The Program to Inspire Minority Undergraduates in Environmental Health Science Research (PrIMER) is a research program for full-time undergraduate minority students who are typically underrepresented in STEM fields. It is funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and provides research trainees from CUNY City College, Hunter College, and John Jay College the opportunity to gain valuable research experience in environmental health sciences.
PrIMER students commit to a two-year program beginning June before their junior year up to May of their senior year. Students are paired with a Columbia University faculty member who serves as a research and academic mentor throughout the program. Students conduct laboratory research in environmental health sciences, attend weekly professional development workshops, and interact closely with Columbia University faculty. The summer part of the program culminates with a final oral presentation at the PrIMER Symposium, where students present their research projects in an academic setting. Students have the option to continue research with their mentor during the academic year.
Participants receive compensation ($15/hour) throughout the program. Trainees work 35 hours/week for 10 weeks during the summer, and up to 5 hours/week during the academic year. Professional GRE prep classes are provided to students during their senior year.