Health, Humanism & Society Scholars Program

Project Sponsor Eligibility

The Health, Humanism and Society Scholars Program (HHASS) at Rice University offers researchers in the Texas Medical Center the opportunity to be paired with student research assistants on health-related research projects. Rice HHASS students who are matched with a TMC researcher earn 3 course credit hours per semester by assisting health faculty members with their research or formal scholarship projects that engage the humanities or interpretive social sciences. In the past, students have supported the work of health faculty by writing literature reviews; helping manage and analyze qualitative data; assisting preparation of manuscripts for journal submission; conducting, coding and analyzing interviews; and helping produce deliverables including videos, slide decks and decision aids for use by patients, health care providers, and health care educators. HHASS students meet regularly with Rice faculty as part of the practicum course, which supports students in developing academic research skills including providing workshops on literature reviews, abstract writing, slide design, and presentation skills.

Expectations of HHASS PIs/project sponsors

  • The HHASS students’ engagement with research should be designed with the academic rigor of Rice University in mind.
  • Projects should be scaled for Rice students to devote 8 hours per week to the project beginning August 21, 2023, through late April, 2024, excluding Rice holidays (fall, winter, spring breaks, etc.). Here are the Rice Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 calendars. Students may complete some or most of this work independently.
  • PIs are asked to complete brief student evaluations during the academic year. PIs should contact the course instructor at any time should any concern arise regarding students’ work quality or progress.
  • PIs or their designated administrative support staff should facilitate the completion by Rice students of all badging, security clearances, and IRB-related training by August 15, 2023. This allows students to begin working with their PIs and contributing to their projects at the beginning of the Rice academic year.
  • Although this is a research practicum course, not an internship, all positions should abide by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act for unpaid internships.
    • The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
    • The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
    • The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
    • The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
    • The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
    • The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
    • The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

Requirements of Rice HHASS students:

  • Students must devote 8 hours per week to the project (consistent with a 3-credit course) and will develop a timeline of activities in collaboration with project supervisor(s). 
  • Students will meet at least twice monthly  with their PIs to discuss their work.
  • Students should work on practicum projects from August 21, 2023 through late April 2024, except during Rice University breaks.
  • Students meet with the Rice faculty teaching the practicum course and other practicum students regularly throughout the academic year. The Rice instructor assigns additional academic work and determines student grades, incorporating feedback from the PIs.

Please direct questions to:
Beverly Mitchell (Rice faculty instructor of the HHASS practicum course):
or Melissa Bailar (Associate Director of Medical Humanities):

Health, Humanism, and Society Scholars – Project Submission Form

  1. Project Sponsor(s):
  2. Project Title:
  3. Institution and Location:
  4. Project Description that addresses the larger research project as well as any portion on which the student(s) would focus. Please indicate how the student’s work would engage with the humanities or interpretive social sciences.
  5. A list of possible types of tasks the student(s) would be expected to perform. 
  6. A list of specific skills or training the student(s) should have before beginning the project.
  7. A short statement of what mentorship the student will receive, including frequency of meetings with PIs.
  8. Project timeframe (2 semesters is standard):
  9. Knowledge and skills the student(s) can expect to gain, including any opportunities for presentations, publication, networking, etc.:
  10. A list of steps the selected student(s) will need to complete by August 15 to begin work (i.e. badging, HIPAA training, background check, etc.):
  11. Any additional information:

The following information (items 12-15) is for administrative purposes and will not be shared with students when they apply:

  1. Project sponsor email:
  2. How many students are you willing to accept?
  3. Are international students eligible?
  4. Administrative contact for badging or other processes (if relevant):

Please submit all information to by March 17, 2023.