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Education and Workforce Development
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Developing a strong and skilled workforce is critical for the expansion and recruitment of Tennessee's life sciences companies. The LifeSciTN Education and Workforce Development Committee is dedicated to both ensuring sound public policy as well as supporting quality initiatives that promise to bring a more qualified personnel to Tennessee's life science companies.


The 2012 Life Science Tennessee Workforce Development Report

In 2012, our committee produced a report on the state of the life sciences workforce in Tennessee. The report revealed a significant skills gap in the workforce. Tennessee is a net exporter of Ph.D.s. Employers are in need of more candidates with regulatory experience. In addition, our state's institutions are not producing enough graduates with science degrees. To address these issues stronger connections between industry and academia are needed in order to make sourcing talent easier for industry. Stronger links also help our academic partners develop clearer understanding of what skills, experience and degrees are in demand in the life science market and can adjust programs accordingly. The report contains a catalog of science degree programs and certificates. This catalog will be updated regularly. 

Policy and Advocacy 

LifeSciTN supports legislation and policy initiatives that encourage the development of a strong workforce. In 2013, a bill to update Tennessee's outdated medical laboratory licensing requirements passed the legislature. This new law is a victory for the life sciences industry in Tennessee and the Life Science Tennessee Workforce Development Committee. Before the bill passage, public policy was a hindrance to having the best qualified workforce for the diagnostics industry in Tennessee, and this bill set to address the issue. It will expand job opportunities for Tennessee graduates and will attract more specialized laboratory jobs to the state. Read more here.


The mission of the Life Science Tennessee Academic Alliance is to bring life science and business graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, professors and administrators together to create opportunities for entrepreneurship, career development, and knowledge sharing with the goal of creating a life science industry network. Any student or post-doc in Tennessee can become an Academic Alliance member for $25 per year and enjoy all the benefits of Life Science Tennessee Membership.

School chapters are managed by a network of students at each school. Active chapters exist at Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University and St. Jude. Students are welcome to attend Alliance activities at any school. You can find upcoming event listings on the LifeSciTN events calendar. 

Learn more about the Academic Alliance.


Internships offer students invaluable hands-on experience that is difficult to come by in the classroom. Often internships can be the difference between getting a job and not. Internships are also a critical tool or educating students on the vast array of careers available to them. Our committee is working to develop a best practices internship handbook for members that will facilitate creating new internship programs and expanding existing ones. 


The 2012 Life Science Tennessee Workforce Development Report

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