What is MTAShare?

To address the tremendous administrative burden and financial cost associated with managing the hundreds of thousands of Material Transfer Agreements ("MTAs") processed annually between universities and other not-for-profit research institutions, Vanderbilt has developed a comprehensive, scalable automated system for processing and managing MTAs. This system is known as MTAShare. Vanderbilt is now using it for processing of outgoing materials provided from Vanderbilt labs to other universities or not-for-profit research institutes.

While currently limited to use for Vanderbilt material providers, CTTC is engaged in an active campaign with other academic and not-for-profit research institutions to adopt MTAShare for use in their institutions so they can be not only the recipient institution of materials from Vanderbilt but also the outgoing/provider institution of materials to Vanderbilt (and other not-for-profits).  Universities or not-for-profit research institutions interested in gaining access to MTAShare should email

Key Benefits of MTAShare


  • Shortens MTA transaction times, instantaneous in some circumstances
  • Reduces administrative burden
  • Empowers researchers
  • Eliminates unnecessary review and negotiation
  • Increases feedback and tracking
  • Introduces transparency
  • Fewer opportunities for error
  • Can be used internationally
  • Manages export control issues
  • Free to use


How does MTAShare work?

MTAShare utilizes nationally accepted standard MTAs - the SLA and the UBMTA, as well as the AUTM derivatives of the UBMTA that were developed for non-standard materials such as human tissues and fluids, stem cells, chemicals, plants and the like. The providing scientist initiates the MTA request by completing a short survey. Based on the survey answers, MTAShare creates an MTA using its built-in logic, and alerts the MTA administrative manager that a new request is ready for review and approval. Upon approval, MTAShare auto-signs the MTA for the provider and sends the MTA to the recipient for review and approval. The system alerts all stakeholders when MTAs are approved, and uploads the final documents to a system folder. The system has built-in administrative warnings for non-standard material requests, and even has export control search capabilities. CLICK here to view a short presentation.

What's next for MTAShare?

Throughout the year, we will be adding additional features to MTAShare to increase its power and usability. A recipient-request capability will be added this summer, as well user preferences to customize the system, such as selection of default MTA templates, bypassing administrative review for standard SLA and UBMTA requests, and the like.

The benefits and level of automation of MTAShare scales with the number of users, so as stated above, when Vanderbilt makes MTAShare available this spring, it will be done so at no charge. If you are interested in testing the system, or signing up to use it when made available, please give us your contact information by clicking here. You can also view a brief demonstration video of MTAShare below.

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