Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Applying for more than one project in GSoC?

Many of the students have asked in public forums and in person whether it is a good idea to apply for multiple projects in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC). While quality is better than quantity, if you can manage - why not? go ahead - you may submit up to 5 proposals. Anyway, you will be allowed to work with only of the projects for the Google Summer of Code each year, even if multiple organizations may have chosen you.

As summarized by Stephanie, GSoC administrator: "If multiple organizations decide they want a student, the organization that selects the student first will have the opportunity to keep the student. The 2nd org wanting the student can contact the first organization and ask if they will release the student and the first org can make the decision to keep the student for their org or to release the student so another org can have the student."


In practice, the organization mentors often tend to ask the student her/his opinion. It is always important to be online and available for such communications, especially during these de-duplication time frames. When a student was chosen by two organizations, the second organization may (and often, will) be in a better position to get the student, if they have the word from the student that they are the student's preferred organization.

Many factors will influence the decision making process from the first organization, including,
1. Indication from the student which is the most preferred project.
2. The availability of other good students for the same project. If there are more candidates good enough, they may decide to lose this student and get the next one.

As a student, you may also indicate to your potential mentors that you have applied to multiple projects, and this particular one is the most preferred. This will definitely help, if you are applying for multiple projects from the same organization, as the organization mentors can always communicate internally to find the best-fit among projects and students. It will be still useful in negotiations/discussions among the organizations, if the student was chosen by two (or more) different organizations. It always worked for me as a student. So probably will work for you as well.

However, this is just my own experience as a mentor and a student.

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