Announcing a second collection of scientific community profiles! A year in the life of 14 STEM communities

This week we published 14 new community profiles in our growing collection that describes different STEM communities. Each profile is a free-to-download infographic that provides a snapshot of the community’s structure and programming, as well as a look at its outputs, challenges, and plans for the future. 

These profiles are part of a research project we began last year, to provide a resource to describe and discuss STEM communities – and inspire community managers, senior managers and funders alike about the possibilities of community-based projects. In addition to 13 profiles created in 2020, we are conducting a meta-analysis to investigate trends observed across the dataset, as well as building out additional resources to complement the collection. 

Some of the profiles included in our newest collection. Image credit: CSCCE

14 new community profiles

The communities profiled in this round included a range of research collaborations and infrastructure organizations. To create the profiles, we administered a CSCCE-developed survey to community managers who volunteered to take part, and then translated their answers into visual summaries. A big thank you to everyone who took part this time around! You can find out more about our methodology in this blog post

The communities we profiled this time, and the community managers we worked with, are:

Click on the links above to view/download each profile. You can also find all of these profiles, as well as our 2020 profiles, here.

New profiles, new look! 

In creating the first round of profiles we realized that there were, of course, changes and improvements that would enhance their value and clarity. And so, we revisited the design and ultimately added an extra page for this second round. The extra space has resulted in a richer profile, with more space to communicate nuance and detail. 

Specific new additions include a section on community champions, the emergent leaders who take on additional responsibilities to further a community’s mission, and detailed community structure diagrams to visually depict how a community sees itself. We also significantly expanded the “outputs and evaluation” section and refined our keyword taxonomy. 

Accompanying resources in the works

Last year, our profiles project inspired us to refine and publish our Community Participation Model (CPM), which has since been used by a number of community managers in STEM to inform their community programing and strategic planning. This time around, we’re working on two new guidebooks, which you can expect to see in the next few weeks. The first builds upon our CPM guidebook, going deeper into the role and value of community champions. And the second is a manual for digesting the profiles themselves, both individually and together. 

Coming soon…

More profiles! We are working with the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovations Program (STIP) to create a suite of profiles focused on open hardware projects in STEM, and we expect to make these available in September.

If you’re interested in working with us to profile your own community, or design a research collaboration with us, please do reach out:


Creating CSCCE’s community profiles is a team effort. The project was conceived of by Director Lou Woodley, who also oversees and coordinates each iteration of the project. The initial survey was developed by Lou, and refined this time around in conversation with our collaborators at the Wilson Center. Katie Pratt, CSCCE’s communications director and content archivist, creates the profiles and led the redesign of this new 3-page version. The original design was created by C&G Partners. Sara Kobilka of Renaissance Woman Consulting administered the surveys to collect all of the data. And of course, a big thank you to all of the community managers who took part.