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HLMA Application Information

Applications for the 2024 Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award are now open!

Learn more about the qualifications, application process, and selection of award recipients.


  • Any group working collaboratively for at least two years on a project that addresses one or more of the following issues in Baltimore City are eligible: poverty, community health and well-being, social justice, and neighborhood development.
  • Collaborations must include at least one community-based organization and at least one Johns Hopkins faculty, student, or staff member.
  • Collaborators can either apply for themselves or be nominated by others. Those nominated in the past who did not receive the award may apply again.
  • Priority will be given to initiatives that improve child and adolescent health, education, and well-being, aim to alleviate poverty, address inequalities and disparities, and/or strengthen the social fabric of a neighborhood.

How to apply

Applications for the HLMA are accepted online once a year. Applications should include:

  1. Contact Information for both primary partners
  2. Summary of the program (200 words)
  3. Description of the Partnership (1,800 words) including:
    • History: How did the team form? What role did partners play in creating the nominated program?
    • Program's mission, Vision, Goals, and Objectives: What are you trying to accomplish? What are your KPIs? What tactics will you use to achieve your goals? How will outcomes be evaluated?
    • Structure: Describe the administrative and financial structure that supports the work of the collaboration and how decisions are made.
    • Current Funding: Describe how the nominated program is currently funded, and how decisions are made when securing new or additional funding.
    • Major Accomplishments: Describe a few of the major achievements of this collaborative effort.
    • Community Impact: Describe the impact of this partnership's work. Indicate which specific Baltimore City community neighborhood(s) the nominated community-based program impacts. Include program results, success stories, additional funding secured or needed to continue the work, etc.
    • Sustainability: Describe the plan for continuing this collaborative program in the future.
  4. Use of Funds: In a sentence or two, share how the funds will be used if your team's program is selected to receive this award (100 words).
  5. References: Provide the names and contact information of up to three individuals familiar with the nominated program and the collaboration.

How the award recipient is selected

Nominations will be reviewed by university and community leaders who serve on the Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award Selection Committee. Decisions will be made based on the information described in the submitted nomination. The review is a two-step process.

  1. The Selection Committee members score completed nominations independently, focusing on the content of the submitted information.
  2. The Committee meets to discuss the nominations and their scores and select the Award recipient from those ranked the highest.

It is anticipated that the award recipient will be selected and notified in mid-July 2024.

Additional Important Information

VIDEO: The award recipient will be asked to participate in a video highlighting the awarded community-based program and the work of the partnered organizations. This video will be screened at the annual ICTR Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture on Saturday, October 5, 2024.

HEALTH AND SAFETY: Interviews and video production will be done in compliance with the CDC and Johns Hopkins guidelines.

Deadline for Submission

Nominations should be submitted via this online form by 5:00 pm Monday, June 24, 2024.

When will the Recipient be Announced?

This year’s recipient will be announced to the public at the annual ICTR Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture on Saturday, October 5, 2024 (details TBA).

To learn about past recipients of the Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award, please visit our website.


If you have any questions about this application please contact

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any recommendations for reapplying?

Partnerships whose programs were not selected as Award Recipients are welcome to reapply. However, it's important to avoid submitting the exact same application. Based on the feedback we received, we have revised and clarified some questions to make them more specific and help with the nomination process.

Who will receive notifications about the submitted nomination application?

Notifications will be sent to the email address entered in the “Primary Community Partner Email” field. If you wish to notify additional recipients, you can enter their email addresses, separated by commas, at the end of the application before submitting it.

What should I do if I am unable to submit my application or save it as a draft?

If you are unable to submit the application or save it as a draft, please check the following:

  • Make sure you have activated the application by ticking the acknowledgment checkmark stating, “By submitting this nomination, I verify that we have worked in partnership on the nominated program for at least two years.” This action will enable the “Save as Draft” and “Submit Application” buttons.
  • Ensure that all required fields, marked with an asterisk (*), are completed and that you have not exceeded any word or character limits.
Can two people work on an online application at the same time? Can my assistant upload files or proposals on my behalf?

Yes, multiple people can collaborate on an application using the proxy functionality. To enable this, add all collaborators as proxies and designate one team member as the main submitter. For detailed guidance on how to use this feature, please refer to the proxy functionality instructions on the InfoReady webpage.

If I am dually appointed as a Johns Hopkins faculty/staff member and a faculty/staff member of one of Johns Hopkins partners, am I eligible to apply for the award?

Yes. As a dually appointed Johns Hopkins faculty/staff member and Johns Hopkins partner, you are certainly eligible to nominate your program for this award.

What business structures are eligible to apply?

The second statement under eligibility clarifies that collaborations must include at least one community-based organization (CBO) and at least one Johns Hopkins faculty or staff member.

For this opportunity, we define CBOs as non-profits and local groups or coalitions serving the community. In most cases, CBOs exclude corporations (e.g., LLCs), but grassroots businesses, co-ops, or social enterprises that fit the mold can be considered.

To determine nomination eligibility, consider the following: 

1. Is there a non-profit CBO partner engaged in the project?

2. Is there a Johns Hopkins faculty partner involved?

3. If a local business is the CBO partner, does it offer other community-based services and partner often with other nonprofits?

Are programs/organizations located in Baltimore County able to apply?

The focus of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute is specific and limited to organizations serving and located in Baltimore City, so regretfully, a program located in Baltimore County and serving county residents is not eligible for this Award.

Am I allowed to be listed as the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) faculty partner on more than one application for the Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award?

Yes, you are allowed to be listed as the JHU faculty partner on more than one application. If you partner with multiple organizations interested in the award, they can each list you as the faculty partner on their nomination applications.

Should both the partnership and the specific project/program be 2+ years old, or just the partnership?

Both the partnership and the specific project/program need to be 2+ years old.

Are we required to submit a budget? If so, should it come from the community-based organization or the JHU partner? Will the funds need to flow through the community-based organization or the JHU partner?

Applicants can include a budget narrative in the Use of Funds section. The level of detail is up to you, but it must clearly explain how the awarded funds will be used in this collaborative project/program. There is also an option to upload a budget at the end of the application to provide further details. Funds will be awarded directly to the community partner.