Century Scholars

The University's goals of attracting superior undergraduates, fostering collaboration between students and professors, and sustaining a commitment to undergraduate education have culminated in a groundbreaking scholarship and mentoring program. The Rice University Century Scholars program matches select incoming freshmen with faculty mentors for a two year period. During that time the student and mentor collaborate on one of the mentor's research projects. In addition to the research opportunity, select students receive a two-year merit scholarship and a research stipend.

Introduced during the 2000-2001 academic year, this unique opportunity is one that is found at few other universities. Other than establishing a close relationship with an academic mentor, students also have the option of participating in exciting research endeavors. For example, the program has seen participants spend 6 weeks at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory studying physics while many others have accompanied their mentors to international conferences.

FAQS

How do I apply?

There is no application for this program. All students who are admitted to Rice are considered for our merit-based awards, including the Century Scholars Program.

What are the selection criteria?

All admitted students are reviewed for this award. The selection committee looks for special qualities and achievements in both academic and personal areas. Some selected scholars will already have research experience, while others will display intense interest and enthusiasm that suggest success in working closely with a faculty member.

It is the policy of Rice University to attract to its faculty, staff, and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds. Rice does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or veteran status. The university's employment policy seeks to recruit, hire, and advance women, minority group members, individuals with disabilities, Vietnam-era veterans, and special disabled veterans.

How am I matched with a mentor?

The CCL will work with you to identify a mentor who matches your interests at Rice University or the Texas Medical Center. You will also receive from the program coordinator supplemental information to facilitate the mentor selection process.

What type of work will I be doing?

Depending on the project, duties for the various projects may include reading first-person narratives and journals, engaging in Internet exchanges with researchers at other institutions, conducting interviews with research subjects, designing research strategies, analyzing data, cloning genes, and writing and testing computer software.

If I don't like my project, can I change?

We ask that you work on the project for at least one semester. A change after that time must be approved by the faculty advisors.

How do I change mentors?

If you desire to change mentors for whatever reason, you are responsible for identifying your next mentor. Seek out an alternate faculty member conducting research in your field of interest, and ask the professor if he/she would be willing to serve as your mentor. You may direct the professor to the Century Scholar webpage or to contact Dr. Michael Domeracki to answer any questions. If the faculty member agrees to sponsor your research, you must then complete an update form and submit it to the CCL announcing your change.

Can I continue my project after the initial two-year period?

This is an option that would be arranged with the faculty mentor. The scholarship will not be extended beyond your sophomore year.

Will the project entail work in the summer?

Many professors are happy to have assistance over the summers, but you are not required to spend your summers working on this program.

​​​​​​​Can I still study abroad if I am a Century Scholar?

Yes, but your stipend would not be awarded during the semester you are away.

Are Century Scholars required to participate in RURS?

Yes, participation in the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium (RURS) is mandatory for all Century Scholars. Sophomores are required to present while freshmen have the option to present or volunteer.

How does the stipend work?

Use of your stipend is determined in consultation with your mentor and approved by the program coordinator. Typically it is used by you or the mentor to purchase materials related to your research. In the past, students have purchased text books and airfare to attend conferences, etc.