The Google Summer of Code project provides funding for students to write and contribute code to open-source projects of interest to Google. And given that R is widely used at Google, it's certainly a project of significant interest. So for the fifth year running the R Project will mentor students as part of GSOC 2012 to develop packages and improvements for R.
Tal Galili of R-bloggers provides a list of potential projects for students to work on, which include developing tools for open science with R, exporting R graphics as interactive applets for the Web, extending the knitR package to generate web-based documents, and much more. If you're a student with R and coding skills, this is a great way to improve the R ecosystem while earning some cash over the summer:
If you are a student looking to write some code for the R community, Google is willing to pay you $5000 for 3 months during this summer of 2012. A good starting point is the R GSoC wiki. Interested students or mentors are encouraged to discuss other project ideas on the gsoc-r Google group.
For more information about R's involvement in GSOC 2012, see Tal's post below.