Skip to main content
vertical  vertical

Vanderbilt-Excellence in Cancer Research, Education, and Leadership
(V-EXCEL) Program

The V-EXCEL Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center sponsored by the American Cancer Society provides a unique training experience that builds upon Vanderbilt's extraordinary record of research, training, and fostering diversity in biomedical science with the goal of promoting a pathway to cancer research and medicine careers for undergraduate students who are underrepresented in science and medicine (URM). The program’s specific objectives are to provide:

  1. Mentored cancer research experiences for students pursuing a bachelor's degree
  2. A robust set of structured career development activities to support the acquisition of knowledge and skills to pursue higher education leading to future careers in cancer research or medicine
  3. Opportunities for community engagement to support a community of practice


V-EXCEL interns participate in an in-person, 10-week summer program of mentored basic, clinical/translational, and/or population science cancer research, cancer education, professional development, and community outreach activities. The overall program activities are individually tailored to meet the needs of each V-EXCEL intern.

About the V-EXCEL Program

Leveraging the strengths of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, this program will immerse eight interns in a research laboratory for 10 weeks working with a Vanderbilt faculty member on a cutting-edge cancer research project.

Selected participants will receive a stipend of $5,500. Through this internship, participants will gain the knowledge, skills, and community to further their education and career in cancer research or medicine. In addition to their research, interns will participate in:

  • Responsible Conduct in Research training
  • An individualized research development plan
  • Meharry Medical College (MMC)-Vanderbilt-Tennessee State University (TSU) Cancer Partnership (MVTCP) online modules
  • Cancer Research presentation
  • MVTCP Annual Research Symposium
  • Career Path Lunch & Learn Sessions
  • • Online resources from Vanderbilt University, Nature Masterclass, and the National Institute of Health
  • URM program student mentorship
  • Science & Community Impact Talks

Program Details

The activities after the summer session are not required. These include the Professional Skills Development Workshops, the MVTCP Annual Research Symposium, and Community Engagement (CE) events.

Eligible candidates for the V-EXCEL program will be:

  • Rising sophomores, juniors or seniors pursuing full-time bachelor’s degrees from nationally accredited colleges or universities
  • Able to commit to the full-time, 10-week summer program from May through August in Nashville, Tennessee
  • In good academic standing with at least a 3.0 overall GPA
  • Individuals who are interested in pursuing higher degrees and careers in science or medicine, with a focus on cancer, will benefit most from the program
  • Priority selection will be given to those who identify as underrepresented in medicine (URM) as defined by the NIH.

The summer 2024 application deadline is January 24th at 11:59 pm CST and includes the following materials:

  • One-page statement of interest
  • Copy of college transcript (does not need to be official)
  • Two letters of recommendation

Apply here:

Please contact us at