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Whenever research materials are transferred into or out of Penn, a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) must be completed and signed by an authorized Penn representative.

The Research Inventory System enables the Penn faculty to initiate their MTA request.  If you are a PENN PI and would like to initiate a MTA please use RIS

If you are an external party and would like to initiate a MTA request please contact the PENN Principal Investigator (Penn Directory: and copy ORS at


Below is a list of our Standard MTA’s:

Penn Academic / Non-Profit Material Transfer Agreement Penn Academic / Non-Profit Material Transfer Agreement

This Material Transfer Agreement when Penn is sending material to an academic / non-profit institution external party.   If the academic / non-profit institution external party is a member of AUTM, please use the Material Transfer Agreements provided below.
Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA)

If the academic / non-profit external party is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) and the materials are of a biological nature, another option is to use the UBMTA.  Click here to access a list of AUTM members. The UBMTA implementing letter may be accessed here.

Penn Corporate / For-Profit Material Transfer Agreement
This Material Transfer Agreement when Penn is sending material to a corporate / for-profit institution external party. 

For more information please contact:

Academic Material Transfer
Office of Research Services
University of Pennsylvania
Franklin Building | 5th Floor
3451 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205

Special circumstance MTAs
1) If a Penn PI is leaving Penn and wishes to take Material created in their laboratory to their new employer.  The Penn PI must submit a request for the transfer through RIS. 

2) If the Penn PI has already left Penn and an external party requests materials created in the Penn PI’s former laboratory, the department head of the former Penn PI’s laboratory will submit the MTA request through RIS to complete the transfer.

3) If a Penn PI received Material from an External Third Party and the Penn PI wants to take the Material with him to their new place of employment, the Penn PI or department head will submit the MTA request through RIS to complete the transfer.

4) If the Penn PI has already left Penn and wants the External Third Party’s Materials from the Penn laboratory, the department head will submit the MTA request through RIS to complete the transfer.


When the University is awarded a sponsored project agreement in which a substantial portion of the work will be accomplished by another institution or organization, the policies and procedures set forth in this Section apply.  The nature of the relationship between Penn and the outside entity will determine the contracting mechanism used; if a PI at the outside entity is contributing intellectually and independently supervising the activities, a Subcontract will be issued.  However, if the outside entity is providing consulting or other services and is not contributing as a collaborator on the project, a purchase of services (vendor) agreement may be more appropriate.
Subawards cannot be used for routine purchases of equipment or support services.

Establishing a Subaward
When collaborating with another investigator, where the investigator is contributing intellectually to the project, a subaward agreement is required. Subawards serve to establish expectations for contributions to the project and to flow down requirements from the funding sponsor to the subaward recipient.

Upon receipt of an award from the sponsor, it is the responsibility of the PI to request a subaward in the Research Inventory System (RIS).  Either the PI or the BA begins the request in RIS by identifying the subaward recipient, providing a statement of work and a budget, as well as any IRB or IACUC approvals covering the subrecipient project.  While a BA can begin this process, ORS cannot begin to create a subaward until the PI approves the RIS record.

The subaward request is electronically routed through RIS to verify regulatory compliance and subrecipient monitoring.  In accordance with federal regulations, ORS reviews the subaward recipient’s audit report and verifies that the institution and individual are eligible to receive federal funds. ORS is responsible for writing the subaward and circulating for signatures.  Once the agreement is signed, RIS sends an email notification to the PI and the BA.  The BA will receive an email indicating that it is appropriate to establish a PO.  

Subrecipient monitoring and closeout
The PI can request modifications to existing subawards using the same process as described above.  Throughout the project, the subrecipient is required to submit invoices as outlined in the agreement.  It is the responsibility of the PI to monitor the progress of the subrecipient and ensure that the work is being performed satisfactorily, reports are submitting on time and invoices are appropriate based on the work being performed.   The BA is responsible for coordinating payment of approved invoices, requesting additional documentation as needed, and maintaining records sufficient to support the expenditures. The PI is responsible for coordinating technical reporting. 

At the end of a subaward period of performance, the subrecipient is expected to submit a final statement of cumulative costs no later than 60 days after the end of the budget and project period date.  The subrecipient is also responsible for reporting any inventions resulting from the subaward to the BA.

It is the BA's responsibility to request and maintain a record of the subrecipient’s expenses.  The BA should also make Research Services aware of any inventions reported by the subrecipient. Research Services is responsible for requesting final invention reports and providing them to sponsors.  The PI is responsible for coordinating preparation and submission of any required final technical reports (See Sponsored Projects Policies Nos. 2131 and 2135.)

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