SCREECH (n.) - A loud piercing call, as given by an owl.

Rice research at breakneck speed

The fast-paced lightning talk competition for graduate research is back. SCREECH is scheduled for Thursday, October 29, 2015. It will take place in McMurtry Auditorium of Duncan Hall.

SCREECH is an opportunity for graduate students to deliver a 90-second snapshot of their research. Competing participants will highlight the objectives and impact of the diverse graduate research projects being done in Rice University's School of Engineering. The event aims to connect cutting-edge research with a diverse audience to showcase the unconventional wisdom that exemplifies Rice.

A panel of judges composed by members of academia and industry will select the winners. Additionally, attendees can cast their vote for a 'fan favorite' award. University-level and Department-level winners will receive hundreds of dollars in prize money.

We are currently open to sponsorship, both personal and corporate.
If you are interested in supporting this event, please, fill out this form. For more information please contact Anastasia Novinskaya at

Pitch Preparation Resources

Bring your best

Your research is important. Now share it with the rest of the world! To win this research pitch competition you must deliver a brief, insightful, and impactful pitch. A successful pitch will clearly and concisely convince the audience that your research contributes to the advancement of society and the development of human understanding. A team of trained professionals will help you prepare for your pitch.

Here are some questions for you to consider in creating your pitch content.

  • - What is my research? What am I solving?
  • - What am I doing that's novel?
  • - Why is it interesting/important?
  • - Who would want to use my technology?
  • - What benefits does my project provide to society?
  • - How will my research advance my scientific field?
  • - How will my research advance other scientific fields?
  • - What's the future of my research look like?
  • - Am I planning to commercialize my research?

Not every aspect of your research can be captured and communicated in 90 seconds, especially since your audience will probably not have background knowledge of your topic. Your goal is to give people a taste of what you're doing and convince them it's important.


Event History

A glimpse of SCREECH 2012 & 2013

Two years ago, inspired by the Undergraduate Senior Design Elevator Pitch Competition, the RCEL Graduate Committee adopted and adapted the elevator pitch format for graduate researchers. Funded entirely through external funds from the Rice Engineering Alumni, individual sponsors, and corporate sponsors, each event awarded thousands of dollars to graduate students.

With 40 Screechers and 30 external judges, both events were smashing successes!

SCREECH was covered by Rice News and the Rice Engineering School Press, and inspired the Campus-Wide Graduate Student Elevator Pitch Competition, hosted by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. If you missed SCREECH 2012 or 2013, you can watch the pitches from last year's event on our Youtube page.

The Screech 2013 Best Department Award went to the CAAM department.

2013 SCREECH Videos


Jon Brame (CEE)

Mohit Kumar Jolly (BIOE)

Josue Salazar (CS)

Emily Hendryx (CAAM)

Sailesh Prabhu (CS)

Varun Shenoy Gangoli (ChBE)

Corina Ionita (ECE)

Caleb Magruder (CAAM)

2012 Press

Rice News press: RCEL student engineering pitch contest draws hundreds

Rice Engineering School press: Grad students show off research at Screech

2012 SCREECH Videos

Jon Brame

Jason Holloway

Emily McCarthy

More Videos

SCREECH Youtube Channel.


The mojo was great! Lots of energy, camaraderie and excitement. It was terrific to have such a great crowd in attendance to hear the fantastic research our graduate students are engaged in.

Ned Thomas, Dean of Engineering


I really feel that we saw a bit of history this evening. Not a bad way to kick off a second century of engineering at Rice!

Ray Simar, RCEL Co-Director, Prof. in Electrical & Computer Engineering


This was a great opportunity to share with our fellow engineering students -- as well as our fellows in industry and academia -- all the wonderful things that we're doing in engineering at Rice!

Emily McCarthy, Civil Engineering Grad Student, participant


I'm proud to say that the Rice Engineering Alumni was a leading sponsor. It was a great collection of peoples' visions and ideas and ability to communicate. Can't wait 'til next year!

George Webb, former President of Rice Engineering Alumni

Contribute to the event


We are currently requesting sponsors to help finance this event. Your support will go a long way in helping SCREECH best showcase the great research going on at Rice University. All sponsors will be featured prominently throughout the competition. We are open to sponsorship from corporations, organizations, and personal donations.

If you are interested in supporting this event please fill out this form, or email Anastasia Novinskaya at

Who we are

The Rice Center for Engineering Leadership

RCEL was established by a generous gift from Rice alums Ann and John Doerr to Rice’s Centennial Campaign, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1912 founding of the university. The RCEL graduate committee is the graduate student branch of the organization, whose mission is to to connect students with information for technical excellence and entrepreneurship. The committee meets weekly to identify pressing problems in the Rice community. We extend these discussions to global solutions that could benefit the world's pressing problems. The committee looks carefully at education, entrepreneurship and leadership aspects of the Rice community. New graduate students are welcome to join the committee; just send an email to rcel-grad AT

SCREECH is organized entirely by graduate students who are devoted to enhancing Rice's research impact.

For more information, please visit