Timeline and FAQ for Outreachy Communities

Call for Outreachy Community Participation

Twice a year, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) communities work with Outreachy organizers to offer remote internships. Outreachy's goal is to support people from groups underrepresented in the technology industry. Interns work remotely with mentors from Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) communities on projects ranging from programming, user experience, documentation, illustration and graphical design, to data science.

Outreachy interns come from a wide range of backgrounds. Outreachy is open to applicants from underrepresented groups over 18 who fit our intern eligibility rules. Interns could be university students, code school graduates, people switching careers, or people coming back to tech after starting a family or other long absence. Most Outreachy interns already have some exposure to using FOSS and technical knowledge, but many of them have not contributed to FOSS communities before. During our six-week application period, potential interns make contributions to the participating FOSS communities, which allows mentors to accurately evaluate their skills.

If you have any questions about Outreachy, you can contact Outreachy organizers or the mentors mailing list.

Terms used

A FOSS community can be a small set of contributors that work together on one piece of software or one free culture project. A community can also be comprised of many different teams that each work on separate subsystems, modules, applications, libraries, tools, documentation, user experience, graphical design, and more.

Each team can submit one or more intern project proposals that their FOSS community will fund. Outreachy cannot accept intern project proposals that don't have an associated community.

Outreachy roles

There are several different Outreachy roles:

A note on pronouns: The Outreachy website allows applicants, mentors, and coordinators to list their pronouns. Sometimes you may not know the gender identity of an Outreachy participant. In that case, please avoid using gender-specific language. In English, you should use gender neutral language (e.g. "person" instead of "woman" or "man"). You should use gender neutral pronouns ("they" instead of "he" or "she"). We ask that you avoid using gender-specific honorifics like "Mr", "Sir", "Mrs", "Miss", or "Ma'am". We recognize that languages other than English are heavily gendered. It may not be possible to use gender-neutral language in your native language, but we ask you to do so when communicating in English.

Who can participate?

Outreachy welcomes participation from FOSS communities and people seeking to help out as Outreachy coordinators and mentors.

Funding Requirements

FOSS communities need to have secured funding for at least one intern ($6,500). That covers the $5,500 internship stipend, the $500 intern travel stipend, and a $500 accounting fee. The accounting fee covers Outreachy's fiscal non-profit parent organization, Software Freedom Conservancy, handle sponsor invoicing, intern payments, W-9 collection, visa request letters, employment verification letters, student internship credit letters, and tax questions.

Licensing Requirements

Outreachy internship projects must be released under either an OSI-approved open source license that is also identified by the FSF as a free software license, OR a Creative Commons license approved for free cultural works.

Outreachy internship projects must forward the interests of free and open source software, not proprietary software.

Please make sure to read through the mentor FAQ for tips on what makes a good project.

Community Requirements

Free and open source communities that participate in Outreachy must forward free and open source software in public interest.

While we encourage companies to provide internship opportunities to people from underrepresented groups, the program cannot be used for internal company internships. Participating free software communities can't be too tightly tied to any one company. Experienced community contributors should be employed by multiple organizations or be volunteers. The community resources should not advertise services of only just one company related to the software the community produces.

Non-profit 501(c)(3) charities and 501(c)(6) trade organizations of any size offering free software projects are welcome to participate as a mentoring community.

All free software communities that participate in Outreachy need to be well-established, with core team members (either paid or volunteer) who regularly contribute to the community. Outreachy interns benefit from working with a variety of community members who can help review their work and answer questions.

All work done by Outreachy interns should be public and done out in the open on public channels connected with the community.

Outreachy intern projects will need to meet additional Outreachy intern project requirements.

Timeline for Participating FOSS Communities

Outreachy internships run twice a year. You can view communities and projects from all past Outreachy rounds.

Important Round Dates Mid-year Internships End of year Internships
Call for communities and mentored projects opens January August
Deadline for new participating communities February September
Deadline for submitting new mentored projects March October
Initial applications open late January late August
Initial applications due March October
Contribution period opens February September
Final application and contributions due April November
Interns announced April November
Internships start May December
Internships end August March

Past Participating FOSS Communities

In order for a community to participate in an Outreachy internship round, the community must have at least one coordinator. If you would like to volunteer to be a coordinator, you should understand the coordinator duties.

Mentors may visit the community page and sign up to receive an email notification when a coordinator signs the community up for this Outreachy round.