Invitation to Participate

Dear Students,

We are excited to introduce the Global Urban Lab (GUL) Barcelona program this year for the spring semester. Why Barcelona? Here are a few interesting facts:

Barcelona is a prime example of a city in Spain with novel efforts by community members to organize cooperatively to address social issues such as (a) the provision of care to children the elderly and the disabled, (b) the creation of alternative public social spaces, (c) the creation of alternative economic projects that are based on cooperation, collaboration and sharing.

Barcelona is also a medical hub in Spain, similar to the medical center in Houston. The researchers share challenges in addressing health concerns related to environmental factors, as well as embrace innovations for advancements.

Barcelona has one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean where all Mediterranean trade traffic is centered.

Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics, which transformed the city’s urban structure forever and led to many studies for future planning in host cities.

All these and many more interesting facts about Barcelona and Spain makes the city and the country ideal for comparative research projects under Global Urban Lab. This year the parameter for students will be to identify research projects that captures their attention at four distinguished research centers that are part of the top ranked universities of Spain; University of Barcelona (UB), University Autonoma of Barcelona (UAB) and Pompeu Fabra University (PFU). These centers are:

Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) at UB and PFU:

Grassroots Economics at UB:

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) at UAB:

Olympic Studies Center at UAB:

We invite students who are interested in participating in GUL Barcelona to explore the websites listed above for ongoing projects at these institutes and list a topic of their choice they wish to explore further through GUL on their application. All projects will be fine tuned with assistance of GUL faculty after selection to the program. To apply, please click here. *You must be signed in to Rice-Google account in order to access this form.

How to Participate

Students who wish pursue the Global Urban Lab Barcelona program will be required to enroll in ANTH/POST 400 – Global Urban Lab in the Spring semester. The 2016-2017

Students will develop their research question over the spring semester.  They will explore resources in Houston and Barcelona, gather quantitative and qualitative data, conduct interviews, analyze information, and evaluate and compare findings.  During spring break week the students will travel to Barcelona and immerse themselves in the culture, attend meetings, discuss research with experts, and increase their sociopolitical understanding about a key region of the world.

Students will be expected to produce a 10-page factual white paper at the conclusion of the semester. A selection of these papers will be featured in the Global Urban Lab journal: Bridges which is published by the Gateway program.


Open to all current Rice University undergraduate students.


The Barcelona Lab fee is $2,000. The fee includes airfare, accommodations, meals, transportation, meetings and site visits.

Application Process:

The application can be accessed through your Rice-Google account here: The deadline for applications is October 15th, 2016.

Any questions about the program may be addressed to Ipek Martinez, Associate Dean, at

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