UTRF Licensing Assistant Description

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to encourage innovation, enhance research, and facilitate economic development by commercializing intellectual property created within the University of Tennessee System.

Working under the day-to-day supervision of the UTRF Vice President of the Knoxville office and in collaboration with the entire UTRF team, the Licensing Assistant will be expected to support the technology evaluation, protection, marketing, and commercialization efforts of early-stage technologies. This is an entry-level technology transfer position that is suitable for recent graduates or people seeking to begin a career in the field.

Job Functions/Responsibilities

The duties of the Licensing Assistant will be:

  • Building relationships with faculty, staff, and students across campus to identify inventions and increase invention disclosures.

  • Building relationships with entrepreneurs and industry executives.

  • Performing comprehensive evaluations of inventions, including determinations of patentability, commercial potential, and path to market.

  • Managing patent preparation and prosecution.

  • Marketing inventions to prospective licensees.

  • Working closely with the Vice President to negotiate commercialization agreements.

  • Overseeing active licenses to ensure licensee compliance.


Required Qualifications:

  • Due to export control restrictions the successful candidate must be a U. S. citizen or resident alien with a green card.
  • Masters Degree in life science, engineering, physics, or chemistry; JD with undergraduate degree in life science, engineering, physics, or chemistry.
  • Demonstrated interest in technology transfer and/or intellectual property.
  • Demonstration of the following attributes:
    • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills;
    • Interpersonal skills;
    • Self-starter;
    • Pays close attention to detail;
    • Ability to quickly understand unfamiliar research and technologies;
    • Ability to work independently while managing multiple projects; and
    • Ability to prioritize and follow through on tasks.

Desired Qualifications:

  • PhD in life science, engineering, physics, or chemistry
  • Familiarity with basics of intellectual property law.
  • Participated in NSF-I Corps or similar customer discovery program
  • Ability to deal with technical and business issues.
  • Internship or other exposure to intellectual property law or technology transfer.


The Licensing Assistant will be a full-time University of Tennessee employee, eligible for all UT health, retirement, and other benefits.

Please apply with cover letter and resume.

Primary Location

Knoxville, Tennessee


UT Research Foundation