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Rejecting an offer I accepted

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    I accepted an offer to a university for a DTC (4 year MRes + PhD) about a month ago.

    Recently however, I have been offered another POTENTIAL PhD from somewhere else and I want to accept it (I didn't make an application, I got picked as the supervisor knows me). All I have to say is yes I want it, attend an interview as I have to (it's a bit complicated and involves other academics but I am 99% sure I will get it) and I will have the offer.

    I didn't know this would happen but it has and it's grabbed my interest greatly because of what the project is on. In terms of university, the first offer is much more prestigious (at least it is for the MRes, but not for the PhD portion).

    What I want to know is whether I can reject my first offer? It is conditional as I have to complete my MSc and show them that I have. Also will this harm me in any way? I may consider continuing on to become an academic in the end.
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    (Original post by physz)
    What I want to know is whether I can reject my first offer? It is conditional as I have to complete my MSc and show them that I have. Also will this harm me in any way? I may consider continuing on to become an academic in the end.
    Of course you can. You write a nice email to the secretary you've been corresponding with and say you're terribly sorry but you won't be able to take up your place after all (no need to go into any further detail if you don't want to), and you hope there'll still be enough time for them to give it to somebody else. They're not going to hold a personal grudge against you, let alone blacklist you for job applications. Try to tell them as soon as you can, though.
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    I wouldn't reject the one you've been offered without a formal offer from the one you want. You don't want to lose both because you're being nice, as you will come off far worse than the University will in that case.

    Once you do get the offer from the one you do want, send a pleasant email to the relevant administration person at the University you want to reject, saying that due to a change of circumstances you'll now in fact be turning down their offer.
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    That was the plan, to get the formal offer than reject it. I have asked for this to be processed fast, potentially taking just 2 weeks at most. The funding is there, I just need to satisfy 1 of the 3 supervisors at a meeting.

    I never expected to reject my first offer and I do feel bad that I may have taken someone else's place. I even put down deposit for accommodation but I'm not too bothered about that If I don't get it back. However, this project I got offered recently is pretty much my perfect area of research.

    Thanks for the advice!
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    (Original post by gumball)
    I wouldn't reject the one you've been offered without a formal offer from the one you want. You don't want to lose both because you're being nice, as you will come off far worse than the University will in that case.
    Sure, that's what I meant. Sorry if that was unclear from the phrase 'as soon as you can'!
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    (Original post by physz)
    I never expected to reject my first offer and I do feel bad that I may have taken someone else's place.
    I doubt very much that you have taken someone else's place. More likely, you'll make the day of whoever is top of their reserve list. Failing that, they'll just roll over the funding and recruit someone else next year

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