Material Transfer Agreements (MTA)

Research Agreements and Contracting (RAC) assists Brown’s research community with Materials Transfer Agreements (MTAs), enabling investigators to get rapid access to materials and transfer materials to others while ensuring that the parties’ rights are fully protected.

An MTA is a written contract between a provider and a recipient of research material. The parties to the contract may be between academic, government, and commercial organizations. The sharing of research products is critical to continuing progress in science, and we work expeditiously to rapidly turn around these agreements that protect the rights of the different parties with regard to publication, freedom of research, confidentiality, and intellectual property. RAC negotiates and signs these agreements on behalf of Brown.

Outgoing Materials

If you are a Brown researcher interested in sending materials to an outside non-profit or for-profit entity, submit a request to RAC by sending an email to [email protected] that includes the following information:

  • Description of the research materials
  • Name and contact information of the recipient 
  • Purpose of the transfer

RAC will review your request and provide the appropriate MTA. If the outside entity does not accept the MTA provisions and requests edits, RAC will negotiate on behalf of Brown and the Brown researcher.   

Important: All transfers of materials, software, or data must be compliant with U.S. export regulations. Some materials, software, or data may require an export license if shipped abroad. There may be other restrictions, such as that these items cannot be shipped to a restricted or banned party, or located in an embargoed country. Because penalties for violation of export control laws are significant and may include personal fines and criminal charges, RAC helps to ensure compliance for any material shipped under an MTA.

RAC liaises with the Export Control Compliance Team in ORI for all outgoing international MTAs and certain incoming MTAs. If export licenses are required, ORI will discuss options and processes with RAC and the responsible Brown researcher. For more information on export control compliance, visit ORI’s website or contact the Export Control Compliance Team.

Incoming Materials

If you are a Brown researcher interested in receiving materials from either a non-profit or a for-profit organization, please fill out this brief questionnaire and send it to [email protected]

If you received a draft MTA from the outside entity, please include a copy of the draft along with the completed questionnaire.


For further information on MTAs, please contact Megan Snell ([email protected]) or send an inquiry to [email protected].