Portland State University would love to have more high-quality project proposals than Google can fund, in spite of Google's enormous generosity with Summer of Code. Here is our detailed list of suggestions about how to write a Summer of Code proposal that will stand the best chance of rising to the top of the heap…
Please read Google Summer of Code Student Guide (at the bare minimum, its proposal-relevant sections). Bart Massey and other Portland, Oregon USA GSoC'ers helped to write this, and it contains much advice that was previously on this page.
PSU has some minimum requirements for participation in Google/PSU SoC.
These are the required elements of a Google / PSU Summer of Code proposal. Please include all of them: Your proposal should be in exactly the format we request. They are almost all explained in the chapter on Writing A Proposal in the GSoC Student Guide, but I've included a few additional notes here.
Your proposal should be around 1500-4000 words. One-liners are hopeless. Much above 4000 words and we'll never wade through it. Your proposal should be ASCII formatted, since you will copy it into a web textbox. If you want structured text or graphics, include URLs in your proposal, and make it clear why we would want to paste them into our browsers.
There is a high official limit on the number of submitted proposals, so if you have two strong ideas, please submit two proposals. We'll figure out which one we like best.
Do include URLs pointing to any information that would help convince us of your chances of success: preliminary project plans or progress, other projects you've been involved with that were successful, code samples, etc.
We are risk averse. It is better for everyone if your project is small and sure to complete; as opposed to a large-ish project that may not get done. Too small is an annoyance. Incomplete is a disaster.
Use existing open-source technologies in your project where possible. One of the unique features of Google/PSU Summer of Code is that it is a great organization to help with projects involving integrating open software (and hardware!) from a variety of existing sources.
"Pencils down" deadline for your project to be complete is mid-August. This will come sooner than you think.
Thanks much to Mick Thomure for taking some talk notes that captured much of the initial information on this page.