Quick note: These rules have been updated for 2019’s GSoC. 2018’s criteria are here.


Once proposals have been finalised, student proposals will be graded based on the following criteria:


  • Does it solve the problem we need solving? Does applicant clearly identify the problem?
  • Does it offer a sensible solution
  • Does it offer supporting evidence for technologies chosen, e.g. bootstrap. Sometimes a compare/contrast of different technologies considered can be helpful/.
  • Nice bonus features in addition to the main project = good, ONLY unrelated ‘bonus’ features = bad.


  • Does the proposal have a realistic timeline?
  • Are deliverables correct and timely?
  • Does the student have enough time in the week to carry our their plan?
  • Bonus for “what if things go wrong planning”, e.g. bonus features towards the end of the plan that can be removed if/when the bugs strike.

Team working skills

  • Can the student carry out tasks on their own over a three month period?
  • Clear evidence of communication skills
    • Lower points for gross overcommunication (“what should I name this variable?”), better if they quietly and competently get the job done but interact at appropriate times, e.g. InterMine bugs, sensible progress reports.
  • Is the student capable of following existing guidelines and instructions where appropriate?



The experience criterion isn’t specifically part of the grading rubric, but it’s important for us to see some of the following in the application:

  • Does the student have reasonable evidence they’ve competently done something relevant to this before? e.g. one or more of
    • a GitHub profile,
    • pull requests on InterMine’s repos
    • published applications
    • code from a uni assignment?
  • Note: we don’t require a PR to an InterMine project. It’s handy as a source of evidence, but any of the others should do just fine.
  • Absolutely no work available - not even a published app, some work experience, or code from a class assignment, is a red flag.

How the ranking process works

All students with a finalised proposal will have their proposals reviewed by one or more mentors in the organisation, and ranked out of 10 based on the criteria above. This score will also be averaged to provide a mean result. These scores are not the final acceptance criteria - so a 9.1 won’t automatically win over an 8.6 - but they do help provide general guidelines for the mentors who are choosing from a large body of qualified students.

Accepted students

Students will be notified of their acceptance by Google when all accepted students are announced, and will not be notified of their internal grades. Please note that we usually have more highly qualified applicants than slots available for the organisation, so sometimes proposals that are genuinely very good have to be rejected. We genuinely wish we could take you all!