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The Chemistry Department has several events throughout the year, from opportunities to hear and interact with outstanding scientists from around the world to the holiday party to the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium. For photos from our events and up-to-date information on what's happening in the Department, see our Facebook page

Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium

The Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium is held at Rice University each fall to provide a venue for students to give oral presentations of their undergraduate research projects. Students will have a unique opportunity to meet and interact with distinguished faculty and other students with mutual interests in a stimulating and inviting setting. Undergraduates who are currently conducting research in the natural sciences, including chemistry, physics and biosciences, as well as computer science and electrical and computer engineering, are encouraged to attend. Faculty advisors are welcome to attend too. There is an opportunity to win cash prizes for outstanding presentations. Meals are provided and no registration fee is required. There is limited lodging support for some of the students attending from outside the Houston metro area. Apply early if you are interested in applying for lodging support.  For more information visit gcurs.rice.edu


The Department of Chemistry sponsors weekly, and sometimes twice-weekly, one-hour seminars featuring world-renowned scientists presenting on diverse and interdisciplinary research topics. Refreshments are serve, and each seminar is generally followed by a question and answer period. Please see our Events Calendar or visit our Facebook page to see who will be visiting when. If you are not part of the Rice Community and wish to receive email notifications about our seminars please send an email to chemhelp@rice.edu and ask to be added to our "chemfriends" mailing list.

Industry Seminars

The Chemistry Graduate Student Association often hosts speakers from different Chemical industries to speak on their work and how their business uses chemistry on a day-to-day basis. These seminars are excellent for networking and for learning more about job opportunities following graduation. 

Doctoral Candidate Thesis Defense

Doctoral candidates are required to present a thesis defense seminar that is open to the public.  For more details please refer to the Chem Graduate Calendar.

Joe L. Franklin Memorial Lecture Series

This lecture is held in memory of Joe Louis Franklin who served as a Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry at Rice University from 1963 until his death in 1982. Franklin made a significant contribution to Rice’s transformation into a premiere science and research institution. His reputation attracted scholars at all levels – graduate, postdoctoral students and faculty members. Read more about Franklin and past Franklin lecturers. 

Richard B. Turner Memorial Lecture Series

Richard B. Turner, an internationally recognized organic chemist who spent his life at Rice University, was among those responsible for the preeminence of American organic chemistry in the period following World War II. From 1951 until his death twenty years later, he was intimately identified with the transformation of Department of Chemistry at Rice into a major center for chemistry in the Southwest. Click here to read more about Turner and past Turner lecturers.

John L. Margrave Memorial Innovation and Excellence Award

The John L. Margrave Memorial Innovation and Excellence Award fund was established in 2005 with the first recipient named in 2013. The award recognizes and provides support to a distinguished faculty member for research excellence and innovation.  

Edward and Fofo Lewis Chemistry Research Award

The Edward and Fofo Lewis Chemistry Innovation and Excellence Award fund was established in 2005 with the first recipient named in 2010. The award recognizes distinguished faculty for outstanding contributions to the field of chemistry. A celebratory seminar is normally held when the Award is given. 

Graduate Reception and Awards Ceremony

Each year we celebrate with our chemistry graduates (B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.) and their families among our faculty and administration.  We also celebrate any award winners from throughout the year, many of which are announced for the first time at the Reception.  

Other Departmental Festivities

Throughout the year the Chemistry Department invites students, faculty, and staff to come together and celebrate.  Whether it is a Holiday Party or the New Student Orientation Picnic or the Undergraduate Poster Session, we aim to have a good time.