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Outreach Program for Women (OPW) internships were inspired in many ways by Google Summer of Code and by how few women applied for it in the past. This was reflective of a generally low number of women participating in the FOSS development. The GNOME Foundation first started the internships program with one round in 2006, and then resumed the effort in 2010 with 4 more rounds organized every half a year. In the previous round, the Software Freedom Conservancy joined the Outreach Program for Women with one internship with the Twisted project. This round, we've expanded the program to include several other FOSS organizations.
By having a program targeted specifically towards women, we found that we reached talented and passionate participants, who were uncertain about how to start otherwise. We hope this effort will help many women learn how exciting, varied and valuable work on FOSS projects can be and how inclusive the community really is. This program is a welcoming link that will connect you with people working on individual projects in various FOSS organizations and guide you through your first contribution.
Each participating organization, with the help of corporate sponsors, will sponsor several internships each from January 2 to April 2, 2013. Any woman who has not previously participated in an Outreach Program for Women or Google Summer of Code internship is welcome to apply, provided she is available for a full-time internship during this time period. This program is open to anyone who identifies herself as a woman.
Because the program is intended to help newcomers and contributors who are relatively new to the FOSS community to get more involved, we unfortunately can't accept past participants of Outreach Program for Women or Google Summer of Code internships. However, if you qualify for Google Summer of Code,you are more than welcome to apply for it in the future.
The internship is expected to be a full-time effort, meaning that the participants must be able to spend 40 hours a week on their project. If you are a student from Southern Hemisphere and the program dates somewhat overlap with your school year, you are still welcome to apply, specify the dates you will have school, and how much you expect it to limit your availability. Participants will work remotely from home. Because IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is one of the primary means of communication within FOSS projects, participants should be present on their project's IRC channel while working. You will also be expected to communicate electronically with other project members via other means, including bug tracker comments, mailing list discussion, blog posts, and personal e-mail. Participants will be expected to blog at least once every two weeks about their work and their blog posts will be included on the sites that aggregate blog posts of organization contributors, usually called Planets.
The GNOME Foundation will be administering the payments of the $5,000 (USD) stipends each participant will get. $500 will be sent on January 8 to participants who have begun their internships, $2250 on February 20 to participants in good standing with their mentors, and $2250 on April 9 to participants who have successfully completed their internships.