Distinction in Research and Creative Works

Distinction in Research and Creative Works is a university award, granted at Commencement and appearing on a student’s transcript and diploma, that is given by academic departments at Rice to undergraduates who have demonstrated excellence in research and creative work.

In SOPA, the award is given to majors who have completed an exceptionally well-done social policy research project during their time at Rice and are in good academic standing. The work should be above and beyond what is typically required for a paper in a 400-level research seminar or a typical honors thesis. It can be work done with a faculty member or other students, but the student must be able to demonstrate an original core contribution to the co-authored work. Students may nominate themselves or may be nominated by a full-time faculty member or researcher in the School of Social Sciences.


  1. A cover letter explaining the purpose for which the research was conducted, articulating why the project should be considered for distinction, and providing any additional information about the research that might be relevant to the award committee’s evaluation (e.g., whether it was presented at a conference, if it received media attention, whether it has had community impact, etc.)
  2. An electronic copy of the research to be considered
  3. A letter of support from a full-time Rice faculty member or researcher.
  4. Submit all materials to the Director of SOPA, Melissa Marschall (marschal@rice.edu)

Deadline: One week before the last day of classes in the spring semester.