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Material Transfer Agreements

This page sets out the contracting process and relevant agreement templates for the transfer of material to or from a third party. If you are sending material as a standalone transfer please go to section 1, Standalone Material Transfers. If you wish to provide your material to multiple recipients i.e. you wish to provide a “one-stop shop” whereby your materials can be made available to any organisation wishing to obtain them, then please go to section 2, Licensing of Materials. If you wish to receive materials from a third party, please go to section 3, Incoming Material Transfers.

1. Standalone Material Transfers

RIS has produced a standard Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) for outgoing transfers of non-human material (i.e. where you want to send material owned by Leeds to someone else for research purposes). This MTA* can be used with both academic and commercial recipients. The template MTA is available here. *N.B. where you wish to organise the transfer of non-human material to or from another UK University, the Brunswick MTA should be issued instead as this has been specifically designed to facilitate the transfer of material between academic institutions and is widely accepted by UK Universities without the need for amendment.

Both the standard MTA template produced by RIS and the Brunswick MTA can be signed by a local authorised signatory (e.g. a pro-Dean for Research, Head of School, or an authorised delegate) provided no substantive contractual amendments have been made. This means that blanks describing the materials, the research, and the recipient should be filled in, but the remainder of the document should not be modified. If modifications to contractual wording in either template MTA are required, the MTA will need to be reviewed by the RIS Contracts Team, and must not be signed by a local authorised signatory (instead it will be signed by a RIS signatory). Please note that this will lengthen the time required to complete the MTA. We would therefore encourage the use of the MTA without amendment.

2. Licensing of Materials 

The University can also arrange a licence for third parties to access Leeds-owned materials. Licensing is the equivalent of ‘renting out’ the University’s material. It allows a third party to research, develop and potentially commercialise the material under certain conditions, such as the payment of royalties, with the University retaining legal ownership of the material. Licensing of materials is often best suited to where one or multiple third- parties wish to access the material on a recurring basis on the same terms for a fee. Please contact the RIS Commercialisation Team for further information.

3. Incoming Material Transfers

If you would like to receive material from someone else to use in your research at Leeds, they will usually supply their own MTA to document the transfer. These documents will need to be reviewed by the RIS Contracts Team. Please use our guide on how to engage the Contracts team to ensure that your request can be dealt with smoothly. If a provider of material does not have their own MTA, you can provide them with this standard incoming MTA prepared by the RIS Contracts Team (or, if a provider is a UK university, the Brunswick MTA may be used). Again, provided that the contractual wording of either MTA is not amended, it can be signed locally. If changes to the contractual wording are made, it must be reviewed by the RIS Contracts Team.

Please note that the RIS Contracts Team deals with a high volume of contractual matters and usually needs to prioritise cash-bearing research contracts above contracts such as MTAs. Review of incoming MTAs may therefore be delayed in order to prioritise other matters. The standard incoming MTA template may also be used, if the provider of material is willing to use it instead of their own document, in order to avoid the need for RIS review and to obtain signature locally.