There has been much interest in the injection and detection of spin-polarized carriers in semiconductors for the purposes of developing novel spintronic devices. Here we report the electrical injection and detection of spin-polarized carriers into Nb-doped strontium titanate single crystals and La-doped strontium titanate epitaxial thin films using MgO tunnel barriers and the three-terminal Hanle technique. Spin lifetimes of up to ∼100 ps are measured at room temperature and vary little as the temperature is decreased to low temperatures. However, the mobility of the strontium titanate has a strong temperature dependence. This behaviour and the carrier doping dependence of the spin lifetime suggest that the spin lifetime is limited by spin-dependent scattering at the MgO/strontium titanate interfaces, perhaps related to the formation of doping induced Ti 3+. Our results reveal a severe limitation of the three-terminal Hanle technique for measuring spin lifetimes within the interior of the subject material. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.