For the latest COVID-19 information for Massey, visit


Walter Lawrence Scholars Initiative

About the Walter Lawrence Scholars Initiative

The Walter Lawrence Scholars Initiative (WLSI) aims to cultivate career opportunities for diverse populations interested in writing, reviewing and evaluating cancer-relevant scientific writing and communications. The initiative is designed to create a pipeline of interns in scientific writing and science communication, increase participants' understanding of science writing and science communication as a profession, and educate interns about cancer disparities in Virginia and nationwide. Interns will also learn about the program's namesake, Dr. Walter Lawrence, the first Massey Cancer Center Director, and the qualities of humanity and medical excellence he shared with patients and colleagues.

Internship details

This six-week internship is held in Richmond, VA, and is open to participants with a minimum of a completed master's degree or higher. Applicants should demonstrate academic excellence, be intellectually curious, team orientated, and have an interest in careers in cancer science. Features of the internship include:

  • Development of a foundational understanding of science writing and science communication within the field of biomedical research
  • Engagement with Massey leadership, staff, community partners and national experts
  • Mentorship meetings during the internship and afterward on a monthly basis
  • Evaluation of science writing and/or science communication knowledge-base at the beginning and conclusion of the program
  • Participation in the Massey Director’s Seminar Series and events within the VCU School of Medicine, VCU Health System and across VCU that are relevant to the intern's professional and personal development is encouraged
  • Required components for internship completion include:
    • Signing the program agreement form
    • Completion of 90% or higher of internship mentor meetings, seminars, projects, social events, etc. (Mentors will monitor program completion targets)
    • One unexcused absence during the summer program is allowed
    • Attend individual goal-setting meetings with mentor and cohort

Stipend Award

Interns receive a stipend of $4,700 based on 30 hours of internship commitments per week. The stipend allows interns to defray the cost of housing and meals. Room and board will not be provided. All VCU-affiliated candidates that receive funding from VCU cannot participate in WLSI without approval from their academic advisor and/or program director.

Application process and eligibility

The WLSI application is available via ARTES. All tabs within the ARTES online application must be completed, except for the research experience, mentor and teaching statement tabs. GRE and MCAT scores are optional and do not need to be reported, however, the following materials are required: .

  • Applicant contact information
  • Three references (name, phone number, e-mail, relationship to applicant)
  • Personal statement (500-700 words) about your commitment to science writing or science communication
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Awards and honors received

Application deadlines and internship dates

  • Application due: June 1, 2022 (applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis)
  • Program admissions paperwork due: June 1, 2022
  • WLSI program dates: July 5, 2022 - August 16, 2022
Apply now

For more information contact