Rice is noted for its pioneer applied science programs in the fields of nanotechnology, artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, and space science, being ranked 1st in the world in materials scienceresearch by the Times Higher Education (THE) in 2010.
- Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (Smalley Institute) - the nation's first nanotechnology center
- Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) - promotes the discovery and development of nanomaterials that enable new medical and environmental technologies
- Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) - provides a resource for education and research breakthroughs and advances in the broad, multidisciplinary field of nanophotonics
- Digital Signal Processing (DSP) - center for education and research in the field of digital signal processing
- Rice Quantum Institute - organization dedicated to research and higher education in areas relating to quantum phenomena
- Rice Space Institute -fosters programs in all areas of space research
- Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) - facilitates the translation of interdisciplinary research and education in biosciences and bioengineering
- Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology - dedicated to the advancement of applied interdisciplinary research in the areas of computation and information technology
- Baker Institute for Public Policy - one of the leading nonpartisan public policy think-tanks in the country
- Connexions - an open-content library of course materials developed by Rice University
- Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship - supports entrepreneurs and early-stage technology ventures in Houston and Texas through education, collaboration, and research
- Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE)
- Rice Gallery- the only university art space in the country dedicated to site-specific installation.