Current Initiatives

Rice Engineering’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts continue to evolve based on progress made and new challenges uncovered. Our current initiatives are designed to foster dialogue and actively address the needs and concerns of our community.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Outreach Center 

The School of Engineering at Rice university has developed a new center that will focus on promoting diversity and supporting inclusion through various efforts and initiatives including: 

  • Research and Assessment. The center will collaborate with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the Office of Faculty Development, and Human Resources to collect data on the social climate status for all stakeholders in the Rice engineering community.  This research will inform the development of strategic programming from the Dean’s Office to ensure an inclusive community. Initiatives will be continuously assessed to make certain goals are achieved. Additional areas of research can include examining existing policies that may exclude people who have been historically marginalized from STEM.
  • Community Development. The center will develop programming that facilitates relationships between stakeholders in engineering and that addresses community needs to support an inclusive culture. 
  • Faculty Development. The center will provide resources that support faculty’s DEI initiatives. 
  • Engineering Pedagogy. The center will collaborate with the Center for Teaching Excellence and engineering course instructors to ensure that courses are accessible and inclusive to all students.
  • Accountability. The center will produce an annual report that will be made available on this website. The report will document center goals, successes, areas of improvement and corresponding action plans.

AGEP Professoriate Readiness Via Institutional Mentorship in Engineering Disciplines

AGEP PRIME is a collaboration between three institutions with engineering postdoctoral researchers (Georgia Tech, Florida A&M, and Rice University) and two institutions providing evaluation and social science research expertise (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and BSCS Science Learning) to advance racial minority groups historically excluded from university science, technology, engineering, and mathematics departments. The program specifically focuses on postdoctoral scholars and early career faculty in engineering.

Learn more about AGEP PRIME.

Engineering Teaching Assistant Training

Completion of the Engineering TA Training course is mandatory for all TAs every year. The course provides TAs with information regarding federal regulations, institutional policies, diversity/equity/inclusion, TA and instructor interactions, lesson prep, TA and student interactions, active learning strategies, grading tips, and teamwork facilitation.  

For more information, contact

GPS Pathways

The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' Pathways Program is a comprehensive orientation program for first-year doctoral students from diverse backgrounds. The program seeks to provide clarity and connection related to available university resources and provide mentorship to equip students to excel in their academic pursuits.

Learn more about GPS Pathways.

Graduate Student Mentoring Professional Development

Mentoring is not something that comes naturally. Mentoring is a skill that is learned and developed over time through training and lived experience. As a result, the DEI Center focuses on supporting engineering graduate students in developing inclusive mentoring practices so they are better equipped to tailor their mentoring to the needs of their undergraduate mentees.

For more information about mentoring opportunities, email Cecilia Fernandez.

Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium

The annual Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS) is one of the longest-running and most prestigious undergraduate research conferences in the southeast. Open to students from all universities and hosted by Rice, GCURS provides students around the world the opportunity to present their original research to an audience of their peers.

Learn more about the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium

Gulf Scholars Program

The Gulf Scholars Program (GSP@Rice) is designed to inspire and prepare undergraduate students to address challenges of resilience, such as natural hazards and climate stressors facing urban and industrial communities in the region. GSP@Rice is open to current sophomores and transfer students with sophomore standing across all majors on campus and requires a year-long commitment.

Learn more about the Gulf Scholars Program.

I-ACED Program for Engineering Professional Master’s Students

Improving Access to Career and Educational Development for Talented, Low-Income Students through the Flexible Internships-Research-Education Model (I-ACED) is a multi-institutional NSF-backed program integrating internships and research experiences to prepare students for careers in engineering and STEM fields.

Learn more about I-ACED

Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment Center (NEWT)

NEWT offers programs for high school teachers and students, and for undergraduate and graduate students. From semester-long courses to summer research experiences, students can engage with a multidisciplinary group of scientists dedicated to the development of sustainable nanotechnology-enabled solutions to provide water access around the globe.

Learn more about NEWT Center educational programs.

Rice Engineering Alumni Summer Engineering Experience

Launched in fall 2020, the REA Summer Engineering Experience (SEE) provides students with their first taste of engineering in a professional work environment. Focusing on early-tenure students who may have limited exposure to real-world engineering, SEE aims to ignite their curiosity and passion for engineering as a career path. In collaboration with the Rice Emerging Scholars Program (RESP), SEE identifies promising candidates and provides comprehensive support throughout the application process – from resume reviews to mock interviews and informational panels.
Learn more about the REA Summer Engineering Experience.
Hear from participants in the program.


Rice University is part of a National Science Foundation-funded project through the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program called Strengthening Training and Resources for Inclusion in Data Engineering and Science (STRIDES). The AGEP STRIDES project is an alliance of three institutions in the Houston area: Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, and Rice University.

Learn more about STRIDES AGEP and contact Canek Phillips with questions.

Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity in Education

The Tapia Center is designed to empower motivated, academically successful, underrepresented students who are passionate about their education. The programs open Rice University and higher educational experiences to emerging scholars deserving of academic opportunity.

Learn more about the Tapia Center.