Former GSoC students: What are your proposal tips?

My suggestion would be:

  1. Don’t think too much about the money. Coming from a third world country myself, that amount of money is a lot. But there’s more to it in GSOC. Think about it as a learning process. Think about the amount of real life experience you’re getting by interacting with all the developers out there.
  2. When writing the proposal, make sure you emphasize your solution to the problem. Don’t just copy and paste the project description. Make sure you do your part of the work.
  3. Mentor have other work too, don’t pester them with simple question. We’re not being paid full time to teach the student :smile:

Check out these tips for a successful proposal, from Google’s Open Source Programs Office:


All above guideline are really valuable tips for create proposal for new comers

I always recommend for new comers to search as much as possible through Google to sove your small issues. Because it will be good learning task for you to fix things by your own. If it not succeed, ask for any help in IRC or through mailing list. But try and find out caused by yourself first.Make as Google for your best friend and ask anything from him first before reach out community members. :D.

As mentioned above, include your designs,UI mockups as applicable in your proposal.

Some questions you have may already answered in OpenMRS wiki and mailing lists, so dig into wiki pages first and mail archives first.

“Write Code, Save Lives”.This mean every single piece of code you write will help to save thousands of people lives. GSoC will open the door for contribute to OpenMRS more actively but continue contributing to OpenMRS after GSoC. We always willing to see students are keep in touch with OpenMRS by contributing in many ways. In one hand it will good for your mentality as you helping people and also you will improve your technical skills in many areas.


I’m going to keep my tips short and sweet:

  • Fix introductory tickets – this isn’t an option – you have to do this!
  • Make sure your proposal is detailed – there needs to be enough in it to show your mentor that you know what you’re doing!
  • Consider writing time-driven goals to accomplish (break your project down until it can’t be broken down anymore…then use those pieces as your milestones…and merge what you feel can be merged back together…
  • include mockups!!! cannot stress this enough!
  • Introduce yourself to the community on the mailing list and utilize the community – your mentor isn’t the only person that can help you…the community is equally as knowledgeable!

Remember the point of your proposal is to show you are the best candidate and that means showing that nobody knows the project better than you!

Do basic homework and research – showing that you know how to do basic research on your own is something that is valuable…don’t over apply to a lot of projects – write one or two proposals maybe…you are competing against literally thousands of students…so make yourself shine!

I am available on IRC as robbyoconnor or some variant of the nick r0bby – so feel free to message me :slight_smile:


I think as a organization we should publish the previous year successful GSoC proposal in public domain, which will help the students who are applying for GSoC in current year.

PS : I am not sure if its possible or not as per GSoC guidelines.


Hi Gaurav. I am certainly a fan of posting things publicly! However it’s up to each student (current or former) to publish his or her proposals. If any of you wish to do so, please do!

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TIP: There are some good proposal examples in the GSoC Student Guide (which you have hopefully already read!):


Can we have a child page added to the GSoC/Outreach internship page where we can add url to our selected proposal ?

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If you’re talking about here on Talk, you can go ahead and start a new thread. If you’re talking about the Wiki, that’s fine, you can add a new page. :smile:

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I’ve shared my proposals with my classmates who applied to GSoC…it should be up to each student…as some of the proposals can be down right bad and embarrassing…imagine an employer seeing a student’s bad GSoC proposal…that’d be the end of that student’s career…

I am going to post the slides I used for my talk at [Hunter College][2], my alma matar sponsored by our [Association for Computing Machinery Student Chapter][3]. I included some tips in it for writing a successful proposal.


  1. Get to know your project, dive into the code base, and do some easy hacks.
  2. Communication will never be less important thing. If you encounter any obstacle just ask, but always try to search yourself first.
  3. Make up your timeline, as detailed as possible.

What @plypy said is what I’d say is the key to getting selected. I am personally looking for detailed proposals…those who go above and beyond.

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And of course, follow the application questions exactly and respond to each one, so we don’t have to send your proposal back without review for edits.


And also to add to this: Ask us for feedback while writing your proposal!

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Hi. On the Summer Of Code 2015 page is written that in addition to the project proposal, you will need to respond to the 10 questions. I should paste answers to the end of project proposal and send all in a single file? Thanks for help.

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Yes, this is not optional. In addition, not doing any JIRA tickets also invalidates your proposal, so do them!

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It doesn’t really matter what the sequence is as long as the answers are clearly numbered and you’ve also included your project proposal details in Melange too. :slight_smile: Thanks for asking!

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All look too informative and important, I surely missed these thoughts, I don’t know why, so I’ve got to confirm that am watching gsoc. :slight_smile: