Outreachy May 2021 internship applications

Date: February 1, 2021

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Photo CC BY 2.0 GotCredit

Outreachy internship applications

Outreachy initial applications are open for the May 2021 to August 2021 internships.

The initial application system will open at Feb. 1, 2021 at 4pm UTC. Initial applications are due Feb. 22, 2021 at 4pm UTC.

We strongly recommend you read our tips for application essays before submitting your initial application.

Read applicant guide

Please see the updates below about student eligibility and updated essay questions.

Apply for Outreachy

Initial applications are reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis. Don't wait until the last day to submit your application!


Important information

What is Outreachy?
Commonly asked questions
Important dates
Twitter chat
Student eligibility policy
COVID-19 temporary time commitment policy
Updated essay questions
Sensitive data retention policy


What is Outreachy?

Outreachy provides internships from May to August and December to March.

You'll work on open source projects. Experienced mentors will guide you.

Outreachy internships are paid! You receive a $6,000 USD total stipend.

The internship is completely remote. You'll work from home. Your mentor will also be remote.

Outreachy supports diversity in tech

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Photo CC BY 2.0 WOCinTech Chat

Outreachy is open to applicants around the world.

We invite people to apply who face systemic bias or discrimination in the technology industry of their country.

Outreachy expressly invites applicants who are women (both cis and trans), trans men, non-binary people, and genderqueer people to apply.

We also expressly invite applications who are residents and nationals of the United States of America of any gender who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

Past Outreachy interns are:

  • 92% women
  • 4% transgender, genderqueer, or non-binary people
  • 64% people of color
  • 12% people from a historically disadvantaged caste or tribe

Statistics are based on responses to the 2019 longitudinal study of Outreachy alums.


Commonly asked questions

The Outreachy Applicant Guide has answers to many common questions, such as:

Read applicant guide

Important dates

Feb. 1, 2021 at 4pm UTCInitial applications open
Feb. 8, 2021, 4 p.m. UTC#OutreachyChat on Twitter
Feb. 22, 2021 at 4pm UTCInitial application deadline
March 18, 2021Project list finalized
March 15, 2021 to April 16, 2021Contribute to projects
April 16, 2021
at 4pm UTC
Final application deadline
May 17, 2021 at 4pm UTCAccepted interns announced
May 24, 2021
to Aug. 24, 2021
Internships period

Twitter chat

Want to hear from mentors and past interns? Have questions about applying? Join us for a Twitter chat!

Each round, Outreachy has a Twitter chat to introduce the program. We encourage questions from people interested in applying to Outreachy. We also pose questions for mentors and past Outreachy interns to answer. Applicants are encouraged to ask mentors and past interns questions during and after the chat.

The #OutreachyChat will happen on Feb. 8, 2021, 4 p.m. UTC. Please double check what time that is in your timezone. Please follow Outreachy on Twitter if you have a Twitter account.

Outreachy Twitter chat instructions

The Outreachy organizers will be tweeting from the @outreachy Twitter account. Outreachy organizers will pose the questions below. Applicants, mentors, and past interns will answer. Outreachy organizers will wait about 5-10 minutes between questions.

The questions are prefaced with Q1, Q2, etc. You will need to reply with A1, A2, at the start of you answer. Please also use the hashtag #OutreachyChat in all your tweets related to the chat.

The following questions are used for the chat:

Q1: For perspective applicants: What questions do you have for mentors, past interns, or organizers? #OutreachyChat

Q2: For past interns and mentors: Please introduce yourself. What community (did you intern with/are you mentoring for)? #OutreachyChat

Q3: For past interns and mentors: What do you love about participating in Outreachy? #OutreachyChat

Q4: For mentors: What is the project you are mentoring? What skills do people need to apply? What skills can they learn from you? #OutreachyChat

Q4: For past interns: What community did you intern with? What was your project? What did you learn during the internship? #OutreachyChat

Q5: For past interns and mentors: What is the Outreachy application process like? Do you have advice for applicants on how to stand out? #OutreachyChat


Student eligibility policy

Outreachy is open to both students and people who are not students. Please see our full eligibility guidelines.

Outreachy organizers understand that schools are impacted by COVID-19. Some schools may have changed their term dates. We expect school term dates to continue to shift in 2021 and perhaps into 2022.

Outreachy wants to ensure students from the northern hemisphere to have a fair chance at an internship. Therefore, we are sticking with our policy that southern hemisphere students are only eligible for the December to March rounds.

We invite students from the northern hemisphere to apply to the Outreachy May 2021 to August 2021 round. If your university is near the equator, you are welcome to apply. We consider India to be in the northern hemisphere, regardless of where the university is located.

We want to ensure students with shifted term dates can participate. We typically require students to have 49 days free from school and exams during the internship. As a temporary policy, we have lowered that requirement to 42 days free from school during the internship.

Students in the southern hemisphere should to apply to the December 2021 to March 2022 internships, not to the May internships.

Outreachy organizers will review the revised term dates for southern hemisphere schools before the next internship round. We will implement a similar policy (if needed) for the December 2021 to March 2022 round. We thank southern hemisphere students for their patience and support of northern hemisphere students.


COVID-19 temporary time commitment policy

The Outreachy PLC has approved a temporary intern time commitment policy. This temporary policy applies to the May 2021 to August 2021 round:

We're only asking impacted interns to commit to working 75% of their normal hours. If interns are able to work more normal hours, they will get more out of the internship. We encourage interns to work as best they can, while not burning themselves out.

Mentors have been briefed to expect that some impacted interns may work less. That may mean mentors reduce the scope of their project, or expect that it will not be finished.

Outreachy already has permanent policies in place that ensure flexibility for interns:


Updated essay questions

Outreachy organizers have put into place changes to the essay questions. These changes will allow us to review initial applications faster and with more accuracy.

We've added the following questions:

  1. What country will you be living in from May 24, 2021 to August 24, 2021?

  2. Are you part of an underrepresented group (in the technology industry of the country listed above)? How are you underrepresented?

We prefer essays with detailed examples or stories from your life. Applicants who were accepted in the past typically write 500 to 900 characters per essay question.

Please read our tips for creating a strong applicant essay.


Sensitive data retention policy

Outreachy organizers have implemented a new data retention policy. This will ensure that we only keep sensitive personal data for as long as we need it.

Initial applications gather some sensitive information:

We now hide the above sensitive information from the eligibility results page. This page is shown to applicants before the contribution period opens.

Our new policy is to permanently remove this sensitive information as soon as an initial application is accepted or rejected. Applications that are still pending when the contribution period is open will have the sensitive data removed. We expect this means most applicants will have their sensitive data removed within 1-2 weeks of submitting their initial application.

Unfortunately, that means Outreachy organizers cannot re-evaluate initial applications after the contribution period opens.

We will collect anonymized aggregate statistics about applicants. This will include gender, race, and country living in during the internship. The aggregate statistics will be used in sponsor communications and Outreachy blog posts.