How is an MTA processed for approval and signature?


  1. The principal investigator will complete and sign an MTA Submission Form, and send it along with the MTA (MTA required if receiving materials, if sending materials an agreement template will be sent to the PI later) and all required supporting documentation to the principal investigator’s Chairperson for review and approval.

  1. If the Chairperson approves, the Chair signs the MTA Submission Form and forwards it to the MTA Office (or returns it to principal investigator, for submission to the MTA Office).

  1. When the MTA Office receives the submission, it will be checked for completeness and the information regarding the submission will be submitted into the database. The principal investigator and the contact person noted on the MTA Submission Form will receive an email giving information on how to track the status of the proposed MTA as it makes its way through the review and approval process. If the Submission is incomplete the principal investigator and contact person will receive an email requesting any missing items required for a complete submission.

  1. Once a complete Submission has been received the MTA is then sent to the UAB Research Foundation for pre-review. There the MTA is reviewed for scientific compliance issues, third party rights issues, and intellectual property right issues. The principal investigator or contact person may receive questions from the pre-reviewer. Once the pre-reviewer is satisfied that all of these issues have been addressed, the MTA will receive an “approved for processing” designation. It is then sent back to the MTA Office, and enters the review and approval process. If materials are being sent from UAB, an agreement template will be sent to the PI’s office to fill in necessary information. If for some reason, the MTA cannot be approved for processing, the MTA Office will provide notification to the principal investigator of that decision, along with an explanation.

  1. A number of offices can be involved in the review and approval process. All will be reviewed by the MTA Office and UAB’s Office of Legal Counsel. Some will also require IRB review, Risk Management review, UAB Contracts Office review, OSP review, Gift Records review, additional UAB Research Foundation review, and/or review by the Vice President of Research and Economic Development.

  1. The MTA will be adjusted in accordance with comments received from reviewers. If the MTA has been provided by the other party, the adjustments will be sent to the other party for review, approval, and negotiation. If one of our templates is being sent to the other party, it will be customized as may be required, signed, and then sent to the other party for their review and approval (and may require negotiation of changes that they request).

Please note that every MTA is unique to the circumstances, issues, and situation. There are too many variables to give any prediction of time of completion. You should request materials from a providing party as soon as you know that you will need them so that time does not become an issue. As a general rule, you should allow approximately one month for processing an MTA to full execution when requesting a research material from a not-for-profit institution, and you should allow at least two months for processing of an MTA when requesting research materials from a for-profit company. If you are sending materials from UAB, an MTA will usually be provided to the receiving party within one week of receiving an “approved for processing” status.