Google Summer of Code 2021 – we need your project ideas!

It’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) application time again – I’ll be leading the OBF GSoC application and org admin process this year alongside Sarthak Sehgal, Michael Crusoe, and Kai Blin. The OBF typically works as an umbrella organisation for other sub-projects – if you have an open + bio related code project that you think could use a student intern this year, please read on.

TL;DR: Please send ideas for half-sized projects (1.5 months, not 3 months) by Thursday 18 feb, New mailing list, Code of Conduct.

Longer version:

New mailing list: please subscribe!
A few notes for this year: from here on we’ll be using Google Groups rather than the old OBF GSoC lists or direct to private mailing address. This will make moderation easier.

If you’re interested in mentoring this year, I’d recommend signing up to these two lists for now – we’ll mostly use the mentors list until (if) we’re accepted as an organisation, and the general list will become more active once (if) we have any students.
No further emails will be sent to the old OBF GSoC mailing lists or to individual email addresses.

Code of Conduct: The OBF is in the process of drafting a code of conduct, which will soon be presented to the OBF membership to (hopefully) vote to adopt it. Please take a few minutes to preview it here: – while it’s not officially ratified yet, it would be good to run this year’s GSoC with this CoC’s intent behind our behaviour.

Project ideas: Things are a little different from previous GSoCs. Projects should be 175 hours long – that’s about 1.5 months of work compared to the 3 months we’re used to, although students can choose to do this work part-time over the whole GSoC period or full-time over a shorter period. This also means all stipends are halved for interns.

Please add your project ideas to this list by THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY (using suggest mode). – you can add ideas after this if needed, but we need as many fully fleshed ideas as possible already online for the organisation review phase.

These are the project ideas from last year for inspiration:
We’re all pretty tired

  • Make sure you have 2-3 mentors for every project idea to cover in case of something coming up (such as covid related downtime, whether illness, caring, or anything else).
  • If you’re interested in helping us with org admin duties, we’d love to have you on board and are willing to provide you support and mentoring while you learn how to do it. Email to discuss it.

Finally – any questions?
If you have any questions please email either the mentor group ( or the admin group ( You can also book a quick chat with me if that’s easier: