Get ready to Bake Your Research on November 18!

Bake Your Research returns on November 18 (online, and face-to-face), asking OU Postgrad Research Students to bake a cake that represents their work.


The Bake Your Research competition for postgraduate research students and related staff returns this year, for the fourth year running.

Read on to find out how you can get involved…

Following face-to-face events in 2018 and 2019, and an online version last year, the competition will this year combine an exciting live event with an online event, and online voting. Entrants may take part in both online and face-to-face events.

As the nation gears up for The Great British Bake Off’s final, this is the opportunity for OU PGRs (directly registered and from Affiliated Research Centres) and related staff to show off their research communication skills by conveying something about their topic in a show-stopping baked form.

The bakes must be accompanied by a short abstract which helps link their research to their creation, for example, describing how they’ve used different ingredients to represent research aspects.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
  • clear communication of research idea 
  • accessible to a non-specialist audience 
  • clear link between the research abstract provided and baked goods 
  • creative use of baked goods
  • presentation of baked goods
  • taste and texture (face-to-face competition only)
Last year, prizes for winning bakes were awarded to:
  • Devyani Gajjar in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences for a cake representing her PhD which  investigates: Can space technologies be used inclusively to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Heidi Thiemann, in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for research which focuses on different aspects of stellar variability – how stars change in brightness over time and the underlying astrophysical properties behind this.
  • Katie Jones in the Faculty of Wellbeing Education and Language Studies for her research which intends to reveal the triggers that women associate with their experiences of postnatal anxiety.

For inspiration, you can still view last year’s stunning and innovative entries online. 

Heidi Thiemann’s 2020 Bake

Enter, Vote, Eat!

Entries to the online competition must be uploaded by to padlet by 23:59 on November 17, for the competition to then take place on November 18, when online voting will be open between 9:00 and 16:00 (via a link emailed to the OU community).

The face-to-face event will take place at the Hub Theatre on campus, between 15:00-17:00, November 18.  Prize-giving will take place between 16:00 and 16:30.  

Places for the face-to-face event must be booked via the booking form by 12 November.

Judges for the face-to-face event will be Professor Marcia Wilson and Professor Lindsay O’Dell.

Face-to-face entrants should bring their bake to the Hub Theatre by 14:45 on November 18, and wait with it until it is judged. 

Members of the OU staff and student community are warmly welcome to view the bakes from 15:00 and sample entries from 16:00. 

Coffee and tea will be provided.


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Gabby Willis

Gabby is a member of the Students Association staff team.

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