New CASTL awards support students and industry growth

32 recipients from Acadia, Université de Moncton and UPEI to each receive $5,000 scholarships

A researcher and student researcher in a laboratory setting, wearing full protective suits. Image courtesy CASTL

The Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) recently announced financial awards of $5,000 for 32 post-secondary students across Atlantic Canada to support their academic studies in life sciences. This financial award program will support life sciences students enrolled in co-operative education from Acadia University, Université de Moncton and the University of Prince Edward Island, who will each receive scholarships in their second and third years.

“We are delighted to award the inaugural CASTL Financial Awards to 15 Acadia students who will be engaging in work-integrated learning experiences in the life sciences. This exciting new initiative has the overall vision of training and educating the next generation of highly skilled bioscience professionals who will grow bioscience in the Maritimes and across Canada, said Dr. Suzie Currie, Dean of Pure and Applied Science, Acadia University.

“The goal of the program is to marry the richness of a traditional liberal education in pure and applied science with industry-specific, applied science attributes. Students will graduate with significant work-integrated-learning and professional experience as well as a firm grounding in fundamental science, ready for a career in the life sciences sector,” she added.

CASTL is a first-of-its-kind partnership between academia, industry, and government to address the future skills needs of the Canadian life sciences sector. Founding partners include: PEI BioAlliance, Acadia University, Holland College, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, BioTalent Canada, the National Research Council, and BioVectra.

“We are thrilled to be able to support students pursuing an education in life sciences through this newly launched Financial Award program,” said Christopher Gillis, Executive Director, CASTL. “Life sciences continues to be an area of high demand, and students involved with CASTL will have the opportunity to combine their academic theory with hands-on skill development, preparing them to kickstart a career in life sciences, with a competitive edge.”

Launched this fall, the CASTL Financial Award program is supported by the Government of Canada, the Future Skills Centre, and the Government of Prince Edward Island.

From COVID 19 vaccines and diagnostics, to understanding climate change and feeding the world sustainably, life sciences is a key pillar of our economy. CASTL combines life sciences academic theory with hands-on skills development to build capacity for real-world performance. CASTL delivers on the economic and sectoral demand for individuals who are work-ready to enter, thrive and meet the needs of the Canadian bioscience industry.

For more information on CASTL, visit

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