Resources | Take the Cake

Take the Cake

What is Take the Cake?

Take the Cake is a Rice tradition that originally started in 2016. It recognizes graduate students and postdocs who have won competitive external fellowships. Students and postdocs who have won such major awards choose from a variety of cakes and other desserts, which they receive from Seiichi Matsuda, Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, in an annual event.

Students are encouraged to share their cakes with their Rice communities. Well over 2,000,000 calories were consumed at our Fall 2021 event. Wow! Read more about the 2021 Take the Cake here.

The awards that have already been recorded and confirmed are shown here. If you have won an eligible award that has not been recorded, please ask your administrator to fill out the form at the bottom of this page so you get your cake!

Which awards are eligible for Take the Cake?

  • A single external graduate fellowship of $5,000 or more that supports graduate studies or thesis research at Rice wins a cake. Awards cannot be aggregated to reach the $5,000 requirement, though we acknowledge and appreciate the efforts that go into these pursuits.
  • In general, fellowships are awards from proposals submitted by the student. Funding that was won by a faculty submission rather than a student submission generally is not eligible.
  • To win a cake, the student must have won a national or international competition. Internal funding (such as departmental, center, or university fellowships, Autrey, McCollum, Vaughn, Wagoner fellowships) is not eligible. Funding is not eligible that faculty/staff bring to Rice or another local unit (such as TMC or GCC) and that then is distributed locally (such as a T32 training grant, IGERT, Welch grants, Mellon grants that come from endowments already at Rice).
  • Taking an honorable mention for an award that would provide $5000 or more (e.g. NSF GRFP, Ford) merits a cake.
  • Graduate students and alumni who win a nationally or internationally competitive postdoctoral fellowship are awarded a cake. To be eligible, these should be awards that can be taken to one of multiple institutions, and not simply a named award at a single institution.
  • Postdoctoral fellows who win an external award of $50,000 or more that supports their research at Rice win a cake.
  • Cakes should be claimed in the year the award(s) was/were won.

Not sure if you're eligible? Email us with your award details to find out.

I'm eligible; how do I get my cake?

Make sure that your award has not already been recorded by checking here, and then ask your administrator to complete the form here to participate in the next Take the Cake event held each fall!