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Research Student FAQ

How long does it typically take for me to hear back about being chosen for research?  I've been waiting so long!!!
Please be patient.  Your mentor will (most likely) be a college researcher who is currently attending school full time whilst juggling a myriad of academic and personal responsibilities.   These college researchers are students like yourselves and they need time to plan/adjust their schedule(s).  They take their research duties very seriously, so when they look over the applications, they take their time in choosing who they would like to work with.

You should expect to hear back about research appointments about a week, or two weeks, after STEP officially begins.

I've been placed in a class, but haven't heard any news about my research application.  What's going on?
Please refer to the previous question & answer.  Students are informed of their class placement ahead of time, whereas the research application process takes about one or two weeks.

OK, I've been accepted!  What are my next steps?
All research students are required to complete the BMCC STEP Research Form each time they meet with their mentor.  This form is evidence of your research commitment to the program.   You can find the research form on our main webpage or right here.

All college researchers must sign the form to verify that you performed research for that day.  The research form must also be submitted after your first meeting with your college researcher, even if no research was actually conducted for that day.  Simply discuss what you two discussed and your research mentor must sign off on it.

What days do I meet with my mentor to conduct research if I'm accepted?
BMCC STEP Research Students are not given a predetermined schedule by STEP administrators to conduct research with their mentor.   The student and their mentor both agree to a personalized schedule which must then be submitted to the STEP Coordinators.  STEP Coordinators need this personalized schedule to ensure access to the BMCC campus.  If you are available to meet on Mondays 3-5pm and your research mentor agrees to that, then you can conduct research on Mondays; on the other hand, if you're available on Tuesdays, then you and your mentor meet on Tuesdays.  Each research mentor/mentee schedule will be different.

I submitted a RESEARCH ONLY application.  What if I don't get accepted as a BMCC STEP Research Student?
If you've submitted a RESEARCH ONLY application and you were not accepted as a BMCC STEP research participant, but you have been accepted as a BMCC STEP participant, you are still welcome to come on Fridays to eat a free meal, attend our workshops and participate in college/university fairs and the end-of-session field trip.  If space is available, we will immediately place you in a class so that you're able to experience the wide range of opportunities.

Who can write the recommendation?  When is it due???
We prefer anyone who can judge your scholastic aptitude, including teachers/college professors/college researchers/guidance counselors, but also those who can attest to your strength of character.  Strong recommendation letters have both qualities!

Recommendations are typically due on the start of the STEP session, but we are aware that some do indeed come late.  We're very lenient on the deadline for recommendation letter acceptance.  We ask students and recommenders to submit it as early as possible, however, because the sooner you have a complete package, the sooner you'll get an answer.

What do you recommend for a student applying for research here at BMCC STEP?
1. Send us your transcript, recommendation letter and essay as soon as possible.  The sooner you send us everything, the sooner you can receive notification of your acceptance/rejection.

2. Apply for STEP Fridays and STEP Research.  If you are accepted into STEP Research and want to leave your class, you are eligible to do so.  If you were rejected from STEP Research, then you can still attend your class and enjoy your time here on Fridays.  It's a win-win scenario either way you look at it.  Students who apply for RESEARCH ONLY are susceptible to being rejected and not being able to attain class placement.  We want all students to take advantage of STEP.

3. This should go without saying, but apply early.  By applying early, you guarantee that your application will be on the top of the pile to be looked at!

I have more questions and I'm seeking clarification on certain aspects of the research program.  Who can I ask?
Shoot us an email at if you have any further questions.  You can also email me personally at or Ms. Maisha Phillips at  We're both here to answer any and all questions.

You're also welcome to call us anytime between 9pm and 5pm, M-F.