Mehta Rice Engineering Scholars Program

Are you passionate about making a difference in the world? Do you have an interest in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship? If so, apply today for the Mehta Rice Engineering Scholars Program!

About the Program

The Mehta Rice Engineering Scholars Program is designed for exceptional graduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in research and innovation. This program provides students with the opportunity to work alongside top researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to gain valuable experience that will set them up for a successful career in their chosen field.

Program Details

As a Mehta Rice Engineering Scholar, you'll have access to a wide range of resources, including:

  • Opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research projects
  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities
  • Mentorship and guidance from leading researchers and entrepreneurs
  • Networking opportunities with other Mehta Rice Engineering Scholars and industry leaders

Outstanding students will be selected from the most prestigious institutions in India to come to the United States and spend four months at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Scholars will be hosted by a Rice Engineering Faculty based on research topic interest and the selection committee’s recommendation. Scholars receive a monthly stipend of $2,500 for living expenses during their appointment. Participants will submit a short three-page report upon their return to India describing their experience and research accomplishments at Rice.

Take the first step towards an exciting and rewarding career in research and innovation.

How to Apply

Students interested in applying should prepare a comprehensive application package, which includes a CV and a two-page research proposal. Additionally, they should identify 2-3 Rice faculty members whose research aligns with their interests. Obtaining a letter of recommendation from their faculty advisor in India is also required. Acceptance into the program is subject to the home institution covering the expenses for international travel.

Click here to apply now.

Important Program Dates

  • March 8, 2024: Call for applications for the Mehta Rice Engineering Scholars Program
  • April 12, 2024: Application deadline
  • May, 17, 2024: Applicant selection
  • September 3, 2024: New Mehta Rice Engineering Scholars begin work in host labs

Contact Us

Have questions about the Mehta Rice Engineering Scholars Program? Email Jennifer Mashburn at

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the areas in which I can apply?

The five areas are:

  • Quantum Science
  • Advanced Materials
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Data Science / Artificial Intelligence
  • Bioengineering / Biological Sciences
If accepted, what funding is available from this program?

Accepted scholars will receive a stipend of $2,500 per month to cover lodging, meals, and transportation needs. Once you arrive, this stipend is available for the duration (start/end date) included in your original initial appointment letter. Additionally, associated SEVIS, visa, and Rice fees associated with securing the SEVIS/visa are reimbursable once you arrive. Rice-mandated insurance coverage for the duration (start/end date) of the initial appointment at a rate of up to $100 per month and the processing fee (~$25 US) is also reimbursable (as of 02/24) once you arrive. Note: Fees incurred through the use of health services are not reimbursed.

How do I apply for visa?

Once you are selected for the program a Rice program representative will contact you to initiate the visa process and secure the associated documents.

How many months can I stay?

A short-term J-1 visiting scholar visa allows for up to 6 months. Typically, scholars commit to 4 months depending on the project needs. The duration is determined together by the Mehta Program administration team, faculty host, and scholar.

Do I need to contact the faculty at Rice before mentioning him/her in the application?

That is not necessary, but you are welcome to reach out and get prior approval from the faculty you are keen on working with.

Why is it mandatory home institutions cover flights to and from the U.S.?

Support by the applicant’s institution for flight expenses to and from the U.S. is a requirement of the applicant’s acceptance. This is an exchange program. Both institutions commit to the success of the scholar’s experience.

Can master's or PhD students apply for the program?

Yes. All are welcome to apply. We strongly advise reviewing your specific restrictions regarding J-1 visa duration and extensions before determining your length of stay, as you may be required to return to your home country for some time before accepting a longer J-1 appointment or accepting a position in the U.S. after you complete your studies. Resource: Typically, our Mehta Rice Engineering Scholars arrive on short-term J-1 visas with an initial term of 3-4 months.

Who should write the research proposal?

The student who is applying should come up with the research proposal.

Will I be able to continue my research while at Rice?

The research you’ll engage in during MRESP will complement your current studies and research path, but cannot be expected as a continuation. Research focus/activities will be led by the Rice host faculty based on their current resources and funding.

Is my level/year a good time to apply?

Please discuss whether the current cycle of this program will fit in well with your planned studies and research with your home advisor before deciding whether to proceed. Rice cannot advise on whether the timing fits with your unique program of studies.

The start date mentioned on the website is September 1, 2024. Is that flexible?

All scholars should plan to arrive by August 31st. Scholars will need to complete the Rice check-in process prior to beginning their appointment. It is most beneficial to our scholars and the faculty and staff planning the program that all candidates arrive and start together.

How is the selection process?

Students are selected based on the application.

Will there be an interview?

At this time, there is no interview planned.