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Home >> For Researchers >> Forms >> MTA, CDA & DUA

MSU Technologies facilitates the processing of Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) and Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDA) and Data Use Agreements (DUA) for Michigan State University.


MTA Questionnaire

MTAs govern the transfer of tangible research materials, such as chemicals, plant- or animal-derived material, or software.

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a legal contract that allows for the exchange of materials, such as chemicals, software, plant- and animal-derived material, or research animals, between universities and other organizations for research purposes. The agreement defines the rights of the providing scientists, recipient scientists, and their respective organizations with regard to materials, derivatives, and inventions that may result from the use of the transferred material.

MTAs are typically used when the transfer of materials does not involve the exchange of money, although preparation and shipping fees may be charged to the recipient organization.

If you are purchasing materials on a standard purchase order, an MTA is not required. Work through your department or contact MSU Purchasing to procure the materials.

MTAs ensure that:

  • intellectual property rights of the receiving organization and the providing organization are addressed
  • special shipping and handling needs are met
  • a record of the types of materials entering or leaving MSU is created
  • health and safety risks are identified and properly addressed as required by law

The execution and approval process for MTAs typically takes approximately two to three weeks. You are encouraged you use the forms on this website, as forms from outside agencies often must be modified or negotiated to meet university requirements and provisions, delaying the process. Once the MTA has been property executed by all parties, the transfer of materials can take place.

Upon receipt of an MTA, MSUT alerts the Office of Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Safety (ORCBS) and the Office of Export Control.

Special Requirements for the use of human or animal-derived materials

Prior to receiving any human materials or contacting MSU Technologies, faculty members must first route research plans involving human subjects and materials of human origin through the Human Research Protection Program, where the research plan will be reviewed by one of three Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).

Research plans involving the use of live vertebrate animals must first be routed through the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This committee ensures that any use of vertebrate animals for any university-related activity conforms to federal laws and guidelines.

For questions about MTAs, contact our MTA/CDA coordinator.


CDA Questionnaire

CDAs govern the exchange of proprietary information.

A Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA) (sometimes referred to as a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)) is a legal contract that governs the exchange of proprietary or confidential information. The agreement is used when there is a need to share proprietary information with an external party for a limited purpose while protecting it from being disclosed to others or the public. A CDA is also used when there is a need to avoid forfeiture of patent rights due to premature public disclosure.

Confidential information must be proprietary in nature, such as information an entity owns and needs to keep from being disseminated outside the entity to protect competitive advantage. Examples include:

  • inventions
  • data
  • know-how
  • prototypes
  • engineering drawings
  • computer software
  • test results
  • tools
  • systems
  • current and future research plans
  • specifications

A CDA creates obligations of confidentiality among the parties and limits the dissemination of confidential information. CDAs define the terms of disclosure between parties by:

  • defining the subject matter and scope of the disclosure
  • limiting the purposes for which the confidential information may be used
  • limiting the timeframe, access, and distribution of confidential information to third parties

MSUT forwards CDAs to the Office of Export Control for review.

For questions about CDAs, contact our MTA/CDA coordinator.

The execution and approval process for MTAs and CDAs typically takes approximately two to three weeks. You are encouraged you use the forms on this website, as forms from outside agencies must often be modified to meet university requirements and provisions, delaying the process.


If you have RECEIVED a DUA, please complete this Questionnaire and submit it with any DUA you wish to have signed.

If you wish to SEND data, please complete this Questionnaire to initiate a DUA.