Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium

The Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium (RURS) is the premiere event for undergraduates across all disciplines to showcase their research. The collective efforts of the Rice community allow for this annual event to highlight and celebrate the incredible scholarly and creative contributions of undergraduate researchers.

This year, the RURS theme is “Research Wrapped”, inspired by Spotify’s annual summary of music streamed throughout the year. With this in mind, we want to recognize undergraduates’ diverse research genres and foster the ability for everyone to share their progress in a supportive community. When presenting your research at RURS, remember to sing to the beat of your own drum and completely envelop the essence of your portfolio. While you show off your wrapped profile from this academic year, make sure to listen to and take inspiration from your peers’ compositions.

Students have several participation options during registration. The Shapiro Showcase is by invitation only and will feature presentations from students nominated by their departments. Three traditional Poster Sessions showcases student research through judged poster presentations. Finally, Oral Presentation Sessions are available by request to students and faculty in a corresponding class.

Shapiro Showcase

April 10th and 11th

As an undergraduate in 2002, Dr. Jenessa Shapiro founded RURS to give Rice student researchers an opportunity to share their diverse work. Twenty years later, we honor Dr. Shapiro’s legacy with the Shapiro Showcase, a competition featuring 16 students across the disciplines who have been nominated and selected by faculty in their respective schools. Presenters will deliver 10-minute talks on their intermediate to advanced research in two sessions - a STEM session and an Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities session. One winner will be selected through judge evaluations and announced at the closing reception.

Poster Sessions

April 12th

The Poster Session provides a platform for sharing innovative research or creative work, at any stage, with the broader Rice community. In three one-hour sessions, entrants will have the opportunity to be evaluated by attendees, and receive feedback on their presentation. Posters that achieve excellence in research and presentation will be recognized at the closing reception. Research mentor approval is required.

Oral Presentations

April 12th

Oral presentations allow students to use visual and oral communication to give short "lightning talks" to illustrate their research. Oral presentations are available by request from faculty with corresponding classes.

Award Celebration

April 12th

Join us to celebrate your hard work and achievements! An evening award reception will celebrate Research Wrapped and feature a DJ, live music, photo booths, food trucks, and award presentations - including the announcement of the Shapiro Showcase winner.

RURS 2023 Co-Chairs: Brendan Frizzell, Hannah Li, & Nafisa Azizi

Contact the co-chairs: rurs@rice.edu

2023 Award Winners

Shapiro Showcase Winner: Annette Jones

Top Poster Presentations

Natural Science: Jacob Buergler

Engineering: Hanqing Wang

Humanities: Celeste Colato

Social Science: Maria Budin

Top Oral Presentations:

Anna Rajagopal

Rijuta Vallishayee

Sophia Peng

Abstract Book Now Available!

2023 RURS Abstract Book

Interested in learning more about undergraduate research at Rice? Want to lend you skills as a faculty, graduate student, or peer judge? Volunteer judges are invited to attend our award ceremony and will receive a ticket for a food truck dinner!

Register to Judge!



Schedule 2023

Monday, April 10th, 2023

Shapiro Showcase: STEM 3:30 – 5:00 pm

RMC, Farnsworth Pavilion

Tuesday, April 11th, 2023

Shapiro Showcase: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences 3:30 – 5:00 pm

RMC, Farnsworth Pavilion

Wednesday April 12th, 2023

Oral Session I: 10:00 am - 10:40 am Moody Fellows and Humanities

RMC, Farnsworth Pavilion

Poster Session I: 11:00 – 12:00 pm

RMC, Grand Hall

Oral Session II: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, English

RMC, Farnsworth Pavilion

Poster Session II: 12:45 – 1:45 pm

RMC, Grand Hall

Oral Session III: 1:30 - 3:30 pm, Medical Humanities

RMC, Farnsworth Pavilion

Poster Session III: 2:30 - 3:30 pm

Natural Science ONLY

RMC, Grand Hall

Awards, Celebration, and Food Trucks 4:30 – 6:00 pm

RMC, Brown Garden and Farnsworth Pavilion

RURS 2022 Presentation Winners:

2022 Shapiro Showcase Winner

Ashley Fitzpatrick - School of Social Sciences

Jim Lu Zhang - School of Natural Sciences

Outstanding Poster Presentations

  • Vedha Penmetcha and Annika Nambiar (School of Natural Sciences Poster Presentation Winner)
  • Peter Nikonowicz and Jonathan Najmam (School of Social Sciences Poster Presentation Winner)
  • Jeffrey Vanegas (School of Engineering Poster Presentation Winner)
  • Julia Phan (School of Humanities Poster Presentation Winner)

Outstanding Exhibition Presentations

  • Dillon Stewart
  • Summer Nguyen and Ishaan Rischie
  • Maria Alejandra Mora
  • Sriya Kakarla
  • Eli Mendoza
  • Kamil Cook
  • Luke Han
  • Jason Ye
  • Ishani Kaul
  • Jeffrey Vanegas

2022 RURS Abstract Book is now available!

RURS 2021 Presentation Winners: The following students represent the top 10% of competitive entries and top presenters in each award category.

  • Joseph Asfouri, Engineering
  • Hannah Boyd (School of Natural Sciences Poster Presentation Winner)
  • Rose Click (School of Social Sciences Oral Presentation Winner)
  • Aman Eujayl (School of Engineering Oral Presentation Winner)
  • Brandon Khek, Natural Sciences
  • Hociel Landa (School of Engineering Poster Presentation Winner)
  • Will Mundy & Shryans Goyal (Team Award Winner)
  • Pujita Munnangi, Engineering
  • Stephen Peng, Natural Sciences
  • Sarah Preston, Natural Sciences
  • Kristen Rabbitt (School of Natural Sciences Poster Presentation Winner)
  • Julia Shi (School of Humanities Poster Presentation Winner)
  • Ashley Snell (Jenessa Shapiro Award Winner, School of Social Sciences Poster Presentation Winner)
  • Jessica Su, Natural Sciences
  • Lillian Wieland (School of Humanities Oral Presentation Winner)
  • Brendon Wong, Natural Sciences
  • Jim L. Zhang, Natural Sciences

RURS 2021 Abstract Book (PDF) is available to view past presenters and their work.