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GSoC Application Guide for Aspiring Mentor Organizations

By November 21, 2023Blog, Project

Contributed by Jenkins in GSoC org admins: Kris Stern, Jean-Marc Meessen, Alyssa Tong, and Bruno Verachten

So you want to apply to be a Google Summer of Code (GSoC) mentoring organization? You’ve come to the right place!

Jenkins GSoC Mentor Organization Application Guide

What is GSoC?

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global, online program focused on bringing students and new contributors into open source software development. GSoC Contributors work with an open source organization on a 10 to 22-week programming project under the guidance of mentors.

Why should you listen to us?

As Jenkins in GSoC Org Admins for the past three (3) years. We’ve become very familiar with the GSoC application process and wanted to share how we at Jenkins go about it. Our application success rate is 89%! That’s right, the CD Foundation’s Jenkins project has been accepted as a GSoC Mentor Organization for 8 out of 9 years!

High-level timeline for GSoC mentoring orgs

We’ve put together a high-level timeline of how to prepare for your GSoC application.

⚠️ The months below are a rough estimate only. It is important to adhere to Google’s program timeline—they are very strict and will not deviate from it. Refer to the program timeline for the exact due dates at 


  • Mentoring organization (you) to form an Organization Admin Team (ideally 2+ people needed)
  • Tweet/blog/forum or IRC announcement(s)
    • Sample post(s):  [Project name] is planning to participate to GSOC

October – November

  • Recruit mentors and begin project idea discussions (2+ mentors needed for each project idea)
  • Tweet/blog/forum or IRC announcement(s)
    • Collect project ideas and recruit mentors 
    • Explain to potential candidates the timeline and how to get prepared


Create/update web pages: View Jenkins’ page here

  1. Create project GSoC webpages:
    1. Project ideas page – to strengthen your application include at least 10 viable project ideas (example
    2. Guidelines for GSoC contributors (example)
    3. Guidelines for mentors (example)
    4. Guidelines for organization admins (example)
  2. Create a public chat/discussion channel(s) for GSoC if one is not yet available
  3. Create a project application template
  4. Tweet/blog/forum or IRC announcement(s)


  • Submit mentoring organization application to Google

If accepted — 🎉 Congratulations! Proceed to February
If declined — It happens. Try again next year!

I’ve been accepted as a Mentoring Org! What now?

You’ve been accepted! Awesome. Here’s an idea of how to plan for the upcoming months:


Host weekly office hours:

  • Office hours 1: What is a GSoC “project”? What does each entail? What are the available project ideas planned?
  • Office hours 2: Guidelines & expectations for GSoC prospects. Q&A. Discuss the Code of Conduct, discussion channels, helpful resources, etc. 
  • Office hours 3: Project ideas. A walk-through of each project idea. Q&A. [Note: The # of office hours here depends on how many project ideas the project offers]

Mentors are to review and provide feedback to prospect proposal drafts in the weeks preceding the application start date.


  • GSoC contributor application begins
  • Mentoring org continues to host office hours mainly for Q&A and provide tips/guidance


  • GSoC contributor application ends
  • Mentors to rank proposals
  • Internal discussions between org admins and mentors to select winning proposal(s)
  • Org admin to submit proposal rankings to Google via the GSoC portal

May ➡️ follow Google’s timeline from here on out

  • Community Bonding Period | GSoC contributors get to know mentors, read up on documentation, and get up to speed to begin working on their projects
  • Coding begins
  • Org admins continue to hold weekly/biweekly office hours for GSoC contributors & mentors. Purpose: For project progress updates, to raise issues about roadblocks encountered, etc.

Midterm and end-term

  • Make sure that midterm and final evaluations are complete and submitted to Google per their deadline.
  • (Recommended) organize a public presentation by mentees of the project’s progress, lessons learned, and their final outcome.

And there you have it. We wish you all the best of luck in your Mentoring Organization application!