NRNB Google Summer of Code

"Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects. Google will be working with several open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund several projects over a three month period. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together thousands of students and mentors from over 100 countries worldwide, all for the love of code." GSoC has several goals:

  • get more open source code created and released for the benefit of all
  • inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development
  • help open source projects identify and bring in new developers and committers
  • provide students the opportunity to do work related to their academic pursuits during the summer
  • give students more exposure to real-world software development scenarios
The National Resource for Network Biology (NRNB) is organizing the joint efforts of Cytoscape, WikiPathways and other network biology tools. This is a great opportunity to work at the intersection of biology and computing! We take mentoring seriously and are proud of our >90% success rate with former students and projects. But don't take our word for it, read testimonials from prior NRNB students students and mentors. And you also get a certificate of completion!

The aim of the NRNB is to advance the new science of biological networks through analytic tools, visualizations, databases and computing resources. Our technologies enable researchers to assemble and analyze these networks and to use them to better understand biological systems and, in particular, how they fail in disease. Find out more about the various software projects being developed in coordination with NRNB. And check out our latest project ideas in the tab below.

NRNB Academy

Outside of our sponsored summer programs, NRNB Academy runs year-round to match students with mentors in network biology software development. NRNB Academy offers you the opportunity to work with our open source development team on network biology related tools and resources. The program is volunteer-based and flexible in terms of time commitment and project lenght. This is a great introduction to our dev community and the workings of open source in general. Start by completing our Admissions Form:

Admissions Form

NRNB GSoC 2016 Projects

Check out our amazing student projects selected for Google Summer of Code 2016.
Follow along via blogs and repos as these students forge new software for network biology research:

  • Hovakim Grabski (Frank Bergmann) "Java support for Deviser, a code generation system for SBML libraries"
    Read the blog
  • Kaito Ii (Akira Funahashi) "Interconvertible Layout software for CellDesigner"
    Read the blog
  • Devesh Khandelwal (Zachary King) "Visual Biology with Escher"
    See the code
  • Tramy Nguyen (Michael Hucka) "Interconversion between the systems biology modeling formats SBML and BioPAX"
    Read the blog
  • Roman Schulte (Andreas Dräger) "Offline SBML validation in the Java-based JSBML library"
    Read the blog
  • Seth Mridul (T.M. Murali) "Import graphs in multiple formats and Cytoscape files into GraphSpace"
    Read the blog

How to apply

Start with this Google Doc template. Copy and paste the contents into your own Goolge Doc and begin filling it out. Get in contact with your potential mentors (listed per project) as soon as possible to get input and feedback on your application. Submit your application well before the deadline. Late submissions will NOT be considered.


If you are selected

  • You be working with a small, active group of programmers that also speak biology
  • You will be gaining experience in a rapidly evolving field that interfaces computer and biological sciences
  • You might make more than you would mowing lawns!


  • 29 February: Accepted mentoring organizations announced
  • 14 March: Student application period opens
  • 25 March: Student application deadline
  • 23 May: Coding begins
  • 23 August: Coding ends
  • Complete Program Timeline

Policy Changes

  • Effective this year, a person can only participate a maximum of 3 times as a GSoC student in their lifetime.
  • Students must submit their code before the mentor can complete their final evaluation of the work.
  • Mentors can now be under 18. They must be 13 or older and provide parental consent.
  • Mentor stipends will be held by NRNB in an earmarked account to fund activities such as NRNB Academy.
  • Organizations who do not complete all student and mentor evaluations will lose their mentor summit invitations and travel stipends.



For Students

For Mentors


NRNB Project Ideas at GitHub

Browse the current list of NRNB Project Ideas at GitHub to find potential projects and mentors. If you find something interesting, contact the org admin to inquire about applying. We will direct you to more information and resources prior to the application process.