Meet Rice’s Graduate Ambassador Debadrita Jana

Jana shares her interest, experience, and advice to prospective graduate students

Rice University

Meet Debadrita Jana. Jana is a fifth- year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Earth Environmental and Planetary Science at Rice University. Jana is from India and is a Rice Graduate Ambassador. Ambassadors are students who represent the university and help prospective students gain knowledge of student life as a graduate student at Rice.

Jana chose Rice as a graduate school because of her career goals and love for science. Her research focuses on how the chemistry of our oceans has changed through time. To study this, Jana collects samples from the seafloor. She looks at these samples under a microscope for tiny shells of long-dead marine plankton. She then measures the chemistry of those shells in her lab and analyzes the data to figure out ocean temperatures and chemistry over time.

When she is not conducting research, she serves in various leadership roles within the Rice community. She is a part of ComSciCon Houston 2023 and Rice’s ComSciClub. She is also a Graduate Wellbeing Peer, Rice University Pod of URGE-Unlearning Racism in Geoscience; and volunteers at Valhalla on campus.

Jana advises prospective students to use all of the resources available on campus, including social or academic, during their graduate school journey.

“Try to be consistent with your efforts and be kind to yourself,” said Jana. “Remember that you are meant to be here, and seek out a support group if you need help.”

Jana advises current students to build and maintain a support system that is not one-sided to help provide additional support to you and your peers.

“Grad school is a long and transformative process. Sometimes it's hard and sometimes rewarding,” said Jana. “Try not to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, and lean on your friends for support and be there for them when they need you.”

Outside of academics, Jana loves to travel and has been to 27 countries. She enjoys the Azalea bushes on campus and exploring the many food trucks in Houston. Jana advises students to visit the art markets on the Second Saturday of every month at the Sawyer Yards to see how vibrant Houston really is!

Graduate ambassadors can be contacted via email at Debadrita Jana can be contacted directly by email at