Frequently Asked Questions
How do I create an account?
To create an account, just go to our registration page and complete our simple registration process.
How do I recover a lost password and/or username?
Addgene is "verifying" my account. What does that mean and how long does it take?
This means that the Addgene system did not recognize the institution you listed in your account profile. This happens if your institution has never ordered from us before, or if the name of your institution was entered in an unrecognized format (using abbreviations, acronyms, etc). The Addgene team verifies new accounts regularly, and you will typically hear from us within 1 business day after creating an account.
I have an account but I can't login. What should I do?
To login, you must enable your browser to accept cookies from www.addgene.org. You may also need to try a different browser, such as Firefox or Chrome. If you are still having problems, please contact email@example.com to verify your login information.
My lab already has an Addgene account. Do I need to create my own individual account?
This is up to you, but Addgene recommends that each person have his or her own account. Separate accounts help minimize confusion and maintain privacy. They also help you to track your personal requests and deposits with Addgene. If you would like to use your lab's account to place an order, you will need to get the username and password from the person who created the account. Otherwise, you can create your own account.
Placing New Orders
Does Addgene accept orders by fax, phone or email?
Unfortunately, no. All orders must be placed on our website (www.addgene.org) due to the legal documents we generate with each order. We recommend that the recipient scientist who will be using the materials places the order, but orders can be placed by any member of your lab or your institution's purchasing office. You can find instructions on how to order at our How to Order page or find more information about using purchase orders (POs) on our purchase order page.
I am a purchasing agent. Can I place an order?
Addgene recommends that scientists place their own orders, as they will need to fill out the required MTA forms. However, purchasing agents can also order on behalf of scientists. When you place the order, please make sure you have the requesting scientist's name and email, as well as the Principal Investigator's name so that the MTAs will be generated correctly. Entering incorrect information at checkout will delay the MTA approval process. If you are using a PO, you can find more information about POs on our purchase order page.
What information will I need to place an order on your website?
To place an order, you will need:
- the name and email address of the scientist who will be using the plasmids
- the name of the Principal Investigator (PI) whose lab will be using the plasmids
- the name or item number of the plasmids to be ordered
- payment information (credit card or purchase order number)
- the shipping and billing addresses
I placed an order, but haven't received any confirmation from Addgene. Has my order been placed?
If you have not received an email order confirmation from Addgene, then your order is most likely not in our system. All orders must be placed directly through our website: www.addgene.org. Once placed, you will receive an order confirmation email. If your order was only faxed or emailed to us, then it would have never entered our system. If you are ordering by PO, please see our Purchase Order information page. If you would like to confirm that your order was not placed on our website, contact us with the item numbers of your order and we can check for you. Please visit our How to Order page for more details or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
I am from a for-profit entity. Can I request materials from your repository for research use?
Addgene is distributing a limited portion of its plasmid collection to for-profit entities. Click here for more information.
If a material you are interested in is not available for distribution to for-profit entities, you will not be able to order it through Addgene. Instead, you will need to contact the institution that originally deposited the material to Addgene and see if you can obtain it directly from them. If you are interested in getting contact information for the depositing institution, please email us at email@example.com and we may be able to provide it to you.
Where can I find the contact information for a depositing lab?
On Addgene's website, search for the depositing PI's name to navigate to the PI's page. Then click the "learn more about research" link. This will bring you to the depositing lab's website, which should include contact information.
How can I check the status of my orders?
You can find a list of the current status of all your orders by logging into your Addgene account and clicking on the "Open Orders" link in the "My Account" box on the left side of the homepage screen.
Can I change or update my order after it has been submitted?
The Addgene team can help you to change or update almost anything about your order, including removing plasmids (but not adding them), changing the PI or recipient scientist's name or email, and updating payment or the shipping/billing address. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
Can I add or replace plasmids after my order has been submitted?
Unfortunately, no. If you would like to order additional plasmids, you will need to cancel your original order by contacting email@example.com with your order number. You can then place a new order consisting of all the plasmids you want, including those from the order you had already placed. You will not be charged twice, but you will need to complete a new MTA for the new order.
I have two pending Addgene orders. Can I combine them?
Unfortunately no, Addgene's software does not allow us to combine orders. If you would like, we can cancel both orders and you can place a new one containing all the plasmids you need in one order. To use this option, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that if your order has already been processed for shipment, we will not be able to cancel it.
How do I cancel an order?
You can email the Addgene team at email@example.com with your order number and request a cancellation. Note however that if your order has already been processed for shipment, we will not be able to cancel it.
Can I return the plasmids I ordered?
Addgene does not accept returns. However, if there is an error associated with your order, please contact Addgene at firstname.lastname@example.org within 30 days. Addgene will either: (1) replace wrongfully delivered materials or (2) provide a refund (not including shipping and handling). Please see our Terms of Purchase for more details on warranty and liability information.
How can I see my order history?
Simply log in to your Addgene account, hover over the My Account section at the top of the page, and select Order History.
Pricing, Payment, and Billing
What is the price for plasmids and kits?
My lab cannot afford the standard prices. Are discounts available?
Addgene's goal is to make research tools available to the entire scientific community. If your laboratory cannot afford the standard prices, Addgene can help defray this cost. This policy exists to enable the distribution of materials to underfunded labs (e.g. in developing countries). If you believe your lab qualifies, please email Addgene at email@example.com with a brief explanation of your financial situation and the number of plasmids you wish to order. Every discount code is unique and is based on the number of plasmids being ordered.
How can I get a quote?
Our website is set up to let you create a quote yourself. Just log in to your Addgene account and add the plasmids you want to your cart. Then go to your cart and click "View Printable Quote for Purchasing Department".
When you are ready to place your order, navigate back to your cart, click the "Checkout" button, and complete the checkout process. Please make sure your purchasing department knows that while you can use a purchase order number as payment information when checking out, all orders must be placed directly on www.addgene.org. We cannot accept faxed or emailed purchase orders (PO). If you are using a PO, you can find more information about POs on our purchase order page.
What type of payment does Addgene accept?
During the checkout process, you can enter a credit card or purchase order (PO) number as payment. If you choose to pay by credit card, Addgene will charge your card after your order ships. If you choose to pay by purchase order, Addgene will issue an invoice to the billing address that you provide during checkout. This invoice can be paid by check, bank transfer (non-US customers only), or credit card. Payment terms are net 30 days from the invoice date.
How do I pay by credit card?
Addgene accepts VISA, MasterCard, & American Express during the checkout process online. Here's what you need to know:
- Your credit card will not be charged until after your order has shipped from Addgene.
- We will email you a receipt after we charge your card.
- If you have received an unpaid invoice from Addgene and would like to pay it by credit card, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 617-225-9000.
How do I pay by purchase order (PO) number?
Addgene accepts PO numbers as payment during the checkout process online. Here's what you need to know:
- First, contact your institution's purchasing department to have an authorized PO number generated for your order.
- Once you have a PO number, login to your Addgene account, place your order, and enter the PO number as payment. Under "billing address," enter the address of the person or department responsible for paying invoices at your institution. Generally, this will be your Accounts Payable department.
- After your order ships, Addgene will send an invoice to that billing address referencing your institution's PO number. This invoice can be paid by check, credit card, or bank transfer (non-US customers only). Payments terms are net 30 days from the invoice date.
Please note: While we are happy to accept purchase order numbers as payment, Addgene does not accept purchase order requests sent by fax or email. Once you have a purchase order number, you need to place your order online and enter that number during checkout. Find more information about POs on our purchase order page.
My institution does not use purchase order numbers or credit cards. How can I pay?
Please select the "Pay by Purchase Order" option during checkout and enter your full name in the "P.O. Number" field. After you order ships, Addgene will issue an invoice to the billing address you provide during checkout to request payment. The invoice can be paid by check or bank transfer (non-US customers only). Payments terms are net 30 days from the invoice date.
How do I pay by bank transfer? (available for non-US customers only)
Please select the "Pay by Purchase Order" option during checkout to have an invoice sent to you or your institution. If your institution does not use PO numbers, you can enter your full name in the "P.O. Number" field. After your order ships, Addgene will send an invoice which will include banking details and instructions for bank transfer payment. Here are a few general guidelines for paying by bank transfer:
- Remember to include in your bank wire transfer your Addgene order or invoice number. This number is important in identifying your incoming wire payment.
- Addgene requests that your institution's finance department send an email to email@example.com when the wire transfer has been processed. In the email, please include the institution name, Addgene's order or invoice number, the date of the wire transfer and the amount of the US Dollar payment.
- It is the responsibility of your institution to pay all bank wire transfer fees. The bank wire transfer fee should not be deducted from the bank wire transfer payment to Addgene.
How do I get a copy of an invoice?
For orders paid by PO, Addgene will mail an invoice to the billing address entered at checkout after the order ships. For orders paid by credit card, Addgene will email you a receipt, including a copy of the invoice, after the order ships. In either case, invoices are always available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org after an order has shipped.
How does Addgene ship plasmids?
Addgene ships plasmids as bacterial stabs at room temperature via UPS. Once your order ships, Addgene will send you a UPS tracking number that will allow you to track the shipment's progress. For locations in the US, orders are generally delivered in 1-3 business days from the ship date. For international locations, delivery ranges from 3-14 days from the ship date. Stabs are stable for up to 2 weeks in transit.
Non-US Customers: please visit our International Page for country specific shipping and customs information.
How does Addgene ship kits?
For all shipments in the US, and for most international locations, kits are shipped as bacterial glycerol stocks on dry ice. For some international locations, due to customs regulations, kits will be shipped at room temperature. Each kit comes with detailed instructions for how to recover the samples. Please note that if an order includes BOTH individual plasmids and a kit, the items may be shipped separately.
Non-US Customers: please visit our International Page for country specific shipping and customs information.
Does Addgene ship internationally? How are customs handled?
Yes! Addgene has shipped thousands of orders to over 70 countries since 2004. We include a thorough customs invoice and shipper's declaration with every order. These help most orders clear customs without any issues. Please note that requesting scientists are responsible for making arrangements for prompt payment of applicable duties and taxes assessed by your country's customs agent. Please visit our International Page for more information.
What is the estimated ship date of my order?
Addgene cannot process or ship orders until the necessary Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are approved by your institution. You can typically expect your order to ship 2-3 business days after your MTA is approved.
How do I track my order after it has been shipped?
You will be emailed a shipping notification when your order ships from Addgene's facility. The UPS tracking number for your order will be included in this email.
How long will plasmids last in transit?
Generally, the plasmid stabs will last a maximum of two weeks in transit.
I've just received my plasmid shipment from Addgene. What do I do next?
After receiving your samples, Addgene recommends that you store the bacterial stabs at 4 degrees Celsius for no longer than 2 weeks. Bacterial colonies should be picked with a sterile swab and grown to produce plasmid DNA or bacterial glycerol stocks for long term storage. View our protocol for recovering plasmids from your stab culture.
Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)
What is a Material Transfer Agreement and why do I need one?
The Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is an agreement between the recipient and the depositing institutions that governs the transfer of scientific materials. It offers intellectual property and liability protection for the material providers. Institutions and laboratories that have deposited materials at Addgene require us to use MTAs for all plasmid transfers.
For transfers between nonprofit or academic institutions, Addgene uses the Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement (UBMTA). This agreement must be signed by an authorized representative of the recipient institution before Addgene can ship the plasmids to the requesting scientist.
For more information on MTAs, please review the FAQs below and visit our MTA page.
I am from a for-profit entity. Can I request materials from your repository under an MTA?
A limited portion of Addgene's collection is available for distribution to for-profit entities. These available materials will be transferred under an Industry Material Transfer Agreement. Please click here for additional information.
What is a Recipient Scientist Acknowledgement (RSA)?
For each plasmid ordered from Addgene, a Recipient Scientist Acknowledgement form must be signed by the recipient scientist. These forms must be completed by the scientist who will be using the materials in the order. Some institutions may require the Principal Investigator of the recipient's lab to complete the RSA. In those cases, we ask that the recipient forward the form to their PI.
How does the MTA process work?
Please see our MTA page for an explanation of the MTA approval process.
How long does the MTA process take?
The length of the MTA process depends on how quickly your institution approves the MTA. Approval times vary from a few hours to a few weeks depending on the institution. To expedite the process, Addgene encourages you to contact the authorized signatory at your institution to obtain any additional forms they may require of you and to let them know if you are in urgent need of the materials.
Additionally, Addgene has implemented an electronic MTA system designed to streamline the MTA process. If you are the authorized signatory for MTAs at your institution, please see our MTA page or contact email@example.com to learn more about electronic MTA approval.
Who is authorized to sign the MTA?
The MTA must be signed by a person who is authorized to approve legal documents on behalf of your institution. Generally, for institutions within the United States, a member of the Technology Transfer, Sponsored Research Administration, or General Counsel Office is authorized to sign the MTA. For non-US institutions that do not have these departments, a dean or head of department may be authorized to sign the MTA. If you are unsure if you can sign an MTA, you should always check with a member of your administration whether you may sign legal agreements on behalf of your entire organization.
Can I edit or change the terms of the MTA?
The Addgene team can help you update contact information on the implementing letter of the MTA, such as the recipient scientist or Principal Investigator name and address details. Simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your requested changes and we will send you a revised copy of the MTA for signature.
Any terms listed on the UBMTA itself cannot be edited. Addgene is required to use the unedited UBMTA for all plasmid transfers between the providing institutions and the recipient institutions. Addgene helps to gather the signatures and facilitate the MTA approval process but we cannot make any changes to the UBMTA. If you or your legal department has questions about the terms of the UBMTA, please contact us at email@example.com.
Does each order need an MTA?
Yes, each order requires a new MTA because it is unique to the plasmids requested and lists specific information pertaining to the recipient, such as name and address of his/her institution. Addgene does not own any of the plasmids we distribute, and we have a responsibility to our depositors to obtain an MTA for each new request. The MTA ensures that the recipient scientist and institution agree to the terms and conditions of the UBMTA when using the plasmids in their order.
One of my colleagues already has the plasmid I want. Can he or she provide it to me? Or can I get the MTA through Addgene?
The Material Transfer Agreement that is part of the order prohibits your colleague from transferring the plasmid to people outside of his/her lab. To receive the plasmid through Addgene, you will need to place an order on our website and have a new MTA signed by your institution. Alternatively, you can contact the institution that originally deposited the plasmid and ask them for permission to receive it from your colleague. Addgene is not authorized by the institutions that deposit with us to grant such permissions.
I am switching institutions and want to bring plasmids from Addgene with me. Do I need to get a new MTA?
Yes, you will need to get a new MTA under your new institution. To obtain the MTA through Addgene, you would need to place an order for the materials and your new institution would need to sign the necessary MTAs. We can offer a discount of $30 per plasmid for this option. Please email us after placing your order so that we can apply the discount.
Alternatively, you may contact each of the institutions that originally deposited the materials and ask them for permission to use the materials at your new institution. Addgene is not authorized by those institutions to grant such permissions.
I want to get a virus from a Vector Core that is based off of a plasmid in your collection. Can I get just an MTA without ordering the plasmid?
No, Addgene is not able to offer MTA-only services. However, we are often the fastest and easiest way of obtaining an MTA, so a vector core might direct you to Addgene for that purpose. Please note that we have no formal relationship with any vector core. If you prefer not to obtain your MTA through Addgene, you can instead contact the depositing lab directly to request an MTA.
To obtain an MTA through Addgene, you will need to go through the standard checkout process (see How to Order), and then Addgene will generate and send an MTA for your institution to approve. We will then process and ship the material to you and invoice you for the standard fees. If you need a copy of the completed MTA, we will be happy to provide that as well.
Why Deposit with Addgene?
Why is Addgene different than other companies?
Addgene is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves the community by operating a plasmid repository. Our mission is to facilitate research and to promote scientific sharing.
What are the benefits of depositing plasmids with Addgene?
By joining a vibrant community of over 2,000 depositing labs from around the world, your research will be highlighted and other scientists will begin building upon your work and citing your papers. You will also save time from answering plasmid requests, and enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your samples and data are securely archived. For a full list of benefits, click here.
How to Deposit
How do I make a deposit with Addgene?
It is easy to deposit plasmids with Addgene. For each plasmid that you would like to deposit, we simply need cloning data and 15uL of DNA (or bacterial streaks, if you prefer).
Cloning data can be entered online or on paper. For more information, see our deposit page. Addgene will provide shipping materials and pay for the shipping of your samples to Addgene's facility.
If you have specific questions about depositing plasmids with Addgene, you can always contact us at 617-225-9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a cost to deposit plasmids?
No, depositing of plasmids is free up to 200 plasmids. If you would like to deposit more than 200 plasmids, please email email@example.com.
Is there a cost to requesting plasmids?
Yes, Addgene charges academic/nonprofit institutions $65 per plasmid to cover the costs of maintaining the repository. This includes quality control sequencing, storage (at Addgene and a backup facility), customer service, MTA management, and more. Addgene is a nonprofit organization and all funds go towards the mission of scientific sharing.
Which plasmids should I deposit?
Labs often have thousands of plasmids, but we recommend that you start with up to 20 of your most frequently requested plasmids. This will have the greatest impact in terms of saving your lab time on answering plasmid requests and are likely the plasmids that your colleagues around the world will find most useful. Of course, if you have more than 20 plasmids that you get requests for, you are welcome to deposit more.
Are there any plasmids that Addgene does not accept?
Addgene reserves the right to not accept a plasmid or collection. For example, we do not accept plasmids that require a BL3 or BL4 facility.
If I have received a plasmid from another lab and then modified it in some way, can I submit this plasmid to Addgene?
Yes, as long as you have modified the plasmid you received (i.e. cloned a cDNA into it, made coding mutations or otherwise modified its function such as changing the bacterial resistance, cloning method, mammalian selection or by adding a fusion tag).
If a researcher wanted to request this plasmid, he/she would write to you and not to whomever you received the original plasmid from. Therefore, your lab should submit this plasmid to the repository.
Please do not submit plasmids that have not been altered by your laboratory.
I have submitted information online for plasmids that I want to deposit, now what?
Be sure you have completed the online deposit process. After entering the plasmid data, you need to checkout and enter your shipping information. When you have completed the deposit process, you will receive a 5-digit deposit number and a confirmation email for your deposit. Addgene will send a 'Deposit Kit' to you for shipping your plasmids. We will contact you once we have received your plasmids and they are available online.
Before your plasmids will be available for request, Addgene will also contact the Technology Transfer Office at your institution to acquire approval. Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to check on the status of your deposit.
What is in the "Deposit Kit"?
The 'Deposit Kit' contains a plastic shipper for protecting your test tubes, a pre-paid UPS waybill, plasmid forms (if you did not enter your cloning data online), and a pouch along with shipping instructions for mailing the plasmids to Addgene. International depositors will also receive a deposit kit by way of UPS, but the pre-paid return shipping material will be through FedEx and additional customs forms will be included.
Do I submit my plasmids as DNA or within bacteria?
Plasmids can be submitted in either form. For DNA, aliquot 15 uL of DNA into a 1.5 mL microfuge tube (at a concentration of 0.2 -1ug/uL) and use Addgene's prepaid shipping materials. For bacterial cultures, streak the glycerol stock onto a plate. If you send bacteria, you will be responsible for packaging and shipping the sample according to safety guidelines.
What type of Quality Control does Addgene perform?
For most plasmids, Addgene will perform single pass sequencing to validate the identity of the insert, any mutations indicated during the deposit process (ex: dominant negative, constitutively active, etc), and the frame of tags or fusion proteins. These sequencing results will sometimes, but not always, cover the full insert.
Addgene will contact you if there are any discrepancies between your cloning data and your sequencing results prior to making your plasmid available online. When the analysis is complete, the sequencing results are posted online for the community.
I did not construct this plasmid. Someone who has left the lab made it, and I don't know enough information to complete the form. What should I do?
We do not expect you to have complete information for older plasmids. Fill out as much as you can, and for unknown information enter 'N/A'.
What are the limits for what is unsafe to be submitted?
If the plasmid produces anything known to be hazardous to humans or animals when expressed in bacteria, or if a lab requires a BL3 or BL4 permit to handle this plasmid, Addgene cannot accept it.
If I am in the process of submitting my paper, how can I link my plasmids to my soon-to-be released publication?
You can submit your plasmids as unpublished. Once you obtain a PubMed ID for the plasmids you have submitted, simply forward it to email@example.com and we will associate the manuscript with the deposited plasmids.
I would like to submit plasmids that my lab generated but that have never or may never be published. Will Addgene accept these?
Yes, Addgene can store and distribute these plasmids. If they were made in conjunction with a published article, but did not appear in the final publication, simply associate those plasmids with the article for which they were created. If they are independent of any article, enter a description for the plasmids on the "Add Pre-Publication or Unpublished Plasmids" section at the start of the deposit process and then add the plasmids to this as you would an article.
How do I delete an article?
To delete an article, you must first remove all of the plasmids. Go to the Deposit Plasmids tab, click on My Articles, and click on the yellow Submit Plasmids button. Delete plasmids using the link to the far right of the plasmid name, then scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to delete the article.
If you accidentally added a plasmid to the wrong article, you can leave it there and then email firstname.lastname@example.org after completing the deposit and we can move the plasmid to the correct reference rather than you having to enter all of the plasmid information again.
I have submitted plasmids to Addgene. How do I refer my requests to Addgene?
Addgene will create a custom webpage that lists all of the plasmids from your laboratory that are available for request. The URL will be in the format: www.addgene.org/PIfirstname_PIlastname . For example, see www.addgene.org/Robert_Weinberg/. You can either post your unique URL on your laboratory's website or email it to requesting scientists. (Note: Your plasmids will not be listed on your webpage until they have passed quality control and the MTAs have been approved.) Alternatively, if you know the specific plasmid that is being requested, you can refer the plasmid to another scientist by sending the URL using the format: www.addgene.org/Plasmid#. For example, see www.addgene.org/1764/.
I have submitted plasmids to Addgene, and I lost the samples stored in my freezer. Can I get my plasmids back from Addgene?
Yes, if you lost plasmid samples that you deposited at Addgene, you can recover these plasmids from Addgene. You would be responsible for a charge of $5 per plasmid, plus shipping. Please email Addgene at email@example.com to receive the special pricing.
I am a PI who has deposited with Addgene. How can I track my deposits and see which labs have requested them?
You can track requests from the Addgene account that was used to submit the deposit and from the PI account that every PI automatically receives upon completion of the first deposit. To view requests, go to "Home" and then click on "Requests for My Plasmids" in the "My Account" box. You will also receive a monthly summary of requests for your plasmids via email.
There is something wrong with the account/paper/plasmid information listed on Addgene's website. Can I change this information?
Once you have completed the deposit submission and requested your kit, you can no longer modify your plasmid information yourself. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any additions or modifications you wish to make.
What are Rewards Points?
Labs that have deposited with Addgene receive 1 Rewards Point each time a scientist requests one of their plasmids. Find out more about Rewards Points here.
My lab has Rewards Points from depositing plasmids. How can I use them?
To access your lab's rewards points, you must be linked to your PI in the Addgene system and have their passcode. If the option to enter rewards points does not appear during checkout, contact email@example.com so that we can link you to your PI. If you do not know your passcode, you need to obtain it from your PI (see below).
I am a PI who has deposited with Addgene. How do I find my Rewards passcode?
The Principal Investigator (PI) is the only member of the lab who can access the passcode, although the the PI may give the passcode to anyone in the lab to use for requesting free plasmids. This step helps prevent non-lab members from using your lab passcode. Please do not share your passcode with anyone outside of your lab.
In order to access the passcode, you must retrieve the information from your lab PI account. If you do not know the username for your PI account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request it. If you forget your password, click here to have a new one emailed to you. Within your PI account, click on the bottom link in the orange box on the left that says "Addgene Rewards Points" and you will be able to access the passcode.
I am an industry depositor. Can I earn Rewards Points?
We regret that we cannot extend the Addgene Rewards Points program to our industry customers at this time.
How does Addgene acquire permission for storage, propagation, and distribution of plasmids?
Addgene secures permission from contributing laboratories and their host institutions' Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) to receive, store and propagate plasmids. Addgene serves solely as a distributor of plasmids, and is neither the end-user nor the proprietor.
Individuals obtaining materials through Addgene are presented with Material Transfer Agreements applicable to their institution and the donor institution. These will appear as click-through screens prior to completion of the order on the Addgene website, and are legally binding agreements.
After receiving a plasmid request, Addgene will email the TTO of the institution a Material Transfer Agreement, which has to be signed by their authorized signatory. Addgene will fulfill the plasmid requests once it has received the appropriate approval.
If I deposit, how will Addgene transfer my plasmids?
Addgene will only ship plasmids to academic and nonprofit institutions, unless we receive explicit approval from your institution's TTO. Addgene uses the Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement (UBMTA). The UBMTA permits recipients of the plasmids to use the plasmids for non-commercial academic research purposes only. They are also prohibited from sharing the original and unmodified plasmids outside of their laboratories, and must acknowledge the providing scientist in publications.
All nonprofit and research institutions that are signatories of the UBMTA will be able to receive plasmids under this arrangement. Additionally, institutions that are not signatories of the UBMTA, but are willing to accept the UBMTA terms, can also receive plasmids under this arrangement. If a special MTA is associated with your plasmid or with you (as the investigator), please contact email@example.com. Addgene will work to set this up.
My plasmid requires special Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) forms to be transferred to other universities. What should I do?
Addgene uses the UBMTA, which is widely accepted by the NIH and most universities. Please check with your TTO if the plasmids you are depositing are patent protected or licensed to a third-party that may prevent their distribution.
If the plasmid you are depositing requires a special MTA form, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can typically add these extra terms, and requestors will have to agree to them and the UBMTA before obtaining the plasmids.
What is a One-Time Plasmid Deposit and Distribution Agreement?
The Plasmid Deposit and Distribution Agreement is an agreement with three separate sections:
- An inventory page which lists all the materials covered by this MTA
- Plasmid Deposit/Distribution Terms
- The UBMTA
These three parts together form one document, which will be signed by your institution and Addgene. For specific terms, please see a sample of this Agreement.
Why do we need to sign a One-Time Plasmid Deposit and Distribution Agreement?
By signing this agreement, your institution agrees to let Addgene store, cultivate, replicate, amplify and distribute your plasmid(s) to other academic and nonprofit institutions for acaedmic research purposes. Currently, Addgene does not provide electronic signature for the one-time plasmid deposit agreement, but Addgene is able (and prefers) to work with PDFs rather than paper copies of the agreement.
Who can sign the One-Time Plasmid Deposit and Distribution Agreement?
In the US, Addgene requires the Deposit and Distribution Agreement to be signed by your TTO representative before we can accept your plasmid deposit. Since approval is different for countries outside of the U.S., if you are depositing from an international institution, please check to see who is authorized to sign the agreement. For specific terms, please see a sample of this Agreement.
How long will it take to approve my plasmid deposit?
If we have the appropriate TTO contact, Addgene will typically send the proposed Deposit and Distribution Agreement to your TTO within 48 hours after receiving your plasmid information. The length of approval time varies and is dependant on how fast your institution is in reviewing and approving the agreement. To expedite the approval process, we encourage that you notify your TTO for any third-party obligations or licensing issues that may delay the plasmid deposits.
Commercial Vectors: What types of plasmids does Addgene transfer?
Addgene does not transfer commercially available vectors or unmodified vectors obtained from other labs. If the plasmids contain vector backbones purchased from commercial entities, Addgene may include additional terms in an ancillary agreement or limited use label license. Please check the company websites for additional information and terms.
In general, please note that with regard to plasmids constructed using commercial vector backbones, you cannot: a) use the plasmids for any commercial purpose, or b) re-create vector backbones that you can otherwise purchase from the company.