Backend Engineering Fellow

The OpenMRS Fellowship Program aims to expand our community’s capacity by providing practical opportunities to develop advanced skill sets with the support and guidance of mentors and other technical experts. Development Fellows are skilled coders who are on their way to becoming expert OpenMRS developers. They have experience with the OpenMRS tech stack and can handle moderate to complex issues.


  • Length: 7 months, full time 

  • Location: Remote (Global)

  • About our technology: Java backend, serving a Javascript Single Page Application (primarily React) using micro frontends, via a REST/FHIR API, and stores data in a MySQL/MariaDB/PostgreSQL database. 

Role Overview

  • Support improvements to the OpenMRS Platform based on prioritized needs (e.g. see the Technical Roadmap) as identified in the Platform team; such as, architecture, API, SDK, and modeling needs.

  • Support the continuous improvement of the OpenMRS platform and APIs by addressing outdated and end of life technologies, modernizing the software stack, with the reality that this needs to work in situations where there are not always highly technical staff available to support an implementation. 

  • Work with security experts on handling custom parts of OpenMRS products to improve overall security, including contributing to security issue fixes. Consider security issues when reviewing PRs and committing code. Demonstrate security best practices for new code and when refactoring existing code.

  • Support the development and execution of the appropriate automated quality assurance testing for the OpenMRS platform product and the OpenMRS APIs.

  • Develop and follow an individual fellowship plan with guidance from your mentor.

  • Organize weekly check-ins (1:1s) with your assigned Mentor and come prepared with questions and topics.

  • Share fellowship highlights, knowledge, and observations once a month via a fellowship blog.

  • Complete fellowship project(s) in collaboration with the Platform Team.

  • Complete a final fellowship evaluation.

  • Follow through on agreed upon tasks and commitments.

  • Effectively communicate with community members openly and transparently using community communication tools, and present progress via community forums and showcases.


  • 2+ years of experience (or Dev Stage 3 or higher) as a full stack or backend developer interested in expanding their knowledge and skills.

  • 2+ years of experience working with web/internet standards, software technologies (including Java or related object-oriented technologies), and database technologies (MYSQL, Postgres, MSSQL or equivalent).  

  • Deep understanding specifically of Java and the standard Java Servlet stack.

  • Understanding of the Spring & Hibernate frameworks.

  • Experience with REST, beyond just using APIs. Should demonstrate a foundational understanding of REST framework & developing APIs.

  • Experience with processes, tools, and technologies used by the OpenMRS community (Jira, GitHub, Java, OpenMRS SDK, FHIR, REST API).

  • Access to high-speed internet for team and community real-time calls (e.g. via Zoom, Slack Huddle, etc).

  • Proficiency in the English language, both written and verbal. 

Desired Skills and Attributes

  • Experience working with electronic medical records or other health information systems used at the clinic or point of service level.

  • Experience working with the HL7 FHIR standard and FHIR-forward or FHIR-first architectures and systems, and/or experience working on standards-based architectures and integrations.

  • Familiarity with how open source projects are developed. Ideally past experience contributing to major open source projects.

  • Experience with healthcare and/or LMIC settings (e.g. awareness of resource requirements, on-prem deployment practices). Experience outside of the humanitarian or healthcare industry is also highly desirable (fresh ideas).

  • Demonstrates initiative to identify different problems and proposes thoughtful solutions for those problems in a team setting.

  • Flexibility to accommodate working with collaborators in various international time zones

  • Software development experience as part of a team.

  • Able to work both independently and as a part of a team.

  • Good communication skills with team members and with guests on team calls.

Travel Expectations

This role is not expected to travel internationally, but may have opportunities to travel up to 10% of the time with expenses funded/reimbursed by OpenMRS Inc., and supported by the OpenMRS Inc. Operations team.


Stipends offered to Fellows are based on the OpenMRS fellowship stipend scale.  OpenMRS Stipend amounts are based on the GSOC Stipend Scale for comparison; in the spirit of in-country purchasing-power, we reserve the right to make exceptions based on Fellow location.


For more information, please see: About OpenMRS Fellows