YPIE Science Research Mentors

Thank you for your interest in becoming a mentor to our YPIE Regeneron Science Research students!  We hope this information is helpful:

Mentor: Roles and Responsibilities


The following is an estimation of the minimum requirements for each mentor over the three years of our program:


Sophomore Year
  • Suggesting reading materials and research papers for students to read

  • Twice a month communications

  • Advising on Methodology

  • ***If applicable -- Institutional Review Board preparation (at the mentor’s institution or the YPIE IRB)

  • Summer

    • Optional: Data collection over the summer

    • Optional: Aid in data/statistical analysis 


Junior year
  • Suggesting reading materials and research papers for students to read

  • Monthly communications

  • Junior students with data are eligible to participate in regional symposia to practice presenting their research; mentors often help review poster/presentation materials beforehand and will often have to fill out forms giving permission

  • Summer 

    • Data collection over the summer. Students must have some sort of original data to present by the end of this summer

    • Students begin working on final research paper for Regeneron Science Talent Search, due in early November


Senior Year
  • Help student edit their research paper

  • Write an evaluative letter for the Regeneron STS competition

  • Help students complete some brief -- but undeniably annoying -- forms to allow students to present their research in local and regional symposia




YPIE Students: Roles and Responsibilities 


  • Select a general topic to dig into

  • Narrow down topic to a specific research question

  • Discuss the nature of science, to begin understanding the of science research

  • Begin reading professional research articles, scientific journals, and academic texts.

  • Expand vocabulary and knowledge on a very specific STEM topic

  • Practice collecting and analyzing data as a class

  • Begin writing research reports

    • Four assignments

  • Contact experts in field of interest

  • Find a mentor to work with

  • Present research ideas at a regional conference


Sophomore Summer

During the summer, students should continue refining their projects to fit the feasibility of their circumstances. They should begin to collect research and explore the research techniques available to them under the guidance of their mentors. Students will remain in contact with their teacher throughout the summer. There is a possibility that college credit may be available to students who demonstrated success in their first year of the program.

  • Continue reading and writing research papers

  • Continue practicing professional skills such as: lecturing, slide presentations, poster presentations, professional etiquette skills, etc.

  • Meet regularly and independently with research mentors

  • Develop original experimental procedures

  • Collect data

  • Potential to present preliminary data at local and national competitions

Junior Summer

This summer is a crucial time for success in our research program. It is expected that students dedicate a large majority of time to working on their project. Students should continue to be working under the direction of their mentors. It is during this time that the bulk of data collection will take place. Students should also begin analyzing their results and formatting their project into initial drafts of reports that could be submitted to regional and national competitions. They will remain in contact with their teacher via email.

  • Complete a final and summative research paper for your project. Papers should be in a format that could be professionally published

  • Present completed research at numerous competitions

  • Poster presentations, slideshow presentations

  • Submit to national competitions such as Regeneron STS

  • Plan and present work at end-of-year YPIE symposium

  • Provide guidance and advice to the sophomores entering the program


Past Student Projects

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"Shroom3-FYN localization in hPodocytes & HK2 cells"


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"Racial Identity and Situational Anxiety"



"The Shade and Cooling Effects of a Vertical Greenery System"



Frequently Asked Questions


How big is the commitment, and how will this affect my professional work?


This is the biggest question of all, and it is the most difficult to answer. In short, the commitment is as big or as small as you want it to be. (The bare minimum requirements we request from a mentor are outlined above). 


Ideally, working with a student will not interfere at all with your professional work, and in fact, sometimes the student can even help you advance your research in the same way that an unpaid intern might assist you.


Most of all, perhaps, it depends on the nature of the project. A biomedical project, for example, would require a large degree of time and resources from the mentor (access to the lab, instruction on techniques and methodology, supervision, materials, etc….), while a computer science, behavioral science, or environmental science project may be more student driven, with a mentor serving as an advisor - simply checking in with the student twice a month. 

Would a student be required to create their own project from scratch or would they work on an existing experiment?


This is another question that is hard to answer in all situations. In a laboratory, for example, student autonomy is quite a bit more difficult. 


We only ask that a student is as involved as possible in the creation and design of an original hypothesis. We realize that sometimes this is difficult, so oftentimes our students will simply take ‘ownership’ of a portion of the mentor’s research. All students are required to present at least some original data at the beginning of their senior year in the program. 


Again, ideally, the students are being helpful and contributing to the research of their mentors. 


Can I assign a student to a post-doctoral student or another member of the laboratory?

Definitely! This is often a great opportunity for both the older and younger students under your supervision. So long as the person supervising the student is responsible and has a deep knowledge of the research, this is a great option. 


My research is super complicated, how do I know these kids can handle it?


Not all of the students who enter this program are eligible for mentors. Part of my responsibility as their classroom teacher is to vet them before they get to you: only students who are ready for the rigor of the content, and the responsibilities of the job are allowed a mentor. All of our students who have had research mentors and worked at institutions in the past are the ambassadors of our program, and we’ve never had an issue. We’ve had students work with researchers in the labs at Iona College, Mt. Sinai, New York Medical College, Teatown Lake Reservation, and Columbia University. 


It is worth knowing, however, that nearly all of our students lack any hands-on exposure to the laboratory sciences, as many do not even have rudimentary labs in their schools. But they more than make up for it with their deep level of content knowledge, and a profound passion for their specific research topics. 

What will be done with this research? How will confidentiality be treated?


Sharing and communicating research is a critical component of this course, but of course, mentors will have the final say in what is included in any public presentations. All students have to submit their final papers and posters to their mentors for a final review. 


Papers and posters are submitted to at least three local and national competitions. For more information on the specifics of the competition, please refer to their websites. (societyforscience.org/regeneron-sts/, wesef.org, jshs.org)


Are there any professional benefits for me, the mentor?


In this moment of national reckoning on race and class, there is a renewed focus on increasing diversity in academia, and specifically in STEM. We know from previous research that simple ‘one-off’ exposure (career day, a visit to the lab) to the STEM fields is not as effective as deep, long-term mentorships within the STEM fields.


Mentoring one of our students has been described as an altruistic experience, that simply feels good. Most of our students did not enter high school thinking of themselves as scientists, but the vast majority who graduate from our program are now in college planning on majoring in science. 


We know that the ‘pipeline’ to a career in science often begins in High School, not College, and the act of mentoring these students today, will bring the diversity we want in our companies and institutions tomorrow -- not to mention the untold medicines and technologies that our students might one day invent! 


Over 90% of the students in our program are considered low-income, and the vast majority are students of color and/or immigrants. Many universities and organizations provide grants precisely for this type of outreach, so it’s definitely worth checking to see if any incentives are available to you if you agree to take on one of our high school students. 


What is the liability to my institution and I if I allow a student to work in my laboratory?


This of course, varies by institution, but any and all memorandums of understanding, forms, and parental permissions, will of course be provided to the students and parent/guardians to sign and assume liability. Yonkers Partners in Education cannot assume liability for student work in your institutions. 


What about transportation to our lab/institution?


In Yonkers, most students rely on public transportation to travel. We always find a way to get them to and from the labs where they are working. (Students are so passionate about their research that they’ve spent their summers taking hour and a half bus rides to and from the lab). We have a small stipend available to assist students with transportation costs, but any additional assistance from your research institution is always appreciated.


If you are interested in helping our students on their path to becoming future science leaders, please contact Jake Schofield, YPIE Regeneron Science Research Institute Director at JSchofield@ypie.org.