The Kinder Institute

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research is combining the important ongoing work of two centers at Rice University-the Center on Race, Religion, and Urban Life (CORRUL) and the Urban Research Center (URC)-into a cohesive and integrated entity to be housed in the School of Social Sciences. The current directors of the two centers, Michael Emerson and Stephen Klineberg, will serve as Co-Directors of the Institute during its first year. The Kinder Institute will conduct scientific research, sponsor educational programs, and engage in public outreach that advances the scholarly understanding of pressing urban issues and fosters the development of more humane and sustainable cities. The Institute's goal is to become a magnet for talent, a catalyst for civic engagement, and a nationally recognized leader in conducting first-rate academic research and in translating its empirical findings into a highly valued resource that informs and inspires the community on which the research is based.  Scholars at the Institute study both the macro changes in the economic, demographic, and sociocultural patterns of large metropolitan regions, and the micro experiences of life in local neighborhoods and communities.

One of this region's most distinctive assets, the Houston Area Survey (HAS) is the nation's longest running study of any metropolitan area's economy, population, life experiences, beliefs, and attitudes.

The surveys develop an ever-richer, ever-changing picture of the region's economic and demographic patterns, its quality of life, the growth of its urban centers, and the impact of continuing in-migration both from the U.S. and abroad. With a permanent home in the Kinder Institute and poised to expand dramatically in its reach and impact, the HAS is now assured of continuing and strengthening its ability to provide important insights into the challenges and opportunities facing this region as the 21st century unfolds. The Kinder Institute has a triple focus: scientific research, educational programs, and public impact.

Among the Institute's activities, in addition to its academic research, are the following:

  • The Kinder Institute will help to train undergraduate and graduate students in modern social research methodologies, and support research assistantships to strengthen its connections with local organizations and enhance its ability to respond to requests for specific information.
  • All of the research projects being conducted at the Institute will include innovative efforts to ensure that civic and business leaders, as well as the general public, have ready access to its findings.
  • The Kinder Institute will develop and coordinate interdisciplinary academic programs that bring together scholars with shared interests to explore important issues in ways that foster meaningful conversation and encourage collaborative research.

Please visit the Kinder Institute for further information.

The Hobby Center for the Study of Texas

This center generates objective analysis of the key social and public policy issues impacting Texas and other parts of the United States both now and in the future. Analyses from the Center provide a wealth of opportunities for the graduate student M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations.

Please visit the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas for further information.

The Houston Education Research Consortium

The Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) is a partnership between Rice University and the Houston Independent School District (HISD) which aims to produce rigorous research for the purpose of closing the socioeconomic gaps in educational achievement and attainment in Houston.

Please visit The Houston Education Research Consortium for further information.

The Postdoctoral Fellows Program

Graduate Fellows Program studentsSince its inception in 2001, this innovative program has engaged 24 postdoctoral fellows in collaborative and mentoring relationships with faculty, with the intent of furthering the development and skills of recent sociology doctorates.  Postdoctoral fellows spend two years in residence at Rice, and have hailed from excellent graduate programs across the United States (e.g., Cornell, UCLA, Northwestern, NYU, UT-Austin). Alumni currently hold tenured or tenure-track positions in research universities in the United States and Canada (e.g., Duke, University of Chicago, Oregon, McMaster).  Their presence in the sociology department provides graduate students the opportunity to interact with recent Ph.D.s who are progressing to the next stage of their career, and therefore additional avenues for learning, mentorship, and research collaboration. Find out more about The Postdoctoral Fellows Program from the Department of Sociology.