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Phylogenetics Summer of Code


The Phyloinformatics Summer of Code program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate, masters, and PhD students to obtain hands-on experience writing and extending open-source software for evolutionary informatics under the mentorship of experienced developers from around the world. The program is the participation of the US National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) as a mentoring organization in the Google Summer of Code(tm) ( EEB faculty member Brian O’Meara is one of the mentors of this program.

Students in the program will receive a stipend from Google (and possibly more importantly, a T-shirt solely available to successful participants), and may work from their home, or home institution, for the duration of the 3 month program. Each student will have at least one dedicated mentor to show them the ropes and help them complete their project.

NESCent is particularly targeting students interested in both evolutionary biology and software development. Initial project ideas are listed on the website. These range from visualizing viral epidemics to 3D protein structure evolution, rich annotation for TreeBASE content, exposing phenotype observations to the Encyclopedia of Life, to enhancing R packages for phylogenetic analysis. All project ideas are flexible and many can be adjusted in scope to match the skills of the student. We also welcome novel project ideas that dovetail with student interests.

TO APPLY: Apply online at the Google Summer of Code website (, where you will also find GSoC program rules and eligibility requirements. Each organization has a slightly different application format, and ours is at The 12-day application period for students opens on Monday, March 28th, and runs through Friday, April 8th, 2011.

INQUIRIES: phylosoc {at} nescent {dot} org. We strongly encourage all interested students to get in touch with us with their ideas as early on as possible. Working closely with potential mentors to develop your project proposal greatly increases your chance for acceptance. Do not underestimate the amount of time it takes to develop a competitive proposal.

2011 NESCent Phyloinformatics Summer of Code:

Google Summer of Code FAQ: