Rice and OCFR respond
to the COVID-19 crisis

A Message to Our Partners

Like all organizations, Rice University has responded daily to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, Rice students are learning remotely, faculty are teaching and working from off campus, and staff, including those of us in the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, are working from home as much as possible. Campus may be quiet, but we remain busy with the work of the university.

As part of a coordinated effort to combat COVID-19, Rice University has established a research accelerator fund to support projects — in biomedicine, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and other fields — intended to help end the pandemic and prepare for similar outbreaks in the future. In a first round of grants, four research projects were funded, including a cost-effective, fast turnaround point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic as well as projects to test wastewater, build better tools for the protection of healthcare workers, and understand how voters and poll workers view the challenges they will face in upcoming elections. Rice has set a goal of $1 million for this special fund and immediately allocated $500,000 itself while seeking to raise an equal amount from donors. To learn more about the range of faculty research projects addressing COVID-19-related needs, or to support these important efforts, visit covidresearch.rice.edu. The site will be updated regularly as projects emerge and evolve.

Even as our faculty dedicate themselves to research related to the pandemic, Rice is conscious of providing support for our students who are facing financial challenges. Our undergraduate students can be supported via the Access, Opportunity & Inclusion Gift Fund and our graduate students through designating gifts to the Rice Annual Fund using this form.

One of the highlights each spring at Rice, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s annual luncheon, has moved to an online, free-to-attend format, dubbed the “Lunch-Out.” As in previous years, it will highlight Stephen Klineberg and the Kinder Houston Area Survey while honoring a special Houstonian. This year’s honoree, Rev. William A. Lawson, will be joined by Mayor Sylvester Turner, Rice President David Leebron, Kinder Institute Director Bill Fulton, and Houston Education Research Consortium Director Ruth N. López Turley.

In closing, we greatly appreciate the measures that so many foundations and corporations have taken to adapt to these trying times. Even as you continue to work with faculty directly, we stand ready to assist in any way to ensure that projects continue as much as they are able, to manage grants, and to facilitate your engagement with faculty and university leadership. Please contact us to let us know how we can be of service.

We wish you health and well-being as we navigate this unprecedented time together.


The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Rice University

May, 2020