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Scholarship

LSO SCHOLARSHIP AND MENTORSHIP PROGRAM 2024 – NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS – DEADLINE MAY 31ST AT 11:59 PM EST

About The Life Sciences Ontario Scholarship And Mentorship Program

Life Sciences Ontario (LSO), in collaboration with our partners— Alexion Pharma Canada, AstraZeneca Canada, Johnson & Johnson, Family of Companies in Canada, Novo Nordisk Canada, Roche Canada, GSK Canada, Eisai Limited, Sanofi Canada, and Astellas Pharma Canada Inc.,  —is pleased to announce that the LSO Scholarship and Mentorship Program is now accepting student applications! The deadline to apply is May 31st, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST.

The LSO Scholarship and Mentorship program will award $3,000 scholarships to a minimum of 17 undergraduate students enrolled in life sciences-related university or college programs for the 2024-2025 fall/winter term. The program aims to help prepare students for successful careers in the life sciences sector while also promoting its growth and development. 

Over the past five years, we have awarded financial support totalling $524,000 to 168 students. The Scholarship program has become an important part of our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA) initiatives. In 2023, 67% of scholarship recipients identified as women, and 73% identified as visible minorities. We hope to continue this trend this year in order to tackle the issue of diversity and talent shortages within the life sciences sector.

The purpose of the scholarship program along with the financial support and mentorship piece is to increase awareness of the life sciences sector in Ontario as:

  • A significant employer for new graduates
  • A significant driver of the provincial economy
  • An integrated stakeholder, engaged with and supportive of the greater community, and
  • A diverse, exciting, innovative, and promising industry.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For further information or inquiries on the Scholarship program, please contact us at admin@lifesciencesontario.ca

For information on the scholarship sponsorship please contact Brian Craig | Email: brian@lifesciencesontario.ca

Thank you to our sponsors

Students will be able to access the application portal from March 25th, 2024 to May 31st, 2024.

Awardees will be required to participate in the mentorship component of the program in order to receive full funding. We’ll have 2 options for students to participate in order to complete this, either attending at least 1 one-on-one meeting with a mentor or attending at least 3 “Office Hours” small group discussions.

Benefits of receiving mentoring include:

  • Access to senior role models
  • Development of networking skills
  • Access to networking opportunities
  • Career advice and personal development
  • Informational interview style one-on-ones
  • Broader perspective on career paths and opportunities within the life sciences sector
  • Identify gaps in skills and knowledge

Half of the award will be distributed in September and the remaining half in December, contingent upon award winners having provided all the necessary documents and having had initial meetings with their mentors.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be permanently residing in Ontario as verified by an official Ontario government-issued ID. International students are not eligible to apply.
  • Must be entering the final year in September 2024 of their full-time studies (check with your school on the requirements of full time) in a bachelor’s degree program or a diploma program.
  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative average of 75% from all their completed years of undergraduate schooling. Please contact your institution’s office of the registrar if you have difficulty converting your grades into a percentage, alternatively you can refer to the FAQ’s listed below for more information.
  • College students in 2-year programs must provide proof of enrollment & program length.
    Note: Successful applicants will need to submit a hard copy of their official transcript and proof of enrollment for the fall 2024-2025 school year. Applicants who fail to provide proof of enrollment and an official school transcript will forfeit the scholarship award. 

You are ineligible to apply to this program if you are:

  • A past LSO Scholarship award winner.
  • Not a permanent resident of Ontario, Canada.
  • In an undergraduate university degree program entering first, second or third year of full-time studies in a bachelor’s degree program and not receiving a degree at the end of the next school year (See FAQ below).
  • Not a college student entering their final year of full-time studies.
  • Studying in a graduate or postgraduate program. 

Successful awardees will be contacted by email. Please do not contact the LSO to inquire about the status of your application.

For more information, please contact the Life Sciences Ontario team at admin@lifesciencesontario.ca.

Q: I am currently a second year student, entering my third year in September. I have taken extra courses and done summer courses to receive my degree at the end of third year. Am I eligible to apply?
A: Yes, as long as you are receiving a degree at the end of the next school year, you are able to apply for the scholarship.

Q: I fall just below the 75% mark; however, I am taking 2 summer courses that will certainly boost the percentage up to 75%. Would I still be considered eligible?
A: Unfortunately, the deadline to submit applications falls outside of the summer months and in most cases, winners have already been selected by the end of July-August.

Q: Applicants in an undergraduate university degree program must be entering their final year of full-time studies in a bachelor’s degree program – What does full-time studies mean? Does this mean you are taking at least 60% of a full course load?
A: Full-time studies are determined differently per institution; LSO will validate “full-time studies” as dictated by the applicant’s academic institution.

Q: I am currently in my fourth year of studies and planning on pursuing a master’s degree next year (Fall 2023), would I be eligible to apply?
A: Unfortunately, this scholarship and mentorship program is not open to graduate or post-graduate programs. You are welcome to visit the websites of our sponsoring companies to see if they offer awards/scholarships to students in graduate or post-graduate programs.

Q: I am an international student, but I am living in Ontario. Am I considered eligible for the scholarship?
A: Only applicants that are permanent residents of Ontario are eligible for the scholarship. This will be verified by an official Ontario Government ID.

Q: My unofficial transcript doesn’t include my current marks for the courses this semester, can I still apply?
A: Yes, you can still apply. The transcript should be the most current one you can get and if it doesn’t include marks for the current semester, it should at least show the courses you are taking. It must include complete marks for all other semesters of your undergraduate education. If you awarded the scholarship, you will be required to provide an official transcript and must show all marks.

Q: When will the winners be contacted?
A: Winners will be contacted by the end of August. Do not email LSO to inquire about the status of your application.

Q: I am unsure of how to calculate my cumulative GPA for each year as a percentage.
A: Please contact your school’s office of the registrar for guidance on calculating your GPA on a fixed percentage scale. Additionally, you may use this tool to calculate the conversion: https://gradecalc.info/ca/on/uoft/gradeconv.pl

Q: My University uses the 12-point scale which I can convert to the 4.0 GPA. How do I convert this into a percentage out of 100?
A: Please use the percentage range that corresponds with your grade and choose the lower number of the range.

Q: How do you convert your GPA into a single percentage number? For example, GPA of 3.90 on the OUAC conversion table is a range between 75-79 for my school.
A: The cumulative average is only a prequalifying question, and you will not be awarded any points for achieving anything over 75%. Please enter the lower range, in this case 75% for the GPA, as this qualifies you for the award.

Q: The OUAC conversion table does not include in-between values, for example: what percentage would a 3.6 GPA be?
A: Please refer to your institution’s specific conversion chart. Most often, these can be found via your institution’s Office of the Registrar.


Become an LSO Student Member

Why Should I Join? Benefits of LSO Membership

  • Expand your network and share best practices. LSO offers a robust suite of life sciences events, including our popular networking nights and breakfast meetings, attended by members from across our sector.
  • Stay on top of what’s happening. LSO members receive exclusive access to our weekly newsletter, with a must-read summary of industry news and events.
  • Benefit from member-exclusive or member-discounted events, such as our Policy Forum, Queen’s Park Day, and Annual Awards Gala.
  • Access exclusive member discounts, including: Preferred rate for SR&ED tax credits and other grant services; discounts on lab supplies and equipment, and savings on flights with Porter airlines.
  • Connect to the next generation of life sciences talent through innovative programs such as .
Béatrice Clerc
Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.
President

Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. is a proud partner of the Life Sciences Ontario Scholarship Program through our funding and mentoring contributions. This scholarship and mentorship program supports the thriving life sciences sector in Mississauga, and I am excited to see it expand beyond our city’s borders. Ontario is home to some of the world’s brightest and most passionate students, and programs such as this help nurture and grow that talent. In addition to financial assistance, this program helps Ontario post-secondary students gain valuable connections in the life sciences sector within our province, supporting them to find meaningful employment right here in Ontario at the conclusion of their studies.

“Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. is proud to partner with LSO in supporting post-secondary education for students through the LSO Scholarship Program. This initiative not only expands the potential for learning about opportunities in life sciences, but also provides evidence-based guidance for young students as they map their future career path.”

“At Roche Canada, we are proud to support the first Life Sciences Ontario Scholarship and Mentorship program.  The future of the life sciences industry is very promising as remarkable discoveries are being made at a greater pace than ever before.  As an industry, one of our most significant challenges is developing local talent today for what the future will require.  The Life Science Ontario Scholarship and Mentorship program is unique in offering both financial assistance, as well as one-to-one mentorship opportunities with young industry professionals to provide guidance as they discover and engage with what this exciting industry has to offer.”

“GSK in Canada is honoured to be a partner of the Life Science Ontario Scholarship Program. Such programs are of critical importance to increase awareness of the life sciences sector in Ontario and help create opportunities for graduates to build strong and rewarding careers, contributing to the economic development in the province. As GSK engages in mentorship with the energized and astute post-secondary students selected, our goal is to help build strong networks for students and to foster continued curiosity and growth of the strong talent to be found here, in Ontario.”

Horizon Therapeutics

“The LSO scholarship program allows us to Invest in future Life Sciences leaders while at the same time providing mentorship to students passionate about health and making a difference for Ontarians.”

 

“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of a strong life sciences sector in Ontario. AstraZeneca is proud to support the next generation of young professionals – helping to ensure a thriving life sciences industry will continue to play an important role in saving and improving patients’ lives through innovative and transformative science. By supporting both a scholarship and mentorship initiative, this program will help students translate their educational knowledge and skills in business settings, gain valuable connections, and set-out on exciting careers within the life sciences.”

Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.

“Boehringer Ingelheim Canada is committed to helping build a strong and vibrant life science sector and proudly supports the development of the next generation of innovators, thinkers and leaders through the Life Sciences Ontario scholarship and mentorship program.”

Simonne Rauch
Queen’s University
2022 Award Recipient

The Life Sciences Ontario Scholarship Program is an excellent opportunity for students in Life Sciences to
connect with many influential individuals in this field. This program has opened my eyes to unique career
pathways and provided me with many insights on how to excel in this industry. Overall, this program is a
great gateway into the Life Sciences industry and I would recommend it to all students in this field.

Areeba Chaudhry
York University
2022 Award Recipient

The LSO program gave me a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the Life Science sector and my
future career options. I got access to professional mentors who gave me advice that will be invaluable in
my future endeavors. During my time as a LSO scholar, I definitely saw the benefits of mentorship in
career development!

Kirsten Entz
McMaster University
2022 Award Recipient

The program really opened my eyes to the variety of careers in the life sciences. Speaking to different
professionals in vastly different roles provided me with great insight and advice that I will apply to my
own career path. I particularly enjoyed hearing about where my mentors’ careers began, and how they
progressed and changed to where they are now – it was really inspiring!

Aaron Holtzman
Novo Nordisk Canada
District Business Manager

Being a mentor was a great experience for me as I got to share some knowledge, increase my leadership
skills and learn about how education has changed since my time in school. The discussions we had were
educational, insightful and enjoyable and I hope that my mentee learned as much from me as I did from
them.