How do I get started? | John Jay College of Criminal Justice
How do I get started?

How do I get started?

To apply for PRISM, complete the PRISM Application Form, available on-line at our website ( or in our offices. Take some time to review the program requirements so that you know what is expected of students. The “Prospective Students” section offers a year-by-year review of the program, highlighting the different activities that take place at each stage of the program. If you are interested in speaking with students already in the program, email us and let us know what type of research you might be interested in. We will do our best to connect you with a student who can best answer your questions. Keep in mind that the program continues to grow in popularity, which means admission to the Program is more competitive and students are evaluated on a case-by-case basis before being invited to submit research proposals and obtain a stipend. For this reason, students are encouraged to contact the PRISM Coordinators, Dr. Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín or Frances Jiménez, as soon as they think they may be interested in taking part.

Program Requirements

PRISM is open to students at John Jay College who have declared a major in Forensic Science or Computer Science and Information Safety with a minimum grade point average of 2.5. Once they have completed Organic Chemistry, students are invited to participate in our 3-day Research Training Course. Admission to this Course is on a competitive basis, depending on your performance in your science courses and other factors. Students are then paired with a mentor and begin work on an approved research project. Students who are enrolled in the program are expected to meet the following requirements:

  • Maintain, or do better than, a grade “C” average in all upper level science courses.
  • Attend either the summer or winter training, which engages students in discussions on ethics, scientific conduct, professional responsibility, and community responsibility. This training also addresses the topics of literature searches, record keeping, and report writing, as well as introducing students to basic laboratory techniques and protocol.
  • Submit a new research proposal each semester, explaining what has been accomplished and what is planned for the next semester.
  • Arrange a research and meeting schedule with your mentor, and follow that schedule faithfully.
  • Meet at least twice a semester with Dr. Sanabria-Valentín to discuss your research progress and your professional plans.
  • Attend the PRISM Monthly meetings and other professional development and social events, and present updates on their current research.
  • Present a poster at the PRISM Symposium in May explaining their research.