Information for TMC faculty interested in mentoring or employing Rice undergraduate researchers

Increasing numbers of Rice undergraduates are seeking biological and biomedical research opportunities and anecdotal evidence suggests that many TMC faculty members are interested in hosting undergraduates. We would like to facilitate the interaction between research-interested undergraduates and prospective research hosts. The following is to provide information for those interested in recruiting undergraduate researchers or technicians.

Opportunities for undergraduates can be posted year round for various modes of compensation. If you are interested in recruiting Rice undergraduates, you can send us an ad containing your lab's focus, potential projects for students, number of openings, required experience (if any), compensation (volunteer*, course credit, or pay) and contact information (click here for a copy of our suggested posting template). We can post your ad to our list and leave it up for a predetermined time or until you notify us that your positions are filled.

When determining the nature of your opportunity, bear in mind that project and mentoring expectations of students receiving course credit differ from those of students working as volunteers or paid technicians. We ask that our for-credit researchers be given somewhat independent projects, that they be able to meet their PIs at least once a week, and, perhaps most important, that they be assigned to an individual (usually an experienced graduate student or postdoc) who has an interest in training undergraduates and the time to mentor them on a daily basis throughout the semester. If the undergraduate student will be working for pay he/she can be offered either an independent project or a technician-like position (e.g. washing glassware, database maintenance, etc.).

Students typically search for research-for-credit labs the semester prior to beginning their research (early April is registration for fall, November is registration for spring) but may continue their search up until a few weeks before the semester begins. Students search for summer opportunities (for pay or volunteer, not for credit) throughout the spring semester.

To view an example of the expectations for a research-for-credit course, you may peruse the student portions of the BIOC 310 website (links at right). BIOC 310 is only one of many research-for-credit courses offered at Rice. Similar courses are offered through a number of departments including, among others, Chemistry, Bioengineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Psychology.

* If you are seeking volunteers, please make sure that your institution will allow undergraduates to work without pay. Rice international students must consult with the Rice Office of International Students and Scholars prior to any off-campus research participation (paid or otherwise) to ensure compliance with their student visas.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to post an opening for an undergraduate researcher in your lab.

P.S. If you wish to share this information with colleagues, the quick link to this page is


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Bioc 310 more info:

Bioc 310 is coordinated with Bioc 115 as part of Reading to Research, a project designed to lead students from the scientific literature to participation in laboratory research. The Reading to Research program is funded through an HHMI Professor grant awarded to Bonnie Bartel.