Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) projects in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are designed to involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs. During the REU at Rice ECE program, participants will work closely with faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate mentors on current research projects, make short progress presentations to their peers during program meetings, make a formal poster presentation of their research experience at the end of the program, and submit a written, final report describing the results of their research. Our goal is that the students participating in the REU program will make significant contributions to ongoing faculty research and, more importantly, gain an appreciation for and an interest in graduate school and a future research career.

ECE faculty have projects in a variety of research areas, to learn more about our research focus areas visit our Key Research Areas page.


Program Details

REU opportunities at Rice ECE are available in seven areas:  

  • Computer Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Neuroengineering
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Wireless
  • Health
  • Quantum Engineering

These REU projects will provide hands-on learning experiences, expose you to research techniques and integrate you into the research community at Rice ECE. As part of the REU program, you will:

  • Work with your mentors for 40 hours/week for 10-12 weeks
  • Prepare a research plan, two progress reports, and a poster presentation describing your research results


To participate in the program, you should:

  • want to participate in ongoing research in at least one of the above research areas
  • have completed at least your first year by the time the REU starts, in any undergraduate curriculum of engineering, physical, mathematical or quantitative sciences
  • plan to graduate no earlier than December 2022
  • be 18 years of age or older
  • be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Rice ECE is committed to recruiting, supporting, and engaging a diverse group of undergraduate students from across the nation. Thus, we are looking for students at all levels, including first-year students majoring in STEM. Prior research experience is not required. Additionally, students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM, and students with diverse experiences and/or backgrounds, are strongly encouraged to apply to the REU program.

COVID-19 Update

At this time, we aim to offer a mix of in-person and remote REU experiences (depending on the research project) during summer 2023. In the coming months, this plan may evolve as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to conditions/restrictions that impact each institution and travel guidelines.

How to Apply

The application to the REU program requires:

  1. A resume (2-page max)
  2. An unofficial transcript
  3. Confirmed interests in up to 3 out of the 7 research areas
  4. One letter of recommendation. This should be a letter from someone who knows you and the way you work. For example, a supervisor from a job you have had where you gained relevant experience, a teacher from a class where you had an engaging learning experience or had to overcome challenges, a professor with whom you have gained some laboratory or research experience
  5. A personal statement describing your research interests and technical skills (1000 words max)
  6. A statement describing how you believe your experiences and/or perspectives would contribute to advancing a culture of diversity and inclusion at Rice ECE (250 words max)

Students can apply to the REU Program at


In previous years, admitted students received a stipend of $6000 for the program.  Students can expect similar stipends in summer 2022, and the exact amount will depend on the funding source for the project.

Key Dates

The expected start date is at the beginning of summer 2022, and the end date is August 5, 2022. 

Application Deadline: Priority deadline is February 15, 2022; to receive full consideration, apply by March 1, 2022.


The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program supports undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in pursuing supervised research with a Rice faculty member during the summer months.

Applications will open Monday, January 30th and close Sunday, February 26th.

Application Requirements:

  • Personal Interest Essay (250-words) - Share your motivation for applying to SURF, what you hope to gain and contribute through the program, and how your identities, interests, and goals intersect with your research pursuits.
  • Mentor Preferences (see below for list of potential mentors and projects)
  • Resume

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (OURI) is hosting a SURF mixer on February 7 from 4-5 p.m. in which students can interact with faculty and learn more about summer research. Additional information about SURF can be found on the OURI website.

For further information, please contact us at