OURI Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, support undergraduates from underrepresented and underresourced backgrounds pursuing supervised research with a Rice faculty member over the summer. Preference will be given to first- and second-year students who have secured unpaid opportunities and who have not had prior research experience. Returning undergraduates in all disciplines are eligible to apply. The research project may be faculty-led or initiated by the student, in-person or remote. Fellows will receive $3000 and are expected to work approximately 200 hours on their research project.

You are eligible if you:

  • are a returning Rice undergraduate student in a degree-granting program;
  • are going to be enrolled full time during the fall 2021 semester;
  • are in good academic standing;
  • are undertaking supervised research with a Rice faculty member for a specified duration between May 15 and August 15, 2021, with a start no later than July 1, 2021;
  • have a Rice faculty member who will meet with you weekly over the summer and supervise your progress;
  • are not already receiving compensation for your research project

By accepting the fellowship, you are agreeing to:

  • complete all surveys connected to your experience;
  • present your work at RURS or another conference;
  • follow human subjects guidelines;
  • participate in seven sessions of research support programming and reflection activities run by OURI

Priority deadline for applications is March 22, 2021. Final consideration deadline for applications is April 1, 2021. Application for 2021 are now closed.

Note: Your faculty advisor will receive an email asking them to approve the proposal through Qualtrics. Please be sure that your advisor is aware of this step in the application process. Proposals without faculty approval will not be considered.

Potential Mentor List: Mentors on this list have indicated willingness to host a SURF Fellow for Summer 2021. Click on their name to read more about their research areas. Applicants should contact faculty directly to learn more about potential projects, and the faculty's willingness to sponsor their SURF application. We recommend when reaching out to potential mentors, students indicate their intention to apply for SURF.

Note: Potential mentors are not limited to this list. Applicants can apply with any Rice mentor who will support you in a summer research project.


  • Dr. Alessandro Alabastri Electrical and Computer Engineering, Preference: Student should like theoretical calculations and working with software.
  • Dr. Matthew Brake Mechanical Engineering, Preference: GPA 3.2, good academic standing.
  • Dr. Naomi Halas Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Meng Li Statistics, Preference: Student who is self-motivated
  • Dr. Yingyan Lin Electrical and Computer Engineering, Preference: Coding with Python/RTL/C/C++
  • Dr. George Lu Bioengineering, Preference: Student who is interested in one of the following areas, synthetic biology, protein biochemistry, or material science, and interested in research beyond summer term.
  • Dr. Kevin McHugh Bioengineering, Preference: Student who is interested in research beyond summer term
  • Dr. Aditya Mohite Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Preference: Student motivated and interested in learning about physics, chemistry and engineering of materials for solar cells, catalysis.
  • Dr. Lauren Stadler Civil & Environmental Engineering, Requirement: Ability to work in-person in a laboratory setting
  • Dr. Robert Vajtai Materials Science and Nanoengineering, Requirement: Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Dr. Rafael Verduzco Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
  • Dr. Michael Wong Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Preference: Interested in catalysis, nanotechnology, clean water, and sustainability.
  • Dr. Vicky Yao Computer Science, Preference: Student with programming (python/R preferred) experience; interest in biology


  • Dr. Daniel B. Domingues da Silva History, Requirement: Student with basic knowledge of word and excel. Preference: Knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese
  • Dr. Lan Li History; Medical Humanities, Preference: Student with interest in topics related to medical humanities
  • Dr. Kristen Ostherr Medical Humanities and Digital Humanities, Preference: Student interested in joining Translational Humanities for Public Health project
  • Dr. Brian Riedel Study of Women, Gender, & Sexuality, Preference: Student present in Houston for summer (dependent on COVID restrictions) for archive visits

Natural Sciences

  • Dr. Pengcheng Dai Physics & Astronomy; Preference: Student with the ability to work in a lab, and have some preliminary background in chemistry/physics.
  • Dr. Adrienne Correa BioSciences; Preference: Student with basic molecular lab experience (e.g. pipetting, DNA extractions, PCR) would be a plus
  • Dr. Laura Kabiri Kinesiology & Sports Medicine; Preference: Student with interest in physical activity and school-aged youth
  • Dr. Natasha Kirienko BioSciences
  • Dr. Edison Liang Physics & Astronomy; Requirement: PHYS101, 125 or 111. Preference: PHYS 102, 126 or 112
  • Dr. Guido Pagano Physics & Astronomy; Student that is self-motivated, in good academic standing, and likes hands-on work in the lab. Possible projects include lasers, optics, UHV vacuum, programming (python, Matlab, Mathematica)
  • Dr. Volker Rudolf Ecology & Evolutionary Biology BioSciences
  • Dr. Julia Saltz BioSciences
  • Dr. Frank Toffoletto Physics & Astronomy; Requirement: Student with some physics background & programming experience
  • Dr. Chris Tunnell Physics & Astronomy and Computer Science.

Social Sciences

  • Dr. Margaret Beier Psychology; Preference: Student with psych major but not required.
  • Dr. Sergio Chavez Sociology.
  • Dr. Mark Jones Political Science; Preference: Student with interest in history and/or poli. sci.
  • Dr. Suzanne Kemmer, Cognitive Science & Linguistics
  • Dr. Fred Oswald Psychology; Requirement: Student with some introductory statistics knowledge. Preference: experience or desire to work in the R programming language.
  • Dr. Anna Rhodes Sociology
  • Dr. Bob Stein Political Science; Preference: Student with statistics course using stat, R, SAS, or SPSS
  • Dr. Richard Stoll Political Science
  • Dr. Paul Treacy Social Policy Analysis; Requirement: Student with solid working knowledge of R or Stata and looking to advance skills. Basic excel knowledge. Preferences: Intro to stats course (SOCS302 or equivalent)