What would an OpenMRS Fellowship Program look like?

We welcome many new developers through various mentorship programs, such as GSoC, GCI, and Andela. As a result, our pipeline is full of /dev 1s, /dev2s, and equivalent who are eager and interested in continuing to contribute to OpenMRS. We steer them to new tasks and projects as best we can - and at some point, the limited availability of more experienced community members (/dev4, /dev 5 or equivalent) makes it challenging for these newer contributors to take on and complete community projects - and advance to higher /dev levels.

I’d like to put together a one page concept note that describes what such a program would look like and use this to get funding to at least kick off this kind of program. I know that @burke, @maurya, @ssmusoke, @darius and others started brainstoming ideas about this kind of program (As historic "core devs" move on, where do we go from here?), so I hope you’ll comment on and add on what I’ve started to pull together below:

This program would aim to:

  • Expand capacity within the OpenMRS community and participating implementations to enhance and maintain OpenMRS technical products
  • Increase availability of experienced OpenMRS developers (dev/3, dev/4, dev/5) to mentor up and coming developers in the community to enhance, maintain, and assure the quality of OpenMRS technical products

Note that this does not need to be limited to developers. We could have fellowships focus on business analysis/design, documentation, implementation, etc.

Added benefit: These fellows and mentors can serve as a pool of community developers available to work on community priorities.


  • Fellowship targets /dev2, /dev3, /omrs2, /omrs/3, or equivalent.
    • Qualify if you have completed GSoC, GCI, or other mentorship program (i.e: Andela)
  • 12-month program focused on core OpenMRS community projects
  • Each OpenMRS Fellow undertakes at least four projects over the course of the year, each of which build their skills in a different technical area
  • At the end of the 12 months, can elect to do three month rotations working with active OpenMRS implementations
  • Each OpenMRS Fellow is paired with an OpenMRS Community Mentor and a point of contact with one or more active implementations.
  • OpenMRS Community Mentors are /dev4, /dev5, or equivalent
  • Mentors receive a stipend based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). To see how Google uses PPP as a base for their GSoD technical writer stipend, click here.

Here are a few ideas about the different technical areas that fellows/mentors could work in:

  • Platform
  • DevOps
  • Application framework
  • Security
  • Quality assurance
  • Content management

@jennifer This is awsome ! , i would be the first to raise my hand to participate , to both raise my status and help others upgrade.

Given that the various implementations have alot on their plates , the program would fuel completion.


Can we also include Refactory Program to the list. I can negotiate Talks with the Head. Andela recently laid down hundreds of it’s junior Devs , but refactory seems to be the next big platform in Uganda , raising expertise / capacity from 0 to basic Devs.

Refactory trains but also has the individuals who are ready to work , OpenMRS has the projects to execute . Is there a possibility to gap this link. We could have a partnership similar to Andela but entiry done by Refactory.

Students / Interns are oriented through all trending Stacks / Practices and soft skills , but i noticed most of them if not all have not had an experience with open source community collaboration.

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This would be an awesome idea , @tendomart and @jennifer

good to build team capacity as i understand it.

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Could there be any Progress with this Fellowship Program ? CC @jennifer

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@mozzy, in recent weeks, fellowships have been coming up during our TAC discussions as a way to support work on the community’s high priorities. I think that the vision briefs that they are talking about can help us identify some projects that could be the potential focus of a fellowship. We’re getting to a point where we can start working out some of the more practical details that need to be addressed before we can make this real.

Thanks for keeping this on our radar!