Applying to GSoC

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How to Apply

Submit your application starting March 12, 2018, until March 27, 2018. Before you apply, review the following:

  • Can you join? Check out Google’s FAQ and see if you’re eligible for the GSoC. Also make careful note of the GSoC timeline in your calendar.
  • Are you joining for the right reasons? Read “Reasons why you shouldn’t hack on open source projects” carefully. If you’re not passionate about what we’re doing, the work will suffer.
  • Let’s avoid rookie mistakes. Read “DOs and DON’Ts of GSoC (for students)“.
  • What’s your idea? Decide which idea(s) you want to work on. Feel free to email the relevant mentors listed in the ideas list to get their attention.
  • Use the programs. Have you *used* the Open Chemistry programs? Chemistry experience is not required, but you do need understanding of how the packages work.
  • Orient yourself. Have you contributed to Avogadro, cclib, 3DMol.js, etc. before, made a pull request or a plugin? Some projects demand greater expertise than others. In any case, make sure that you have a firm understanding of key concepts before you apply to any project. Browse the source code, especially the parts relevant to your project idea(s), and be sure you’ll be capable of integrating your idea into the existing project.
  • Familiarise yourself with Git & GitHub You should be familiar with common Git workflows before GSoC starts. See GitHub Help for more.
  • Draft your application (see template below). Feel free to type up drafts for different ideas and ask us which one has the highest chance of succeeding: Create your draft on an external site like your blog or a GitHub gist and email the relevant mentors.
  • Setting the scope is your job! It is your responsibility to cut down or expand upon an idea so that it’s both challenging but also completely feasible within 4 months. We will however provide plenty of feedback on scope during the application phase.

Many students show interest, but we will likely only be able to pick a few proposals. We need to believe that you will be successful and accomplish your goal. Convince us!

Personal Details Brief


  • Name: Your Name Here
  • Email:
  • Country & timezone: e.g. “Germany, GMT+1″
  • School Name & Study: The name of your university and field of study.


  • Skype ID or GTalk/Jabber: SkypeID or (for IM and voice chats).
  • Personal Website: http://yourdomain.tld (if applicable)
  • GitHub profile: A link to your GitHub profile, so we can see example code.
  • Phone number (incl. country code): For emergencies only. If all other contact methods fail at a critical time, we can try your phone.

Application Template


Give us the “elevator pitch“. You have 30 seconds to tell us what you are going to make, why we will like this project, and to convince us that you are qualified to do it! (You might want to write this section last).

Project Ideas

Project Details

Specs & Scope:

  1. Provide a brief breakdown of the features that this project will add (see the example specs in the Ideas List). Feel free to include some stretch goals, as long as they are clearly identified as such.
  2. Go into some detail on the scope of each listed feature. Which features do you expect will require the most and least amount of work?

Anticipated challenges:

Identify challenges or risks to the success of the project, such as the project being incomplete by the end of the GSoC term. How do you intend to detect these risks early on? How do you plan to mitigate the challenges?


What have you done so far with this idea? Include any work or research on this project you have already started. Has something similar been tried before, and how was it different from your approach? Summarise what you’ve discussed with other developers so far and where you’ll be going from there.

Project Schedule

How long will the project take? When can you begin work? How many hours are you going to work on this a week? Include an estimated timeline of the project with mini-milestones. Consider and outline school/vacation/work/life commitments that conflict with your project schedule, and please explain how you plan to compensate for them.


What is your experience using and developing Avogadro, 3DMol.js, cclib, or similar applications? What about other open source programs? Have you worked in conditions like these before (remote team work, timezone difference, deadlines)? Are you comfortable communicating technical development in English? What is your familiarity with the programming language in question - Open Chemistry packages are developed using C++, Python, and JavaScript.

Tip: Don’t just rely on the GSoC mentors to review your application in-depth. Ask a technical colleague or friend to review it carefully and provide critical feedback.

More Advice

  • [1] Advice from the Offensive Web Testing Framework (OWTF) project

Example Proposals:


Applications are submitted through the Google Summer of Code site. You can submit a draft proposal first, which will allow mentors to ask questions or give suggestions on your proposal (e.g., if something is unclear).

After Submitting Your Application

After you’ve applied, check on your application at the GSoC site once or twice a day. Answering your mentor’s questions in a timely fashion is very important. Mentors will leave notes on your application if they need more information or have additional questions about your proposal that they need answered before making a decision. If they leave a note and you don’t respond, it’s not their job to track you down. There will be many applications, so making sure you stay on top of your application will help you compete for the few spots we have to fill.

If you have not submitted an issue or pull request for your project of interest, you should certainly do so soon after your submission. This helps us evaluate whether you have familiarity with the codebase and the GitHub workflow.

After the submission deadline, we cannot offer any comments on the applications until Google's official announcements. This is as frustrating for us as it is for you, but it ensures there's enough time for mentors to discuss proposals. Ultimately, while we recommend students and proposals for funding, Google and GSoC makes the final decisions.

Google will announce the accepted students on their site.