The Just Project

In the US, COVID-19 has taken a disproportionate toll on people of color and Thermo Fisher was uniquely positioned to respond. We launched the Just Project, a multifaceted partnership with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that makes free COVID-19 testing accessible to students, faculty, staff and their surrounding communities. These schools, for generations, have played an essential role in closing America’s achievement gap, including training diverse talent in STEM fields.

Through an initial donation of $32 million in instruments, kits and supplies, we have provided the technical expertise to help to build a robust and sustainable testing infrastructure that is now staffed and operated by HBCUs. Onsite labs have been established at eight hub schools which, in turn, support the free testing available to nearly 60 HBCUs nationwide.

In 2021, we extended our support of the Just Project for another school year, bringing our commitment to more than $30 million in donated diagnostic instruments, test kits and related supplies since we launched in 2020

The Just Project was conceived as a humanitarian response to a public health crisis, but it was built with a holistic approach that has strengthened our HBCU partnerships and will create long-lasting impact for the communities they serve. While enabling students to safely return to normal campus life, our newly established labs can also support future research programs, provide training to develop more scientists of color, and enable work to address health disparities in the Black community. This has allowed us to newly align our talent pipeline strategies such that Thermo Fisher will hire at least 500 alumni from these institutions through 2023. Supporting HBCUs is part of our commitment to address inequalities through our business, community outreach and hiring practices.

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"A successful organization is diverse. HBCUs play an important role in closing the achievement gap and in consistently training talented professionals who are invaluable to companies like ours seeking to attract top talent and build a more inclusive workplace..”

Fred Lowery
Senior Vice President and President, Customer Channels at Thermo Fisher Scientific

HBCU Partnerships

The Just Project has a long-term strategic goal of building lasting relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), establishing Thermo Fisher Scientific as an employer of choice among HBCU graduates.  Our team manages a calendar of in person and virtual events aimed at connecting with HBCU graduates and helping them navigate the breadth of opportunities at Thermo Fisher to grow their careers and make an impact in the world.   

Our team regularly attends events sponsored by national and international organizations like, the National Society of Black Engineers and the National Black MBA Association along with many others.  We also sponsor events on campus at member HBCUs. 

Dr. Ernest Everett Just

Dr. Ernest Everett Just (August 14, 1883 – October 27, 1941) was an African-American biologist, academic and founding member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, inc..  Dr. Just is known for recognizing the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms. In his work within marine biology, cytology and parthenogenesis, he advocated the study of whole cells under normal conditions, rather than simply breaking them apart in a laboratory setting.  Despite the adversity he faced as an African American scientist, Dr. Just was eventually internationally renowned for his scientific breakthroughs.  Dr. Just is an alumnus of Dartmouth College and became a professor at Howard University in 1907.