October’s community call: Community champions programs

This month, we’re considering the role of community champions (also known as community ambassadors or, sometimes, fellows) in successful community management, and how community champions programs can intentionally work with emergent leaders to meet the needs of a community or organization. 

Join us for our monthly community call on Wednesday, 20 October at 3pm UTC / 11am EDT to learn more about champions and some of the programs that already exist – or are being planned –  within the STEM ecosystem. [Add to iCal or Google Calendar]

Our October call will focus on the role of community champions and how community managers can support and empower them through intentional programming. Image credit: CSCCE

Community champions

As a community manager, mobilizing community champions is a great mechanism for building momentum within the community, perhaps by bolstering membership as your champions spread the word, or by moving projects forward with champions motivating other members to take part. By offering peer-support through cohort building, specific training, or professional development opportunities in the form of community champions programming, you can channel volunteer energy towards the overarching goal of the community and/or foster increased engagement across a wide swath of programming. 

In this month’s call, CSCCE Director Lou Woodley and Communications Director Katie Pratt will give an overview of community champions, their roles and benefits, and offer a framework for considering what a community champions program might look like in your own community. If you’d like to do some pre-reading ahead of the call, check out our recently published guidebook on champions – the fifth mode of the CSCCE Community Participation Model.

We’ll also hear from three members of the CSCCE community of practice who are currently involved in launching or running a dedicated champions program: 

Vanessa Fairhurst is the community manager for Crossref’s Ambassador program, which engages community members from around the world to support scholarly communications in their local communities. Crossref’s ambassadors also share back with Vanessa, to ensure the organization’s work is culturally relevant in a variety of contexts. 

Ailis O’Carroll is currently recruiting for the third cohort of eLife Community Ambassadors, which was designed to assist early career researchers as they navigate the challenges of building an academic career. Ailis is new to eLife, and will share her perspective on how she is incorporating feedback from previous cohorts to enhance the next, expanded iteration of the program. 

Iratxe Puebla oversees ASAPbio’s Fellows program, which exists to empower members to talk about the importance of preprints in their own communities. The Fellows program is in its second year, with many alumnae of the first cohort remaining involved as mentors. 

October’s call


Join October’s Community Call to:

  • Find out what a community champion is, and why supporting champions is important for maintaining, growing, and/or evolving your community
  • Explore the ways community champions benefit communities, by adding capacity, legitimacy, and/or reach
  • Hear from community managers who are currently running champions programs, and how they have designed these programs to benefit both their organization and the champions themselves


  • Vanessa Fairhurst, Crossref
  • Ailis O’Carroll, eLife
  • Iratxe Puebla, ASAPbio

How to join

October’s call will take place on Wednesday, 20 October at 3pm UTC / 11am US Eastern Time. Please note this is an earlier time that 2020’s calls to be more accessible for all of our members. 

Our calls are hosted in Zoom – simply click here and we’ll see you in the webinar!

Video or not? You’re welcome to turn on your webcam if you like but fine if you prefer just to use audio.

Our community calls last 90 minutes, but we will do our best to ensure that all of the presentations take place in the first hour, in case you have to leave early. The last 30 minutes is generally reserved for open discussion and Q&A with the presenters. Come for the hour – or for the full 90 mins, as your schedule permits!

Please note: We’ll be recording the presentations so that others who couldn’t make it can catch up later. The discussion section and any Q&A are not recorded. 


Our community calls usually take place on the third Wednesday of every month at 11am Eastern, but occasionally times and dates vary depending on speaker availability so please keep an eye on our calendar of events.

Wonder what we’ve talked about in previous calls? The archive listings can be found here, with select recordings available on YouTube.

Not yet in our Slack group? Request to join here.

Further resources