Join us for CEF23F! Head into the new “school” year with some updates to our foundational training course

Today we opened general registration for the next offering of Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF), our foundational course on community management in STEM. This course is relevant to anyone convening communities in the STEM ecosystem, whether new to the work or more experienced.

Sign up by 4 August and enjoy a 25% early bird registration discount (use the code EARLYCEF23F at checkout)!!

CEF23F will run on Tuesdays and Fridays starting on 8 September and ending on 27 October. More information about the course can be found here

If you have any questions about CSCCE’s professional development training courses – including about information in this post – please email

Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals: Realize the potential of your community, and your role in it

CEF is an eight-week journey, from defining your community and its members, to how your skills map to your role, to designing multi-modal programming that meets members where they are. Each week, you’ll take part in a 90 minute lesson and a 90 minute co-lab (think discussion meets co-working), getting to know new material and the other members of your cohort. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend office hours during a mid-course reading week, or for an additional fee (see below) you can access weekly meetings with your instructors. 

Included in the course fee

The benefits of taking Community Engagement Fundamentals include: 

  • A pre-course social hour to get to know members of your cohort
  • Group activities that match you with other community managers who are working in similar contexts 
  • A mid-course reading week with optional sessions for asking questions, instructor feedback, and co-working time 
  • A dedicated cohort channel in CSCCE’s Slack CoP where you can share ideas and resources with your classmates and facilitators
  • Custom worksheets and exercises that help you apply key community management frameworks to your specific context
  • Access to one Quarterly Skills Share Session (normally only accessible to Certification Program participants)
  • A template to create a final graduation poster summarizing what you learned during the course that you can share with your team and/or supervisor
  • A digital badge to confirm your graduation from the course (dependent on completion of all course requirements)

CEF is also a prerequisite for participation in the CSCCE Community Manager Certification Program, so if you are looking to further deepen your community-building skillset, CEF opens the door to a continuing learning journey with CSCCE. 

Additional office hours

For an additional fee, we can also provide individual office hours during the course. These include:

  • Review of your homework / worksheets 
  • An hour of one-to-one discussion with a member of CSCCE staff each week (6 weeks) to explore questions about the course and your answers to the activities 
  • A weekly tip-sheet for your supervisor to help to bridge the gap between what you’re learning during the course and implementation within your organization. This includes a short summary of the topics covered and suggested questions for discussion together. 

We strongly recommend this option for learners who appreciate detailed feedback or who are in the early stages of building a community. Places for office hours are limited so please contact us early if you’d like to add this to your course participation:  

Learning with CSCCE

Our training team is one of the biggest reasons to take a course with CSCCE. We specialize in social learning, building cohorts of learners who are empowered to work together and learn from each other along the way. We take pride in creating a carefully scaffolded experience, with learners making the most of our tested frameworks and worksheets. We also prioritize reflection, and ensure that there is time during lessons for learners to process and question what they are hearing. 

If you’re curious about what it’s like to take a course, check out some of the testimonials from our past graduates: 

“I love this course. It made me think of so many things that I want to do for my community and gave me the tools to talk to my director in a way that will hopefully be supported.”

CEF23Sp participant

“I really appreciated the space your course provided for me to learn about what I want to do with my career. This course helped me articulate my frustrations with my position and to realize that the community manager role is very undervalued in a lot of scientific communities – not just in my community. Thank you for providing a space for me to reflect and get focused on what I want to do to support the community.”

CEF23W participant

Our new pricing structure

WIth this cohort, for the first time in almost two years, we will be increasing the cost of taking CEF. General registration will increase to $1275 – but for the next week you can still book your place for the previous rate of $995 (this early bird discount is available until 30 July 2023 – use the code EARLYCEF23F at checkout). 

Investing in our technical infrastructure

We put a lot of thought into this price increase, and want to share with you why the cost of taking CEF has gone up. Firstly, we’ve expanded the technical infrastructure to support our courses significantly since we first launched CEF in late 2020. This has included implementing the learning management system Canvas, so that learners can access course materials such as slides, homework prompts, and learning objectives in one place. We’ve also added digital badges for learners who successfully complete the course, and we continue to use the startup virtual platform Gather (that we use for the CEF graduation poster session), which now includes a usage fee.

We’ve done significant evaluation of these tools and find that the vast majority of our learners find value in them, so we’ll be continuing to support them:

“The sophisticated presentation of the materials made the course a breeze to navigate once I got the various locations under my belt – super professional.”

“…I think it is an excellent platform and the information is arranged very well. Very slick!”

Supporting all learners – improving accessibility, providing input between lessons

Also this year, we were able to get a clearer understanding of how much time we spend as a staff team delivering CEF. Not only are we spending additional time administering the technical tools mentioned above, but we have seen an increase in the amount of time we spend supporting learners between classes over the challenges of life following the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we’ve been carrying out work this summer to improve the accessibility of our materials – including making more of them screen reader compatible.

We understand that the increase in price may represent an additional barrier to your participation in CEF. If you’d like to register but need financial assistance to do so, please contact


Does CSCCE offer financial support to participants from lower income economies or who are privately financing their participation? 

Yes. Currently we have a modest accessibility fund that prospective learners can apply for. The funds available in this fund vary, and depend on the generosity of donor organizations and individuals. We are always looking for ways to improve the financial accessibility of our training, for example by applying for grants or working with partner organizations. If you are interested in donating to CSCCE’s accessibility fund, you can do so here. Or, to discuss organizational sponsorship opportunities, please contact

Can you tell me more about the time involved in hosting the course that isn’t classroom time?

Delivering a course like CEF involves considerable behind-the-scenes work. This includes both the technical aspects of administering the course on Canvas, minting badges for graduation, and preparing the various worksheets and notes docs for class; and also the thoughtful, inter-personal work of connecting with learners, getting to know them through our high-touch onboarding experience, and commiserating with them as they work through challenges in their work or personal life that impact their participation. Anecdotally, we have observed an increase in these types of interactions – likely a reflection of the challenging times we are all living through. 

What accessibility improvements have you made?

We are committed to listening to our learners and community members and improving our offerings to meet their needs. Recently, this has included revisiting all of the readings that we share on Canvas as PDFs and ensuring their compatibility with screen readers, updating all of our slide decks to improve accessibility, and altering our policy on closed captioning so that it is offered by default during lessons and Co-Labs. This is a work in progress, and there is more to be done. If you have any feedback on the accessibility of CSCCE trainings or resources, please reach out to

I can’t take CEF23F, but I would like to take this course in the future. When will it be offered again? 

Yes! We generally offer CEF four times a year – although the frequency of private cohorts does impact how often we open for general registration (for example, this year we have already hosted CEF23W and CEF23Sp general registration cohorts, as well as CEF23Aus and CEF23CZI private cohorts). You can expect a general registration course to be available again in the first half of 2024. Please sign up here to let us know you’re interested in future offerings of CEF.