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Send rejected participants an email with opportunities to stay involved
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  • Encourage participants to re-apply for future programs (maybe include that Wikimedia is applying as a mentoring org for season of docs?)
  • Ask participants to let us know if they want feedback on why they weren't selected

Event Timeline

Pavithraes triaged this task as Medium priority.Apr 29 2020, 7:25 PM

@Pavithraes Thank you for willing to take on this! :) I'm sharing with you the email we have sent to folks who we couldn't accept via Google Summer of Code. From what I remember, we didn't do the same for Outreachy as it is not that easy to obtain email addresses for Outreachy as it is for GSoC applicants.

Subject: Wikimedia + Google Summer of Code 2019

Hey there!

We are sorry to say that we could not allocate a slot for you this time.

Please do not consider the rejection to be an assessment of your proposal. We received over 71 quality applications, and we could only accept 12 students. We were not able to give all applicants a slot that would have deserved one, and these were some very tough decisions to make. 

Please know that you are still a valued member of our community and we by no means want to exclude you. Many students who we did not accept in 2018 have become Wikimedia maintainers, contractors and even GSoC students and mentors this year! 

If you would like a de-brief on why your proposal was not accepted, send me an email in the next couple days, and I will respond to you in a week. We may not be able to give reasons that will satisfy you, but in most cases, we will be able to help you see areas for improvement if that is your goal.

If you look for further steps, here are some options:

* Finish up your pending pull requests or inform us that someone has to take them over. Don’t just let them fade away :)
* If your proposed project is not among the selected GSoC projects, and you still want to do the project outside of GSoC, please let me know. We can check if there is a mentor available to supervise you on the project.  
* Your ideas and contributions to our projects are still welcome. Here is the recommended place for you to get started as a newcomer: 

If you would still be eligible for GSoC next year, I look forward to your participation :)


I am already thinking that one improvement we can make here is that we send an email to only those folks who didn't create a ticket on Phabricator. The ones who created a ticket on Phabricator, before declining their proposals, we share the same message in a comment on their tasks and if need be loop their mentors in the conversation for more feedback. What say?

Happy to brainstorm more and if you have better ideas how we can do this, would love to hear :) Also, it would be super awesome to document the revised emails here and

As far as providing feedback is concerned, some candidates replied with general questions like why their proposal was rejected and requested ideas for improvements. Others reached out, asking why their technical approach was less regarded than others. For the later, I looped in mentors to help.

For the candidates who created a Phabricator proposal, we posted a message on their proposal and marked it as declined. We had a large number of GSoC applicants who didn't create Phab proposals, so we sent them a combined email. Phab proposals weren't mandatory for some Outreachy projects, so we sent the rejected candidates individual emails.

The emails are documented here: GSoC and Outreachy

Some candidates requested feedback on their proposals, it has been provided. :)