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The OpenMRS Internship Program (OIP)

OpenMRS, with support from IDRC and WHO, is offering mentored projects with stipends to open source developers working in developing countries.

What is it?

OpenMRS, through the OASIS project, has received funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to increase the involvement of developers and implementers from low and middle income countries in OpenMRS communities by offering projects with stipends to participate in OpenMRS programs and activities. The OpenMRS Internship Program (OIP) is one such program that follows essentially the same format as Google Summer of Code (GsoC), except that it is managed by Jembi, an NGO established by the OASIS project, and is restricted to developers from or working in developing countries. In many respects, it is identical to GSoC. OIP uses the same project pool and structure, evaluation system, mentors, and timelines. Stipends are the same value.

How it works

OpenMRS projects are listed on the OpenMRS project page and interested applicants are invited to submit proposals based on these proposals. Applicants may also submit their own proposals on new or innovative ideas and OpenMRS will strive to match selected projects with a competent mentor. A selection panel considers projects competitively at published times and informs the successful applicants. Successful applicants, receive part of the stipend at the beginning of the program, part upon successful evaluation at the mid-term, and the remaining stipend upon successful evaluation at the end of the program. All working code must be committed to the OpenMRS code repository under the OpenMRS Public License (http://license.openmrs.org). The OIP is administered by Jembi, a non-governmental organization registered in South Africa and linked to OpenMRS.

Who can apply

The OIP is open to any developer who is both interested in learning about open source programming and able to devote the required amount of time to complete the project under the specified conditions in the agreed period. The emphasis of the OIP is on applicants from or working in developing countries. It is important to understand that the level expected of OIP developers is high and applicants should ensure they have sufficient time to take on the project. Our experience has been that awardees who try and fit an OIP project in addition to other work, generally fail.


We are committed to the success of all of our interns, and believe it is important to provide the resources needed to allow for focus on software development. Stipends are therefore provided so interns can dedicate a majority of their time to work upon on their specific project, interact with mentor(s) and fellow interns, and generally participate in the OpenMRS community. Stipends are paid out in three parts only after mutually agreed upon project goals are met. Interns who fail to meet goals or receive unsatisfactory evaluations, may forfeit the remainder of their stipend.

Intern stipends are as follows:

  • 500 USD at the beginning of the project
  • 2,000 USD upon successful midterm evaluation
  • 2,000 USD upon successful final evaluation

How do I apply

Applications for OIP 2009 were due by 10 April 2009.

Your application should include a motivation (why you would like to do this particular project, and the reason you're the best individual to do the project) alongside a specific project proposal. Your proposal should have a summary and should include details of how you intend to approach the problem and carry out the work including a project timeline. The proposal should also include details of your academic, industry, and/or open source development experience, and any other details you think are relevant, such as your development methodology. The motivation and proposal should not exceed five A4 pages in length and should be e-mailed in Open Office format or as a text file to email|apply|openmrs.org.

What are the deadlines and timelines

  • 10 April 2009, 19:00 UTC – Deadline for proposals
  • 20 April 2009 – Notification of awards
  • 23 May 2009 – Interns begin coding on their projects, initial stipends sent
  • 13 July 2009, 19:00 UTC – Midterm evaluations due,we begin sending midterm stipends for successful evaluations
  • 24 August 2009, 19:00 UTC – Final evaluations due, we begin sending final stipends for successful evaluations


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