Fondren Fellows


About the Fondren Fellows Program

The Fondren Fellows program funds Rice undergraduate or graduate students to conduct research or teaching projects sponsored by Fondren Library that involve skills, collections, spaces, or services related to libraries and archives. For example, projects may involve working with archival collections, developing digital projects, or helping people learn how to find and use information more effectively. Rice faculty members or Fondren staff propose and serve as the mentors for projects. 

Apply to Be a Fondren Fellow (Deadline September 6)

Interested in working on a compelling research or teaching project that will enable you to explore a topic such as investigating the role of the President’s White House science advisors during the Cold War, tracing the displacement of marginalized communities caused by early highway construction, expanding access to Houston’s Hip Hop archives by creating engaging social media videos, or how to expand DEI principles in Fondren Library publishing services? If so, then Fondren Library invites interested Rice undergraduate and graduate students to apply to become Fondren Fellows. Fellows will earn $17 per hour (for up to 200 hours of work), enjoy a flexible schedule, remote work opportunities, hone their skills in research and communication, and be mentored by a Rice faculty member or Fondren staff member.

You can read more about the projects for the 2022-2023 academic year at the links below:

(Note: some projects are looking for candidates with specific skills like programming or graphic design, so be please sure to read the project description carefully before applying)

  1. Topic Database Creation Over the Rice Thresher   
  2. Design, Development, and Delivery of Python Workshops 
  3. Post-Covid Corporate Stakeholder Engagement and Social Advocacy     
  4. Fondren Library Data Repository for Data Science Education and Experiential Learning, Phase I 
  5. Houston Highways 
  6. Visualizing Catastrophe in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Interactive Map of Photography and Natural Disasters
  7. Mapping TIMEA
  8. The President’s Scientists: Understanding the Evolving Role of White House Science Advisors
  9. Mapping Hispanic Early Modern Theater in the US
  10. Blood Will Tell?: Genetics and Madness
  11. Listening to our users: Centering DEI in Library Publishing Services
  12. History of Japanese Farmers in Texas
  13. OUT OF THE GUTTER: cataloging a new collection of international comic art at Rice University
  14.  Building Capacities for Systematic and Qualitative Analysis in the Social Media Archive
  15. Developing Houston Hip Hop Archives

Benefits for Fellows

The Fondren Fellows program offers the following benefits to students:

  • Receive a competitive wage. Fellows will receive $17/ hour for up to 200 hours of work.
  • Create a meaningful research or teaching project in collaboration with experts.
  • Hone research and communication skills.
  • Work flexible hours; most positions involve at least some remote work.    


Once selected, Fondren Fellows are expected to:

  • Submit a research plan
  • Participate in regular meetings with their mentor(s) and, as appropriate, with other Fellows   
  • Be able to dedicate at least 5-10 hours of work per week to their project
  • Provide reports on their progress in meeting the project goals
  • Present their project at a public forum, such as the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium (RURS) or a Fondren Town Hall Meeting
  • Acknowledge the Fondren Fellows program in any publications or presentations resulting from the fellowship
  • Provide feedback on the Fellows program, including by completing a brief survey at the middle and end of the fellowship

Applying for a Fellowship

Applicants must be current Rice graduate or undergraduate students in good academic standing at the time of the fellowship.

To apply, please submit the following via Handshake (search for 2022-23 Fondren Fellowship or visit this link):

  • a resume or CV that includes your name, email address, telephone number and expected graduation date, and the contact information for two references
  • a cover letter. The cover letter should specify which project(s) you would like to participate in, what qualifications you bring to the project(s), and what you would like to get out of the fellowship. (In cases, where applicants are interested in multiple projects, please provide a list of your ranked preferences with the cover letter)

If your application is chosen to move to the next stage, you will be contacted to interview with your prospective mentor and another member of the Fondren Fellows team.

Applications are due by midnight on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

Any questions should be directed to

Background Information

Fondren Library gratefully acknowledges the John “Terry” Maltsberger III estate for creating an endowment to support expanding the Fondren Fellows program. Please see Katharine Shilcutt's "Surprise for Fondren Library: $2 million endowment to fund experiential research," Rice News (November 5, 2018).

Between 2016 and 2019, the Fondren Fellows program was funded through the generous support of Trish Brice. It is inspired by a similar program at Vanderbilt, as well as by student research programs at Rice’s Center for Civic Leadership and Rice’s Humanities Research Center.

Learn more about the program by reading Jeff Falk's "Fondren Fellows Program showcases students’ research prowess," Rice News (April 17, 2017).

Contact Information


Instagram: @fondrenfellows

Mailing Address:

Fondren Library MS-44
Rice University
PO Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892