April’s Community Call: Evaluating the impact of short-form training in the STEM ecosystem

On our April Community Call, we’ll be focusing on how to evaluate the impact of professional development trainings on individual participants, their organizations, and the STEM ecosystem as a whole.

Evaluation is something that we’ve been doing more and more at CSCCE in our client work – capturing the value created in various community programs and proposing improvements for future interactions. We’re especially interested in programs that support group-based learning in some way such as those that provide training and/or mentorship for community champions. 

Over the last few months, thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we’ve been turning the spotlight back on one of our own learning activities, by researching the impact of our foundational training course in community management, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF). At the same time, Open Life Science (OLS) have been conducting an evaluation of their Open Seeds cohort-based training and mentorship program. These evaluations have taken place on the backdrop of an ongoing conversation about how to measure the impact of short-form trainings in the life sciences in general, thanks to the work of Jason Williams and Rochelle Trachtenberg. 

So, for this month’s call, we’ll be sharing out the results of our evaluation, hearing from Paz Bernaldo who led OLS’ study, and talking about “the Bicycle Principles” as a framework for implementing and evaluating short-form training.

This call may be of particular interest to you if: 

  • You are planning an evaluation of any kind in your community, whether or not it is related to a training program
  • You are running short-form trainings in STEM
  • You are interested in meeting others who convene or train STEM professionals
  • You are interested in taking CEF and want to make the case to your supervisor of its value
  • You are a member of the CSCCE community of practice (CoP) and would like to meet other members
  • You aren’t yet a member of the CSCCE CoP, but are considering joining

Date: Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Time: 11am EDT / 3pm UTC

Zoom link to join

Add to calendar (or contact us at info@cscce.org to be automatically added to CSCCE calendar updates)

Join this month’s call to learn about the impact of short-form trainings in STEM, and how that impact is evaluated. Image credit: CSCCE

Short-form training in STEM

As researchers proceed from their terminal degree and into their careers, they may find themselves looking to up-skill in certain areas as norms and technologies shift or advance. For example, they might seek out additional training in computational research methods, writing for non-scientific audiences, or pedagogy. Numerous organizations offer such training, each with their own teaching style, methodology, and/or assessment criteria. 

Over the last few years, many of those organizations have been thinking about how they can measure their impact and demonstrate the value their trainings offer. As one of those organizations, and having recently conducted a mid-term evaluation of our longest-running training course, we wanted to hold space for a conversation about our findings and the approach we took to evaluation.

On this month’s call, we’ll do just that – highlighting the main findings of our CEF evaluation. We’ll also learn more about OLS’s recent evaluation study, briefly comparing and discussing our different research methods. And Jason Williams will join us to describe the Bicycle Principles – a framework that can guide both the creation of future trainings and the evaluation of those that already exist. We hope you’ll join us! 

April’s call


  • Jason Williams, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • Paz Bernaldo, OLS
  • Camille Santistevan, CSCCE
  • Lou Woodley, CSCCE


Join April’s community call to:

  • Learn about the impact of two long-running trainings on the individuals who participated and the STEM ecosystem as a whole
  • Consider a new framework for designing and evaluating short-form trainings in STEM
  • Join the conversation about mid/long-term evaluation methodology
  • Meet others creating professional development opportunities or managing communities in STEM

How to join

April’s call will take place on Wednesday, 24 April 2024, at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC

Our calls are hosted in Zoom – 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 generally last 90 minutes to allow time for discussion, but we try to keep all of the presentations within the first 60 minutes. We understand that virtual meetings have a tendency to overrun and overlap, so please don’t feel sheepish about arriving late or leaving early. We’d love to see you either way!

We will record the presentation portion of this month’s and make the recordings available via our YouTube channel. We will also share a recap of the call on our blog within one week of the call taking place, and you are welcome to join the asynchronous conversation on Slack.  


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 check 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

We curate a growing collection of resources for community managers on our website. If you have any questions about our work, or are interested in partnering with us on a future project or call, please contact info@cscce.org