Scholarships & Awards

Rice Engineering Awards & Scholarships

Students in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University have a variety of scholarships, awards, and opportunities available to them. These awards recognize academic success, research, service, and development. Browse the Awards & Scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students and apply today!

Distinction in Research and Creative Works Awards

Rice University has a long tradition of encouraging undergraduate research which is one of the distinctive features of the curriculum. In the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, students conduct research in computer engineering, neuroengineering, photonics and nanoengineering, and systems. Our students have had much external recognition for their research through presentations at conferences, publications in proceedings and journals, and scholarships and awards.

The ECE Undergraduate Committee and the ECE Undergraduate Student Awards Committee will evaluate applications from the students. The distinction is for projects "above and beyond the norm" in the field.

  • In ECE, this would typically involve independent research projects under faculty supervision that may lead to a publication in conference proceedings or journals. Although ECE does not currently have an undergraduate thesis option, this is under discussion within the faculty and may be offered in the future. For example, many current projects taken through ELEC 491 Independent Research could be considered for Distinction.
  • In addition, all ECE students complete a Senior Capstone Design project through the ELEC 494 sequence. While completion of an ELEC 494 project by itself will not automatically qualify for Distinction, many capstone projects go above and beyond the norm in creativity. For example, many students conduct innovative research with a faculty advisor in new algorithms or devices to improve and differentiate their Senior Capstone Design project. As “Distinction” is intended to be an individual rather than a group recognition, an additional individual report detailing the research or creative work performed would be expected. The report should also lead to a publication in conference proceedings or journals.

The ECE Undergraduate Committee will evaluate these guidelines at the end each year and modify them in consultation with the faculty and students. Members of the Undergraduate Committee can provide advice to students on the application process. An application form template with submission instructions is also posted on the Rice ECE Department website in the Academics section. In general, the student application would be expected to provide up to a one page abstract of the project, the name or names of the faculty advisors, a statement about the individual nature of the work, a statement about the collaborative nature of the work, and details of any publications and presentations resulting from the work. Students should also attach copies of papers submitted for publication and the status of the submissions. The application should be completed by the 10th week of the spring semester and submitted by e-mail to the ECE Undergraduate Student Awards Committee according to the University Guidelines which also require a minimum GPA of 3.3 and a letter of support from the student’s faculty advisor.

Complete this form to apply for the Distinction in Research and Creative Works Award.

Bybee Travel Award

The Bybee Travel Award is awarded annually to Rice ECE undergraduate students. The award is provided by Dr. Hal H. Bybee, Jr., '64, to recognize undergraduate juniors or seniors in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Applicants seeking financial assistance for design projects, research, or study abroad opportunities are encouraged to apply in the spring semester. Funding rates and the number of awards distributed vary but will typically fall between $500 and $2000.

The award recipients will be chosen by merit of the project. The deadline to apply is April 5th, 2021. Winners will be notified at the end of April. For questions, contact Emmanuel Tunley at

Complete application for the Bybee Travel Award.