Henrietta Lacks Scholarship in Biology is awarded annually on the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Biology to an outstanding full-time student enrolled in a degree program in Biology or Biochemistry who is a Black woman. Application is required.  Established in 2021 in memory of Henrietta Lacks whose cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, the first immortalized human cell line and one of the most important cell lines in medical research. Value $1,000.

The history and scientific contribution of Black, Indigenous, and racialized people has been conspicuously absent from Science curriculum and members of these racialized groups are under-represented in biological fields. This scholarship was initiated and made possible through the remarkable fundraising efforts of the Carleton HeLa Team.

Applications to the 2023 Henrietta Lacks Scholarship in Biology are now being accepted. Eligible undergraduate students in Biology and Biochemistry 2023-24 are encouraged to apply.

Applications should be submitted to biology@carleton.ca by end of day Sunday, October 1, 2023.

General Eligibility Criteria

  • Black students who are women
  • Enrolled full-time in a degree program in Biology or Biochemistry
  • Demonstrated interest in increased representation for Black women in science
  • Demonstrated financial need

Questions should be directed to biology@carleton.ca.

Carleton Biology Lacks Lab

HeLa cells have been used in a pair of upper-year cell biology courses at Carleton University for the past 10 years. In 2022, a first-floor lab in the Tory Building has been renamed the Lacks Lab.

With the support of the Lacks family, the Carleton HeLa Initiative was launched by a group of students in 2021 with the goal of raising awareness about the contribution Henrietta Lacks has made to modern science.

Read more about the students who launched the Carleton HeLa initiative.

Carleton HeLa Initiative Honours Henrietta Lacks – Plaque Presentation to the Lacks Family