Last week we celebrated the conclusion of the fellowship year for the 2019 cohort of our Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) – with a three-day wrap-up meeting in NYC.
The meeting was a milestone for several reasons. It was our first true hybrid CEFP meeting where we bridged between in-person and remote participation, it was our first time hosting the CEFP training outside of DC (and we loved being in NYC!) and it was the first time that we now have a clear path from fellowship participation to a broader, ongoing set of professional development programming via our new community of practice.
The three focuses of our wrap-up meeting
Our CEFP wrap-up meeting has several aims:
i) Sharing playbooks and project team outputs
Firstly, it’s an opportunity for fellows to present and discuss their two major outputs from the year – the community playbook that they developed for their organization and what they co-created with their team-mates in their CEFP project teams.
We enjoyed learning about how each fellow addressed the documentation of community-building in their organizational contexts – with playbooks ranging in format from Github pages to Google Drive documents, PDFs and physical brochures.
We also celebrated the diverse ways in which we’re advancing the emerging field of scientific community engagement together
We also celebrated the diverse ways in which we’re advancing the emerging field of scientific community engagement together through project team work on a community ambassador survey, a new podcast, an events manual, DEI tipsheets, the gathering of evaluation artifacts and more. (More to come on those project team outputs very soon – including in our community calls this year!)
ii) Reflection, celebration and gratitude
Secondly, the wrap-up meeting is a chance to celebrate and thank one another for the time we’ve spent together. Expressing gratitude is an important part of adopting a systems perspective grounded in human connections and we enjoyed an exercise led by CSCCE advisory board member and CEFP2017 fellow, Amber Budden.
Expressing gratitude is an important part of adopting a systems perspective grounded in human connections
We also take time for a formal graduation ceremony at the end of the meeting – where each fellow is celebrated by the class. This year fellows also chose to express a few additional reflections of their own in graduation speeches!
iii) building together for the future
And finally, the meeting is a time to consider what we might do next – beyond the fellowship year. By contrast to our inaugural CEFP2017 cohort, who stayed in touch more informally, we now have a community of practice for scientific community managers that fellows are welcome to help to shape.
We discussed opportunities for leadership roles and ongoing participation – whether that’s via monthly community calls, new working groups or other programming. (More on that programming and how to get involved in next week’s community call.)
Another CEFP cohort in 2021?
Next steps for CEFP including sharing out the project team outputs so that they can be used by the wider community of scientific community managers.
We’re also considering whether to host another CEFP cohort in 2021. If you or your organization would be interested in learning more – or supporting the program – please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acknowledgements – and thanks
A big thank you to CEFP’s funder, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, for their support of the program and to CEFP2017 fellows Amber Budden and Rosanna Volchok who assisted with facilitation of the wrap-up meeting.