2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin

PRISM: Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math

Room 5.61.00, New Building

THE PROGRAM FOR RESEARCH INITIATIVES IN SCIENCE AND MATH (PRISM) groups various initiatives aimed to support science and math students at John Jay College. The goal of PRISM is to provide support in students’ development toward becoming professional scientists. The PRISM Undergraduate Research Program provides students with the opportunity to engage in long-term, close mentoring relationships with faculty who provide training, personal and career advisement, and professional encouragement. Our newest initiative, The Junior Scholars Program, offers academic advisement, tutoring, and professional development activities to science and math students. In addition, we support the CUNY Justice Academy (CJA), a series of articulation agreements with partner CUNY Community Colleges, by providing academic advisement and outreach activities to CJA students transitioning to our forensic science major.

Early in the PRISM Undergraduate Research Program, students attend seminars and training programs to better prepare them for research. Later, often in the sophomore year, students find a faculty mentor whose research interests match their own. PRISM mentors work in a variety of areas. Students from biochemistry to environmental science, computer science, forensic science, mathematics, molecular biology, and toxicology; and students often spend multiple years working closely with their mentor to develop an independent research project. In addition to direct research experience, PRISM students are eligible for monetary stipends for their work, travel grants for conferences, GRE preparatory help, and advisement on graduate and medical school applications and career planning. Students can also look forward to guest lectures and informal seminars with research faculty, scientists, and other professionals.

The PRISM Junior Scholars Program is funded by a NYS Education Department “Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Programs,” or CSTEP.  Eligible students of any year majoring in forensic science, cell & molecular biology, toxicology, and computer science receive tutoring in science and math courses, personalized academic advisement, attend events to develop their professional skills, and receive discounts and reimbursements in their applications to post-graduate programs in science, health, and other STEM fields.  

In the decade since its founding, 40 of the over 200 undergraduates that have participated in PRISM Undergraduate Research Program have gained admissions to doctoral programs in STEM, of which 22 come from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM. If we expand this to include admission to any post-graduate education program (medical school, masters degrees, etc.), 79 PRISM graduates have gone on to these programs, of which 36 belong to underrepresented minority groups. PRISM has been recognized by CUNY, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences as a model of excellence for improving the number of underrepresented students in the STEM pipeline.

For more information about PRISM and our incredible students, visit: http://bit.ly/PRISMInfo or www.prismatjjay.org. You can follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @JJCPRISM.