Upon checking my email when I got home this evening, I was amazed to find in my inbox something from the School of Computer Science telling me that I’ve been awarded a full Doctoral Training Award from the EPSRC for the PhD I applied for. Woo! Not only does the award cover fees and a maintenance grant, but I also get extra money each year for my previous ‘excellent academic achievement’ (apparently—their words, not mine!) and a recruitment bonus. I am so happy right now. 🙂 (I haven’t received the formal letter in the post—that should come later this week, at which point I can accept the offer).
Also, I’ve discovered that Oxford didn’t find any suitable candidates for their DPhil, and now it’s a bit too late so they’ve had to put the start date back to January 2008 (presumably if they don’t allocate the money at some point they will lose it). I don’t want to be vindictive, but I do feel a bit of poetic justice in that Oxford rejected me because I wasn’t good enough academically (they specifically mentioned my 2:1 as being part of the reason) and didn’t have much experience of working independently (ignoring the 5+ years of freelancing listed on my CV), and now have no one, yet Manchester saw my application (which probably wasn’t as strong as the Oxford one) in completely the opposite way, and offered me a place.
The only downside is that I can’t apply for the MySociety job now, which looked so perfect, but I’ve been doing various bits of pieces for some projects there (though haven’t got round to offering it up yet as it turned out that someone was already working on one task and had nearly finished and the other things aren’t really ready to show yet) and hopefully I’ll be able to contribute some more stuff over time.