Sustaining Excellence in Research (SER) Scholars Program

ser scholars

The goal of the Sustaining Excellence in Research Scholars program is to introduce STEM students to the world of science and engineering early in their career by matching them with research internships and engaging the students in a diverse community of scholars.

About the SER Scholars Program

Sustaining Excellence in Research (SER) Scholars are freshmen & sophomore students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines who are invited to participate in the SER Scholars Program, based on a constellation of factors relevant to the student’s academic preparation for the science and engineering course work at Rice. In the HHMI SER Scholars Program, students receive support to achieve academic excellence. They attend regular mentoring meetings with program staff, and are paired with a Natural Sciences or Engineering lab either within Rice or the Texas Medical Center, where they receive $10.00 per hour for the first 150 hours of their work. In addition, there are monthly meetings and workshops to network with other Bishnoi SER Scholars and learn new study and stress management skills.

Rice University launched the Sustaining Excellence in Research (SER) Scholars Program in 2014 with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. We will be forever grateful for the leadership and contributions of Sandra Whaley Bishnoi (1973-2018), the founding director of the SER Scholars Program. Learn more about her leadership, impact, and legacy.


The application consists of:

  • Biographical and academic information
  • A one page statement explaining how the components of the SER Scholars program (research placement and a community of scholars) could help you overcome any perceived challenges in pursuing a STEM major at Rice (max 500 words)
  • Name, email address and phone number of a reference (from an high school teacher, instructor, Master, RA, employer, current Rice faculty)
  • Recent photo

The deadline to submit applications is October 12 for Fall 2022. Submit your application here. Due to the devastating passing of student Ryan Dullea, we have decided to extend the deadline until Sunday, October 16th at 11:59 PM. For any students who need additional time given recent circumstances, please contact Jay Bethea at

Once we have received all of your materials, we will review your application. Preference will be given to students who are first generation college students and those with less than 12 hours of STEM AP credit.