Distinction in Creative Works and Research

The Distinction in Research and Creative Works is a Rice award for select undergraduates, granted at commencement, which appears on the transcript and diploma. Students must apply to be considered and the application must be supported by a faculty member.


Eligibility for the award extends widely to include a variety of research, design, and other creative projects, as well as persistent dedication to research.

About the Distinction

Students in mechanical engineering often participate in activities that go above and beyond the standard set of course requirements. Examples include but are not limited to extensive and continuous participation in club activities resulting in fieldwork or competitions (e.g. Engineers Without Borders or Solar Car); undergraduate research experiences at Rice or at other universities that result in presentations (oral, poster) and/or publications in conference proceedings or in journals; creative endeavors or commercial realization resulting in patents or start-up companies; capstone design projects that extend beyond the academic year for additional testing, validation, or delivery requirements imposed by the customer; or similar activities that demonstrate extended and continuous commitment to creative or research endeavors that are not within the scope of degree requirements.

The award will be granted only to projects that produce a concrete outcome—e.g. an essay, invention, design, and demonstrate commitment and/or achievement above and beyond the norm. Students who complete senior design projects or other required senior capstone projects are eligible—but do not qualify automatically—for consideration for this university distinction.

Declaring Your Interest

Deadline: Students must declare their intent for the distinction, and submit the application materials in electronic form by April 19 of the current academic year.

Application materials include a letter of support from a faculty member, a copy of the creative work (publication, patent, poster, presentation), and the application.

Application Request Details

NOTE: Students who wish to be considered for this award must request an application from the department:

  1. Please request the Application Form via email from mech@rice.edu
  2. Use the email subject line: "Rice Distinction Application Request"