There are no third party rights involved with the material;
  • Appropriate ethics approvals are in place; and
  • The material is non-human and non-hazardous.


If one of the above conditions is not met, then the materials may be transferred under one of the three remaining mechanisms. This table outlines the implications of some of the key issues in determining how to send the material.

Required Documents:

  • Contract Request Form
    (This form can be saved, complete with data, with the latest versions of Acrobat Reader)

Sample Templates:

Contact: Nandita Chowdhury (604) 822-8020

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