Training for high school students

Community High School Engagement and Learning Program

The Community High School Engagement & Learning (CHiSEL) Program provides experiential learning opportunities for high school students interested in cancer research. Students will be paired with a Massey investigator at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for five weeks. The program will take place on site at the VCU Medical Center campus in downtown Richmond, VA. Through this program, students will be able to:

  • Develop working relationships with cancer researchers
  • Gain laboratory skills that can be applicable for further higher education goals
  • Learn about the cancer burden in Virginia, disparities within our communities and the importance of community engagement in research
  • Participate in cancer research seminars and network with current Massey trainees

About the program

  • Five-week mentored research experience from June 24 - July 26, 2024
  • Final presentation of work at Massey’s Summer Research Symposium
  • Minimum commitment of 25 hrs/week (125 hrs of laboratory experience)
  • Need-based scholarships are available for eligible students (limited number available)

Eligibility and application requirements

  • Eligible applicants must be rising junior or senior high school students that have completed a biology course
  • A letter of recommendation is required from a teacher, coach, mentor or other individual who can attest to the student’s academic interests and abilities
  • Must be able to attend the program in its entirety

2024 CHiSEL applications are now closed. For more information, contact us at

Summer Healthcare Experience in Oncology

American Cancer Society logo The Summer Healthcare Experience (SHE) in Oncology Program at VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, aims to introduce Virginia high school student leaders who identify as female to the vast career and leadership opportunities in oncology. The SHE program provides a 2-week virtual experience for young women who will be entering their sophomore, junior or senior years of high school. The program will include a series of virtual workshops, panels and hands-on research activities.

About the program

  • Virtual research experience held (Summer 2024 dates: July 8-19, 2024)
    • One week will have a hands-on focus on Cancer Research (live) online laboratory instruction with at-home experiment kits
    • The other week will focus on Career Exploration in Cancer Research & Medicine (virtual) professional development workshop sessions
  • Attend presentations, panel discussions and professional development workshops with research and medical professionals across the US
  • Connect with other high school students across the country
  • Stipend up to $500

Eligibility and application requirements

  • Female-identifying students, underrepresented in the sciences (i.e., racial or ethnic minority, low income, first generation college-bound and/or living with a disability) are encouraged to apply
  • Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors with an interest in any STEM discipline are eligible for participation
  • Participants must be full-time students and cannot be enrolled in summer courses that interfere with the SHE Program
  • A commitment of 4 hours per day, Monday - Friday throughout program dates is required

2024 SHE applications are now closed. For more information, contact us at

2023 CHiSEL Participants

2023 CHiSEL Participants

Learn about the experiences of the students who participated in the 2023 CHiSEL program.

Learn more