Learn About Research: Who, What, Why

What is PRISM?

The Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) at John Jay College provides an opportunity for forensic science students  and computer science students to engage in the process of scientific research while completing their degree.

Early in the program, students attend seminars and training programs to better prepare them for research. Sometime in their sophomore or even junior year, students may be invited to participate in a research training workshop after which students can be matched up with a research mentor. Our PRISM mentors work in a variety of research areas – from biochemistry to environmental science, forensic science, molecular biology, and toxicology. Click here to learn more about specific PRISM mentor and their research.  Every effort is made to match students with advisors working in their particular area of interest.

In addition to direct research experience, PRISM students are eligible for monetary stipends for their research, travel grants for conferences, GRE preparatory help, and counseling on graduate school applications and career planning. They can also look forward to guest lectures and informal seminars with research faculty, scientists, and other professionals.

Why do research?

Research is more than just learning about your specific topic area. It’s also an opportunity to learn about yourself and the world around you. Conducting research teaches you how to gather and analyze information on a topic, ask answerable questions, and discover paths to solving problems – tools that everybody can use.

Research experiences through PRISM will help you learn to use proper laboratory techniques, understand data analysis and interpretation, and conduct literature searches. As importantly, though, it will help you to develop good teamwork and time management skills, and teach you how to communicate proficiently.

All of these skills are as important in your everyday life as they are in scientific and academic settings. They are expected by graduate schools admitting students to their programs, as well as employers considering applicants for jobs. Regardless of the direction your career takes, building your skills in analysis and problem-solving will help you in every aspect of your life.

How do I get started?

To apply for PRISM, download and complete this PRISM application and bring it to the PRISM office 05.61.00 or submit an online application.  Take some time to review the admission requirements and the program expectations so that you know what is expected of students.

Interested John Jay students are encouraged to stop by to meet with PRISM coordinator, Dr. Edgardo Sanabria-Valentin.

If you are a student in one of John Jay’s partner community colleges, in the CUNY Justice Academy, please contact Mrs. Fran Jimenez, our outreach coordinator, to discuss your options for getting involved in PRISM.


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