University of California
April 10, 2001
Subject: Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Process Committee
By campus notice dated 8/7/00, you were advised that a special committee had been charged by the Vice Chancellor Research and the Vice Chancellor Resource Management and Planning to review current practices of the campus relative to incoming and outgoing transfers of research materials with the goal of identifying and resolving process and other related issues. To date, the MTA committee has met on several occasions and discussed the current MTA processes in detail. We have also considered the comments and suggestions which you provided to us in response to our request for input. We have the following progress to report:
1. The development of an MTA-dedicated webpage has been recommended which will be linked to and accessible from both the Office of Contract and Grant Administration (OCGA) home page (ocga2.ucsd.edu) and the Technology Transfer & Intellectual Property Services (TTIPS) home page (http://invent.ucsd.edu). In the interim, a test site has been developed which can be accessed through the "Material Transfer" reference which has been added to both sites and is accessible from each home page. Please view the progress to date and give us your input by accessing the test site from the home page of either office. The site will continue to be populated with the goal of becoming a comprehensive information center for researchers and departments.
2. OCGA and TTIPS processes and forms have been reviewed and streamlined for both receiving and sending research materials.
Specifically, there will be two separate requests for information forms - one for incoming and one for outgoing. For ease of use, the forms are consistent when requesting routine administrative information, but the two forms now include questions which have been specifically tailored to address the individual issues associated with incoming versus outgoing transfers.
Revised procedures have also been completed for receiving research materials. Changes made to expedite the process include post-review of animal subjects and environmental health and safety issues. Further, questions on the mta questionnaire have been revised to provide information which may allow acceptance of agreements without changes based on the anticipated use of the material. We hope that the revised forms and procedures will more clearly focus on individual types of agreements so that the approval process for materials will be more easily understood and accomplished.
Procedures for sending out UCSD developed research materials have been reviewed. The committee is continuing discussions on the topic of streamlining this process. The goal of such discussions is to determine whether it is feasible to establish specific criteria for certain categories of material which would allow investigators to directly provide such material to requesters with the use of a simple cover letter or a "shrink-wrap" type of agreement and without prior administrative approvals. We hope to complete this effort in the next few months.
3. Investigators will be sent an acknowledgment by email once the mta paperwork has reached the OCGA or TTIPS. The acknowledgment will include a reminder that the researcher may contact the OCGA or TTIPS at any time during the process to obtain a status on the completion of the documentation.
4. The OCGA and TTIPS will be establishing a joint listserv of researchers with incoming and outgoing material transfer agreements. Other researchers will be able to subscribe or be added to the list upon request. The list will be used to provide information of general interest to researchers involved in both incoming and outgoing transfers, including updates on the status of master agreements which have been negotiated for use by all of the UC campuses, problematic providers of material, NIH policies on transfers of material, etc.
Once the list has been compiled with existing data, a campus announcement will be sent out advising the procedure for subscribing or unsubscribing to the listserv.
5. The committee is also recommending that information sessions be offered by OCGA and TTIPS to both departments and researchers which would be tailored to the specific needs of the requester. If you have other suggestions regarding such sessions, the committee would appreciate hearing from you.
6. As noted above, the committee still has a few action items to complete. However, based on the fact that the members of the committee have acquired both an appreciation of the intellectual property and research issues involved and also a detailed knowledge of the mta process at UCSD, the MTA committee members have agreed to remain available on a continuing basis to assist both the OCGA and TTIPS in discussing other future issues which may arise in the academic community associated with the receipt and sending of research materials.
Please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish additional information. If you wish to contact any of the members of the MTA committee directly with your comments or suggestions, please see the list of members below.
MTA Members -