Fellowship Program Rules

Fellows agree to:

  • Develop and follow an individual fellowship plan with guidance from their mentor & fellowship program administrators
  • Share fellowship highlights, knowledge, and observations twice a month via a fellowship blog.
  • Complete a fellowship project in collaboration with one or more community squads
  • Complete monthly progress surveys and a final fellowship evaluation
  • Participate in regular check ins with their mentor and fellowship program admins
  • Follow through on agreed upon tasks and commitments 
  • Effectively communicate with community members openly and transparently using community communication tools
  • Present project progress via community forums and showcases
  • Abide by the OpenMRS code of conduct when interacting with other Fellows, Mentors, and Program Administrators.

Mentors agree to:

  • Assist fellows to identify learning goals and guide development of individual fellowship plans
  • Identify and/or give feedback on the tasks and resources that will help fellows achieve their learning goals
  • Guide fellows to identify and define a fellowship project
  • Provide constructive feedback and help fellows manage risk
  • Respond to fellows’ requests within 36 hours
  • Assess progress on monthly and quarterly basis by submitting routine progress reports and participating in check in meetings with the fellow and fellowship program admins.
  • Participate in “Mentor Office Hours” as needed
  • Abide by the OpenMRS code of conduct when interacting with other Fellows, Mentors, and Program Administrators.

Organizations agree to:

  • Identify a point of contact who will respond to queries and perform any administrative tasks regarding the OpenMRS Fellowship Program.
  • Specify how they wish to participate in the Fellowship Program.
    1. Support a fellow candidate from their organization
    2. Host a mentor
    3. Host a rotation
  • Respond to fellows’ requests within 36 hours.
  • Allocate 2 - 5 hours per week for the Fellowship Program.
  • Agree to the roles and responsibilities described in the Fellowship Program Rules.
  • Ensure that the mentors or fellows from your Organization fulfill their responsibilities and meet agreed upon learning plan goals and deadlines.
  • Participate in regular check in meetings with the fellows, mentors, and fellowship program administrators.

Organizations may not assign or delegate mentor responsibilities to other individuals within their organization without prior discussion and written approval by OpenMRS Inc.

Fellowship Administrators agree to:

  • Communicate fellow, mentor, and organization expectations before the program starts
  • Liaise with fellows, organizations, and mentors to generate and define project ideas
  • Act as the main point of contact between the fellow, mentor, and organization and will respond to any inquiries within 36 hours.
  • Monitor and oversee the overall activities and progress of the fellow and organization throughout the fellowship program.
  • Perform administrative tasks regarding the fellowship program, including 
    • announcing fellowship openings, 
    • overseeing the selection and invitation of qualified fellows, 
    • publishing and curating the Capstone Project List and 
    • designating one Mentor for each accepted fellow.
  • Ensure fellows, mentors, and organizations maintain regular communication throughout the program
  • Ensure all deadlines are met and provide the necessary support required to receive (or decline) the applicable stipends by the fellow as set forth by OpenMRS Fellowship Program.
  • Monitor communications and ensure inappropriate behavior is addressed
  • Ensure that Fellows at risk of failure or dismissal are notified in advance
  • Review the “Fellowship Program Rules” document published on the OpenMRS wiki and be sure they, fellows, mentors, and organizations are meeting the responsibilities outlined therein.

Please note:

If OpenMRS reasonably believes that a fellow, mentor, or organization has failed to meet the above responsibilities, OpenMRS may remove the fellow, mentor, or organization from the program.

About Stipends

Stipend amounts are based on the GSOC Stipend Scale for comparison (2024 example); in the spirit of in-country purchasing-power, we reserve the right to make exceptions based on Fellow location.

See Fellow Stipend Reference Ranges here.

Terms of Stipends: We are committed to the success of our Fellows and Fellow Mentors. This success relies on our ability to provide sufficient mentorship and guidance - and the ability of mentors and fellows alike to access and use the necessary tools (ie: internet, computers, airtime, etc) as well as dedicate sufficient time to their projects. Stipends may be offered to Fellows or Fellow Mentors on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they are able to fully honor their fellowship commitments. Stipends will only be paid to Fellows who satisfactorily reach milestones set out in a Fellowship Plan. Fellows may choose to waive any offered stipend. Unused stipends will go towards our community’s infrastructure and operations. 

Fellows may be eligible to receive a modest, monthly stipend to allow them to set aside focused time to participate in the fellowship program by covering a variety of costs, depending on a fellow’s situation and need. Examples of expenses that a stipend may cover include:

  • Technology & communication expenses (ie: hardware, software, data plan, airtime, etc)
  • Online or face-to-face courses or conferences related to the fellowship
  • Transportation costs (when/where applicable)
  • Family/child care 
  • Living costs
  • Allow focused time on the fellowship rather than spending a portion of their time working an outside job

In order to receive a stipend, selected fellows will be asked to submit a stipend questionnaire where they can provide an explanation of how the stipend will enhance their participation in the fellowship program. Stipends will only be paid to Fellows who satisfactorily fulfill their responsibilities and reach milestones set out in a Fellowship Plan. Unused stipends will go towards our community’s infrastructure and operations.

About stipends & salaries

The terms salary and stipend are often used interchangeably - and there are important differences. 


  • Compensation that’s paid to an employee
  • Payment for services or hours worked
  • Must follow minimum wage laws
  • Paid to employees, typically weekly or bi-weekly
  • May increase over time based on performance or fair market value increases
  • Taxed


  • Fixed amount paid to trainees, public servants or clergy
  • Not dependent on services rendered
  • Not subject to minimum wage requirements
  • Paid to interns, fellow apprentices, clergy
  • Fixed rate for a specific duration of time (i.e. one year or one semester)
  • Sometimes taxed

OpenMRS fellowship stipends are not considered wages and do not create an employer-employee relationship.