Social Sciences Research Enterprise (SSURE)

The Social Sciences Undergraduate Research Enterprise (SSURE) fosters research partnerships between Rice social sciences majors and faculty. The program offers 3 hours credit for SOSC 321 and a research budget of up to $1500 for students to conduct independent scholarly projects on topics of their choosing with the advice and mentoring of a faculty member. These research partnerships are designed to enhance future employment and educational opportunities for students.

Sample Projects

  • The Impact of Immigration on Health Care
  • Climate Change and the International Economy
  • The Brain and Spelling
  • Poverty and child obesity
  • New reproductive technologies

How it Works

A student should begin the process by coming up with an idea and then discussing the idea with a faculty member. This idea should lead to interesting, independent work. If the faculty member approves the idea, the student prepares a three-page research proposal that must be formally endorsed by the faculty member. The key to SSURE is finding a faculty member who is willing to help you with your project.

Having received the approval of a faculty member in letter form, the student submits the proposal and a budget request for expenses up to $1500 (such as site visits, data set purchases, etc.) to SSURE's evaluation committee.  All SSURE proposals should be submitted electronically to Ipek Martinez, Assistant Dean (ipek@rice.edu) by November 30th for spring enrollment and April 12th for fall enrollment.  

Selected proposals will be announced within two weeks after the application due date.  The student will start working on the project, enroll in SOSC 321.

What constitutes a good proposal?

Once the Project is Complete
Students are given two opportunities to share their research results:

On campus - the School of Social Sciences sponsors a SSURE conference on student work. The students are also encouraged to present their projects at RURS (Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium) in April.

Nationally – If warranted and funds are available, the School provides the opportunity for students to travel to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in April to present their projects to students and faculty from across the country.

Quick Facts
Application Deadline: November 30th for spring enrollment and April 12th for fall enrollment

Eligibility: Social sciences undergraduates who are returning to Rice the following year. Graduating seniors are also eligible (starting 2008-2009). 

Research Stipend: up to $1500 reimbursement for research expenses (such as travel, data sets, etc) based on pre-approved budget proposals. 

Travel Expenses to Conference: If warranted and funds are available, the School will cover travel expenses for students to present papers at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

Order of Process:
1. Student consults with a faculty member about their research ideas.
2. Student and faculty reach mutual consensus regarding the project.
3. Student submits (3 page) proposal to SSURE evaluation committee, along with a budget request for related expenses and letter of support from faculty member 
4. Committee announces selection decisions within two weeks of application due date and reserves the right to modify the budget (up or down) as deemed appropriate.
5. Student starts working on the project and enrolls in SOSC 321 (Social Sciences Undergraduate Research Enterprise)
6. Students work with their individual faculty members. The class meets for 2 or 3 sessions during the semester so that all students can come together and talk about and/or present their work.
7. Student presents paper on campus, and possibly nationally at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

Meet the Students