More than 300 learners have graduated from Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals!

This month we celebrated a very exciting milestone – more than 300 STEM community managers (305, to be exact!) have now successfully completed our foundational training in community management, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF).

Congratulations to all of our graduates – many of whom are featured on this page of our website – and if you’re interested in taking part in the course yourself, registration is open for our fall 2024 cohort (registration deadline: 23 August). But hurry! It’s more than half full already. 

“The course provides essential information to support community work whether you are just beginning or seeking to expand your community engagement activities.  It provides resources to help you develop a strategy and tools to support implementation of your ideas.  This course demystifies many aspects of community engagement and helps to ensure your community is built to last.”

CEF24W participant

About CEF

We launched CEF in October of 2020. It is the first course in our catalog of multi-week online trainings, and exemplifies our mission to bring together learnings from various disciplines into courses that are highly relevant to community managers in STEM. Community management is, by nature, work that requires multiple skills, and we see our role as facilitators in bringing together those skills in a way that is manageable and useful for busy professionals. 

Over the course of 8 weeks, CEF introduces a shared understanding of the meaning of the word “community,” and then breaks down the role of community manager in creating and nurturing community spaces. We also use CSCCE’s Community Participation Model in practical ways to guide strategic assessments of community content and programming, and support learners in designing actionable next steps for their community. 

The digital badge image for Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF) is a purple circle with a white center. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS is spelled out in white, over the top of the purple circle, and a purple umbel design is overlaid in the white center. At the bottom right, on the outside of the circle, it says “CSCCE Training Course” in two shades of teal.
In 2022, we began minting digital badges for all of our course graduates. These badges are one way for learners to list their new credential, and help us raise the profile of community management in STEM.

A defining feature of CEF and all of our trainings is that they operate as cohorts – with a group of approximately 20 community managers meeting regularly in live sessions each week. While this brings with it scheduling challenges, it also creates opportunities for learners to share their experiences with each other and forge lasting professional connections. 

“[I valued] meeting others in positions similar to mine. I previously felt isolated, and meeting with others that have similar roles, challenges, and perspectives was encouraging and enlightening.”

CEF24W participant

How is CEF changing the STEM ecosystem? 

CEF is intentionally actionable, and we have been thrilled to hear stories from our past learners of how they have put theory into practice in their own organizations and community projects. The 300+ community managers trained in CEF to date represent approximately 200 different communities in STEM, from professional associations to research institutions, national laboratories to industry. Gradually, it is our hope that the STEM ecosystem as a whole realizes the importance of community, and the necessity of trained professionals to build and nurture it. 

I would recommend this for someone looking for tools to support their role and a space for intentional learning and strategizing, particularly if they are looking for an ongoing community and support. I think this is helpful at multiple stages of development within a scientific community.

CEF23W participant

We will have much more to say about this in the coming weeks! We are currently conducting a medium-term evaluation of the impact of CEF on individual learners, their organizations, and the STEM ecosystem as a whole, thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). If you’re interested in learning more, please do join us on 24 April 2024 at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC, when we’ll be discussing our findings on our monthly community call. Add to calendar

Private cohorts

As well as offering CEF as a general registration course that anyone can sign up for, over the past two years we have started offering private cohorts in partnership with CZI, Australian Biocommons, and the Australian Research Data Commons. For CZI, we initially offered a cohort to grantees of their Essential Open Source Software program, ensuring that everyone participating in the cohort was working in somewhat similar community contexts. For Australian Biocommons and ARDC, the primary concern was offering the course in a compatible time zone. 

“Thank you for taking the time and effort to offer this in our timezone! I’m so glad that I finally got to take this course after years of following you on Twitter etc.”

CEF23 Aus participant

If creating a private cohort is something you’re interested in learning more about, please contact

Continuing your professional development training at CSCCE

CEF is a stepping stone to more advanced training options with us! Check out the following options, all of which are now open for enrollment in cohorts that will start from June 2024. 

Creating Community Playbooks (PBK) 

The digital badge image for Creating Community Playbooks (PBK) is a mint green circle with a white center. “PLAYBOOKS” spelled out in white, over the top of the mint green circle, and a mint green umbel design is overlaid in the white center. At the bottom right, on the outside of the circle, it says “CSCCE Training Course” in two shades of teal.

PBK is a workshop-style course that helps you plan, create, and/or update a community playbook or collaboration guide. This course is particularly useful if you are looking to immediately impact the day-to-day running of your community by consolidating core documentation and making it easy to find, share, and maintain. Find out more.

PBK24S will run on Mondays and Thursdays beginning Monday, 15 July until Thursday, 29 August 2024. Registration deadline: 21 June 2024

Content Design (CODE)

The digital badge image for Content Design (CODE) is a magenta circle with a white center. CONTENT DESIGN is spelled out in white, over the top of the magenta circle, and a magenta umbel design is overlaid in the white center. At the bottom right, on the outside of the circle, it says “CSCCE Training Course” in two shades of teal.

CODE offers a strategic framework for creating and sharing content that inspires and empowers your members to get involved in the community. If you’re regularly creating newsletters, writing copy for your website, or developing new resources for your community, then this is the course for you. Find out more.

CODE24F will run on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning Tuesday, 17 September until Friday, 25 October 2024. Registration deadline: 30 August 2024

The CSCCE Community Manager Certification Program

The CSCCE Certified Community Manager digital rosette. It is made up of a dark blue circle with an umbel flower motif in the center, and a lighter blue ribbon descending from the bottom of the circle. The words “CERTIFIED COMMUNITY MANAGER” are spelled out in white on the dark blue circle, and “CSCCE” appears on the lighter blue ribbon.

CODE and PBK are both required components of our Community Manager Certification Program, a longer-form, multi-component, online program for STEM community managers. As a participant in the program, you’ll also take a third elective course (Nurturing Online Communities or Communities of Practice), and participate in Mini-workshops and Quarterly Skills Share sessions over the course of 1.5-2 years. 

Enrollment is currently open for our next cohort – deadline 30 April 2024. Email if you’re interested in signing up