January 21, 2022


HOUSTON, TX - January 21, 2022 - Applications are now open for the Rice Design Alliance Houston Design Research Grant. The grant is open nationally to university students and faculty looking to work on research projects that contribute to the improvement of Houston’s urban environment. This year, the grant does not have a theme and is instead open to a diversity of topics of the applicant’s choosing. The submission deadline has been extended to April 12!

The goal of the grant is to promote research on Houston-specific urban conditions that need urgent attention and that can make a significant contribution to the Houston community through quality design thinking.

Applications must have a critical focus on Houston’s built environment, its history, present condition, and future development, as well as be connected specifically to architecture, design, and spatial thinking. Potential areas of research could include, but are not limited to: historic preservation, gentrification, climate change and resiliency, food deserts in urban areas, public transportation, affordable housing, neglected neighborhoods, environmental issues affecting urban areas or pedestrian friendly cities, amongst many other topics.

The Houston Design Research Grant will provide seed funds in the amount of $6,000 for research to a proposal of quality that demonstrates potential to catalyze a Houston-based design project. In addition to funding aid, the winning proposal from each category (Student and Faculty) will be published in Cite magazine, and the winners will present their projects at a lunchtime lecture at Rice Architecture.

Submitted applications will be reviewed by a jury of five to seven members comprised of a diverse mix of individuals representing the Houston community, academia, city governance, and local and international experts and practitioners in fields connected to architecture, design, engineering, and urbanism.

Grantees from each of the two categories will be announced at the end of April, during the annual Rice Architecture Awards Ceremony.

The Houston Design Research Grant is made possible thanks to a generous gift from The Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. (“Mitsui USA”).

Established in 1987, The Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation currently supports more than 50 initiatives across the US in the areas of Education, Community Welfare, Arts and Culture, and Employee Matching and Volunteerism.

Eligibility Requirements

Applications will be accepted from students and faculty working nationally and who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

For more information and to access the grant application guidelines and form, click here.

About RDA

Rice Design Alliance is the public programs and outreach arm of Rice Architecture. We curate public programs, architecture tours, design competitions and publications that communicate the importance of design in our everyday lives and its ability to make our lives better. We are

based at and work from the Rice Architecture school as an advocacy group that believes that multidisciplinary and research-based design can improve our cities and the way we live in them. 
RDA was established within Rice Architecture in 1972 by the school's first dean, David Crane, together with alumni and other civic-minded community members who believed that quality design thinking should be available to all in our community and that Houston’s citizens – experts and non-experts alike – should feel empowered to act and transform our city through design. 


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