First, some background.
The stated aim of Outbox is to give seed funding, intensive mentoring and ongoing support to girls from across the EU to help them develop innovative businesses in the STEM sector. When applying for the programme, in addition to writing oodles about your achievements and ideas and plans, you could choose to do the programme for up to six weeks. I just chose two since I have so much on (I'm low on research time even as it stands).
I heard about Outbox where I hear about most things: Twitter. Ciara and Émer had launched Germinaid at the Outbox launch earlier this year so that was the first I heard about it, but I applied shortly after seeing Edel's Tweet about it. A CTYI friend of mine heard about it through a girls' hackathon the Stemettes had run in Dublin.
Anyway, I thought it sounded really cool (not going to lie, the promises of unlimited food were definitely a factor) and applied before the extended deadline. I had to fill in a long form about what I wanted from Outbox, what I could bring to the programme (I mostly answered seriously, but did add that I have a rockin' ukulele), my achievements, ideas, projects, etc. They asked to see samples of my previous work so I linked to my blogs and the conference poster for my research.
And then the wait began. I thought I had a reasonable chance of getting accepted - I've applied for things a lot more unlikely before - which really just increased the tension. In the meantime, I found other applicants on Twitter and got to know some of them, whose names will appear at the bottom of this post. When I'm excited for something I research it, so I watched some Stemettes videos and read their Twitter and website. I had lots of other things to focus on, thankfully (exciting things happening with my research mainly), so it was grand.
Two days ago, Monday 15th, they announced on Twitter that they were shortlisting applicants and would have the results out in the next few hours. Shortly after I stopped checking my emails every four minutes my Twitter peeps started announcing that they'd got in, so after some hesitation I opened my email and found this. Thanks a lot for the cryptic subject line, that screamed rejection.
Mine, like my friend's who'd just gotten hers, had this fab image, which I like for its enthusiasm. I announced the success on Twitter and got replies and retweets from various journalists and Outbox organisers, which was cool. The EU Commissioner for Research and Science retweeted me too.
I saw from Twitter that not everyone's applications were successful, but all my friends who applied got in. People I know got in:
Gabi Fullam (CTYI)
Catrina Ni Charragain
Christine Costello (successful, may not be going)
Ciara Judge and Sophie Healy-Thow (Germinaid)
Beth of @stembeth (Twitter; her younger sister also got in)
Vanessa Greene @dalekmad (Twitter)
Niamh, related to @claireoconnell (Twitter)
I'm really looking forward to my summer. I mean, look.