University Research Council

May 11, 2005

Meeting Summary

Material Transfer Agreements

A material transfer agreement (MTA) regulates the transfer of research outcomes – e.g., a chemical compound, a cell line, a reagent, a tissue sample, or any other tangible product of research.  It is a contract whereby the owner of a particular material (usually the University) agrees to transfer that material to an external entity, subject to the limitations and conditions set forth in the agreement.  MTAs are negotiated through the University’s Office of Research.  The Office is negotiating dramatically larger numbers of MTAs with external companies.  Negotiations are becoming more complex due to these companies’ concerns about industry secrets.  The Office has developed a model MTA in order to simplify the negotiation process.

Office of Research

Allen DiPalma, Interim Director of the Office of Research, discussed the InfoEd electronic research administration system.  The proposal-tracking module will be introduced this year.  Principal investigators will be able to submit proposals electronically and Office staffers will be able to track proposals electronically.  The proposal-development module will be introduced next year.  This module will support both complete online proposal development and the electronic proposal formats of all external sponsors.


The Subcommittee on Electronic Research Administration continues to work with the Office of Research on the electronic proposal tracking system.  The Subcommittee on Support for the Humanities is exploring opportunities to provide financial support to postdoctoral fellows in the humanities.  The Subcommittee on Interdisciplinary Small Grants is evaluating the eight proposals that were submitted in response to the RFP. 


Several other issues were discussed:

  • The copyright policy is currently being evaluated by the University Senate.
  • A brainstorming session on modeling and simulation will be held in the fall.
  • The University submitted the first responder proposal to DHS.
  • The Council will hold a brainstorming session to plan next year’s agenda.