Latest Alerts:

(Updated 4/6/2020) The COVID-19 Research Fund is open to Rice faculty working on COVID-related work and will be highly flexible allowing for bursts of supplies needed for immediate use by research groups, developing partnerships within the city of Houston and the Texas Medical Center, as well as projects designed to help our community deal with both the immediate and long-term effects of this global crisis. Supported work may include collaborations with other institutions in the Texas Medical Center. The highest priority will be to accelerate research or the production of materials/reagents that can have immediate impact on our community.

(Updated 3/25/2020) The only research activities allowed until further notice will be COVID-19 related research and activities that sustain research animals, cell lines and plants that cannot be readily reproduced. Maintenance of critical equipment and animal welfare operations will continue under the Shared Equipment Authority and Animal Resource Facility respectively.

(Updated 3/17/2020) Consistent with the social distancing guidance from the CDC to reduce transmission of the virus, we must reduce campus population density and physical proximity of faculty, staff and students engaged in research. To accomplish this goal, we substantially ramped down university on-campus research, effective March 20. At this point, nobody knows how long these restrictions will last or whether more stringent constraints will be needed, but we are actively monitoring the situation. For more information, please read the full message regarding the research policy, and do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns that we can help you with.

Yousif Shamoo
Vice Provost for Research
Professor, Department of BioSciences
Office of Research:, 713-348-4195

Seiichi P. T. Matsuda
Interim Provost
Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
E. Dell Butcher Professor of Chemistry
Professor of BioSciences

Research Policy During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Each faculty member with a research group has developed a research de-intensification plan to address issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak for their specific research group. Check directly with your faculty lead for their specific plan.

Essential maintenance/sustainability activities are allowed only with the permission of the chair, dean, and vice provost for research.

Maintaining a safe working environment requires each PI to take the following steps:

  • Working safely begins with public health fundamentals such as thoroughly washing your hands, practicing social distancing (six-foot separation between individuals), and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces as appropriate.
  • You must ensure that you and others in your working group stay home if you or they feel even slightly ill.
  • Reduce the number of active staffing in your on-campus facilities by at least 75% so that no more than two to three people are present at any given time.

Provide accommodations as needed. Faculty should be cognizant of the needs of their students and research team members during this period. Faculty should allow special accommodations for their students and research team members who are medically at higher risk for COVID-19.

It is essential that mentors and peer researchers respect and have empathy for their co-workers. Rice University will not tolerate the use of pressure or any form of coercion to compel postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduates or research scientists to be endangered. We expect all of our faculty, students and staff to display the highest levels of professional behavior throughout this crisis. Failure to respect the legitimate concerns of our students and staff will be subject to university measures that may include sanctions of individuals involved and/or require the Office of Research to close a laboratory. Graduate students, postdocs and staff who feel inappropriate pressure to work in these circumstances should note their concerns at the EthicsPoint site:

Concerns about funding, proposal submission and reporting. The Office of Research will move to online mode, and submission and reporting will be performed as usual. Each agency will determine the particulars of their implementation and PIs should continue to look for updates. The OR will provide updated information as we receive it.

Questions. If you have any questions about your sponsored project agreements or concerns regarding compliance or reporting issues, please contact SPARC.