Forms and Agreements for Researchers

Common agreements in technology transfer and corporate partnerships include:

Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA): A legal contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict access to by third parties.

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA): A legal contract that governs the transfer of tangible research materials between two organizations, when the recipient intends to use it for his/her own research purposes. The MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives. Biological materials, such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, and vectors, are the most frequently transferred materials, but MTAs may also be used for other types of materials, such as chemical compounds and software. See the Material Transfer Agreements page for more information and send all MTAs to

Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA): A legal contract between Caltech and an external sponsor for the purpose of funding and conducting research at Caltech. See Caltech's Office of Sponsored Reserach page for more information, forms, and procedures.

Collaboration Agreement: A legal contract entered into by two or more researchers engaged in a research project to specify the nature of their working relationship. It specifies the intent of the parties to share data, research materials and facilities, and to publish research findings. Money typically is not exchanged under a collaboration agreement.

License Agreement: A legal agreement whereby an owner of a technological intellectual property allows another party to use, modify, and/or resell said property in exchange for compensation (consideration). See more on License Agreements.

For assistance with legal agreements or documents pertaining to intellectual property, contact your OTTCP representative. Not sure who to contact? Ask Stephanie Fry.