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.


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 2021. 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.

Program Details

REU opportunities at Rice ECE are available in seven general areas: 

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

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

  • Work with their mentors for 40 hours/week for 10 weeks
  • Be required to prepare a research plan, two progress reports, and a poster presentation describing the results of their research program

The expected start date is June 1, 2021, and the end date is August 6, 2021


To participate in the program, students should:

  • have an interest in and a desire to participate in ongoing research in at least one of the above research areas
  • have completed at least their first year by the time the REU starts, in any undergraduate curriculum of engineering, physical or mathematical sciences
  • plan to graduate no earlier than December 2021
  • 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, and prior research experience is not required. Additionally, students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM, as well as students with diverse experiences and/or backgrounds, are strongly encouraged to apply to the REU program.

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 the applicant’s research interests and technical skills (1000 words max).
  6. A culture of inclusion 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). 
  7. Application Deadline: To receive full consideration, apply by March 15, 2021.

Students can apply to the REU Program at


Each participant will receive a $6,000 stipend for the 10-week internship ($600/week). Participants are also eligible for reimbursement up to $1,000 towards moving/travel to/from Houston (if conditions permit).

Key Dates

The expected start date is June 1, 2021, and the end date is August 6, 2021. 

Application Deadline: to receive full consideration, apply by March 15, 2021

For further information, please contact us at