Welcome to Rice!

New Employee Guide and Resources

Congratulations on your new position at Rice University! We are excited to have you as a member of the Rice community, where our staff members have a high sense of purpose and work together as a team to promote Rice University’s mission. The goal of this page is to provide you with information on what steps you need to take during your first days at Rice.

The HR Service Center (located on the third floor of the Cambridge Office Building) serves as the first point of contact for all Rice employees who need assistance from Human Resources. They are responsible for a wide range of HR needs, such as:

Getting Started

  • Greeting walk-in visitors
  • Completion of the federal I-9 Form and E-Verify process (for new employees)
  • Employment verifications
  • Providing information or appropriate connections in response to HR inquiries (in person, by phone, email, or fax)
Before You Begin

In preparation for your first day, it is important that you work with your new supervisor to ensure you have all of the new hire information completed, including completing your onboarding checklist in iO (our Human Resources Information System).

On or before your first day you will need to complete the I-9 process, which includes bringing acceptable documents for employment eligibility verification.

Set up your Rice NetdID (if possible). See Activating Your NetID below.

Arriving on Your First Day

When to Arrive

Prior to your first day, you should have received a call from your new supervisor, and they would have let you know what time to arrive. If you have not received a call and it is close to your first day, contact the recruiter from Human Resources who made the offer to you, and they will find out for you.


Different departments on campus have different guidelines for the attire worn by staff, so definitely ask your supervisor before your first day so you can dress appropriately.


On your first day, you may park for free in the Central Campus Garage, which is underneath McNair Hall (home to the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business), unless you have been directed otherwise.

Completing Your New Employee Paperwork

You will need to come by the Human Resources Office on or before your first day of employment (We are located in the Cambridge Office Building (COB) on the Rice campus. The HR offices are located on the 3rd floor).

  • There you will need to complete your new hire paperwork/process, including completing the Federal Form I-9. You should have received the link(s) to your new employee onboarding shortly after you accepted the position.
  • All new hire documents are important and should be completed on or before your first day in order to get you set up as a new employee.

The Federal Form I-9, required for all new employees, must be completed on or before the first day of employment, so please plan accordingly to visit HR on or before your first day of work at Rice. If you will not be in Houston for your first day of work, or you are working at a location outside of Houston, be sure to contact the HR Service Center ASAP so that remote I-9 arrangements can be made. For any questions regarding the Federal Form I-9, please contact the HR Service Center at 713-348-2232 or email people@rice.edu.

Getting Your Rice ID and Registering for Parking

Once your paperwork is complete, you will need to go by the Rice University Police Department where you will have your picture taken (smile!) and receive your employee ID, which you should keep with you at all times while on campus.

Now that you have your ID, you will need to go by the Parking Office, located in the Central Campus Garage under McNair Hall, to select which lot you will park in and to receive your parking sticker. To become more familiar with parking lots and rates on campus, visit the Parking Office website. Your Rice ID will be configured for your building access based on your role with Rice University.

Activating Your NetID

You can activate your net ID by going to https://mynetid.rice.edu. All questions regarding NetID activation or issues with logging into Rice systems should be directed to the Rice IT Help Desk: helpdesk@rice.edu or 713-348-HELP.

  • Click on Start to begin activating your NetID
  • Set your NetID password
  • View your e-mail settings
Enrolling in Rice Benefits

If you are benefits-eligible, you will be given information to review and complete your benefits enrollment online.

Rice University offers a wide range of benefits to all benefits-eligible employees. However, it can sometimes be hard to maneuver and understand all available options. The Benefits team has set up new hire sessions every other Tuesday and Thursday to answer any questions or concerns you may be having.

Please click on the link below to view the dates and times for these sessions and register.

To register for this month's sessions, click here.

If you wish to take advantage of Rice benefits, you must sign up within your first 30 days of employment. If you fail to do so, you must wait until the next benefits open enrollment period to elect benefits for the following fiscal year (effective July 1) or experience a life event. Please refer to the Benefits page for more information.

If you have any questions, contact the Benefits team by emailing benefits@rice.edu or calling 713-348-2363.

Rice New Employee Orientation

New employees will be able to access New Employee Orientation in iO through the Learning module, which includes short videos, recordings, and other slides. New employees may view it on their very first day, or whenever it is convenient. This online format will also be accessible anytime if new employees wish to revisit or review the content after it was completed the first time. There are also helpful resources for new employees that can be referred to when necessary. If viewed all at once the orientation lasts approximately 45 minutes. Sign-up sheets for optional tours of campus and lunch at a campus servery are also available at the end of the orientation module.

If you have any questions, please contact jobs@rice.edu.

New faculty should check with the Provost’s Office for the new faculty orientation schedule.

Your First Week - Departmental Onboarding

During your first week, you are getting a real feel for your new position, connecting with your coworkers, and seeing what makes Rice University a great place to work.

  1. Work with your supervisor to identify and complete Week One onboarding tasks
  2. Complete your onboarding tasks in iO by logging into Employee Self-Service at io.rice.edu
  3. Learn about your role, team, and department, and have a conversation with your supervisor about expectations
Getting Wise to Rice

During orientation, you will learn more about Rice University. For more information, such as the on-campus dining options, please see below. And, if you are new to the Houston area, take a moment and watch a short video about Houston.

The mission statement for Rice University states the goal quite clearly:

"As a leading research university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice University aspires to pathbreaking research, unsurpassed teaching, and contributions to the betterment of our world. It seeks to fulfill this mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor."

Rice students, faculty, and staff are united under a set of values that are held dearly and they are a great way to introduce new members to the Rice community. To read more about Rice values, visit the Rice University Mission and Values page.

Required Training

As a community, it is important that we all share a common understanding regarding expectations to conduct our mission with integrity and in accordance with our legal, regulatory, and ethical responsibilities. The updated RICE Way Training is tailored to Rice and reflects our community, as well as our values. It is designed to give every employee a basic understanding of Rice policies and expectations.

The goal of the RICE Way Training is to provide these required trainings in a coordinated manner, carefully managing the time burdens

  • Talk with your supervisor about what training is required for your job specifically
  • All employees are required to complete the R.I.C.E. Way training (both when beginning their employment and biennially thereafter) - click HERE for details
Time Reporting

You are responsible for tracking your own time and attendance, so make sure you talk with your supervisor as to how time is tracked, based on your position (hourly or salary).

Employees must also follow procedures for requesting time off and we recommend that you review the Holiday Schedule and how paid time off works during the new employee probationary period.


Employees may find all HR and University policies at policy.rice.edu. We recommend reviewing all of the HR and general policies first.

Selected policies for new employees:

POLICY 401 - Staff Expectations for Working at Rice

POLICY 405 - Paid Time Off

POLICY 411 - Performance Commitment and Accountability for Staff

POLICY 421 - Probationary Period

POLICY 427 - Compliance With Law

POLICY 838 - Conflict of Interest

Support Resources

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Rice University EAP is administered by the University of Texas’ Employee Assistance Program (UTEAP), located in the Texas Medical Center. UTEAP provides experienced consultants offering face-to-face sessions on specific issues, free informational booklets, audio recordings, and referrals to resources and services in your community. Every Rice employee (including anyone significant in your life) has access to 3 free counseling sessions per issue, in addition to the other resources available online. Rice’s EAP is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You may contact a UTEAP consultant at (713) 500-3327 or toll-free at (800) 346-3549 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you may access Rice’s EAP online portal (Username: owls; Password: owls) to take advantage of helpful resources.

If you have any questions about this program, please get in touch with benefits@rice.edu or HRBP@rice.edu.

Access, Equity, and Equal Employment Opportunity

The EEO/AA Office works with all members of the Rice community to increase tolerance, opportunity, and diversity on campus.

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

The DRC provides access to the educational environment for students and assists faculty, staff, and visitors with accommodation requests to help ensure equal access and opportunity.

Office of Information Technology

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is the university’s central technology provider, supporting research, academic and administrative systems, other core applications, and voice, network, and computing infrastructure for the Rice community. OIT is an integral part of Rice and works with other campus groups to support the university's mission through innovative uses of technology and service excellence.

Parking and Transportation

Payroll and Controller's Office

For any questions, you may have about payroll deadlines, pay periods, direct deposit, or any other payroll issues, visit the Payroll section of the Controller’s website.

Rice Crisis Management

Rice University Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Rice University Police Department (RUPD)

Worker's Compensation

External to Rice University

Relocation Resources

Greater Houston Partnership

Thinking about making Houston your home? You're not alone. Though a relatively young city compared with counterparts like Boston, New York, and Chicago, Houston is one of the fastest-growing big cities in the country. Ranked fourth in the U.S. by total population, Houston is luring more residents from around the globe drawn by its mix of cultural amenities, world-class restaurants, diverse communities, and a low cost of living.

See Controller's page for additional resources.

Video - Houston: It's Cooler Than You Think

Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) - property listings for sale/lease throughout Houston

Nino Properties - relocation firm that provides rental and home-buying assistance

Norhill Realty - full-service real estate and relocation company (full suite of services)

Apartment Guide - apartment listings in the Houston area