June’s Community Call – Annual Mid-Year Social!

As the academic year winds down for many of us, and we head into the season of conferences, field work, and vacations, it’s time for CSCCE’s fourth annual mid-year social!

Every year around this time we invite you to join a community call that’s focused on helping you to meet other members of the CSCCE community of practice who are interested in some of the same community management topics as you are. In brief, you tell us the topics that you’re hoping to connect around, we work behind-the-scenes to make everyone a personalized list of pairings, and then we all spend the call enjoying meeting the people on our virtual “networking dance cards!”  Read on to find out more about what to expect and how to sign up, and do reach out to if you have any requests or suggestions

Date: Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Time: 11am EDT / 3pm UTC

Register before 14 June: click here

Zoom link to join: click here

Add to calendar: click here

Join us for the opportunity to get to know other members of the CSCCE community of practice! Image credit: CSCCE.
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May Community Call Recap – Discourse Tools Trial

Whether you’re a new community manager tasked with standing up an online space for your members, or you’re just not happy with the platform you’ve been using for years and need to find a new one, picking the right software or application for your community is a big deal.

There are a number of different tools available, all with their own features, quirks, and costs, and it can be daunting to get started with your market research, budgeting, and, eventually, implementation. That’s where CSCCE tools trials come in! In 2020 and 2021 they were a semi-regular event as communities necessarily embraced online connection – and now they’re more of a pop-up event as needs arise. 

At this month’s community call/tools trial, thanks to a thread that took off in the CSCCE Community of Practice Slack, we took a closer look at Discourse. Discourse is an open-source community discussion platform that can be tailored to meet the needs of a range of communities. A brief tour of the platform by CSCCE’s Maya Sanghvi was followed by two demos from members of the CSCCE Community of practice: Andra Stratton (Program Manager for the Rare as One Network at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative) and Isaac Farley (Technical Support Manager at Crossref). 

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May’s Community Call / Tools Trial – Discourse

This month, we’re hosting an impromptu Tools Trial for our community call. In response to significant interest from the members of our community of practice (find out more about our community), we’ll be getting together in Zoom on Friday, 26 May 2023 at 10am EDT / 2pm UTC to share expertise and explore the functionality of Discourse. 

Date: Friday, 26 May 2023

Time: 10am EDT / 2pm UTC

Zoom link to join: click here

Add to calendar: click here

For our May Community Call, we’re convening an impromptu Tools Trial to discuss and explore the utility of Discourse for STEM community building. Image credit: CSCCE
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We’re hiring! Lead Trainer, with open-source experience, for the POSE Training Program

If you’ve been keeping up to date with CSCCE news lately, you’ll know that our staff team has doubled over the past year (meet Cat, Emily, and Maya!). It’s a really exciting time to join our team, especially if you have a background in open-source scientific software, open-source STEM hardware, or open data and are keen to grow as a trainer. 


  • We’re looking for a Lead Trainer and Curriculum Developer to join our team and work with us to continue developing and delivering the POSE Training Program.
  • Key skills: Experience training in a virtual setting; experience developing curricula; and a background in open-source STEM applications.
  • The deadline for applications is Friday, 26 May 2023, with interviews in June and an ideal start date in July.
  • To apply, send your resume or CV (no more than two pages) plus a cover letter describing why you are interested in this role at CSCCE to
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CSCCE hosts kickoff meeting for new CZI-funded collaboration

In December 2022, CSCCE received funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as collaborators on a grant to create a collaborative cloud infrastructure service for bioscience researchers in Latin America and Africa. The project is being led by 2i2c, and also involves The Carpentries, Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), MetaDocencia, and Open Life Science (OLS). 

CSCCE has two main roles on the project. Firstly, we are supporting the international, multi-stakeholder team in establishing how they want to work together – and will be sharing some of those learnings externally so that other complex projects might benefit. And secondly, as part of the strategy team (with 2i2c, OLS and IOI), we’ll be considering the models for community engagement and governance being used in delivering the project locally. Again, we hope there will be much to share about localized community engagement as the project progresses.

We’re excited by the opportunity to be very intentional about setting up and reviewing how complex, collaborative work takes place, and this post is our first reflection on what we’ve learned so far.

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April Community Call Recap – A conversation about the future of STEM communities online

This month’s “salon-style” call focused on the changing landscape of social media, and how STEM professionals are engaging (or not) on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. Lou and Katie created a loose scaffold to facilitate the call, drawing on their many, many years of life online, and we thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that unfolded. 

We did not record this month’s call, so that everyone who participated could feel comfortable sharing their opinions and experiences, and this recap is intentionally free of identifying information. We’ve also collected the resources shared on the call at the end of this post – from books to blog posts to suggestions of people to follow – so scroll on to find out more! 

Photo by Roxanne Desgagnés on Unsplash
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Welcome to Emily Lescak – Project and Community Manager for the POSE Training Program

This week, Emily Lescak joined the CSCCE staff team. She is taking on the role of Project and Community Manager for the POSE Training Program, working to support program participants and ensure smooth operations behind the scenes. We’re so happy to have Emily join our team! Please read on for a little more about her work, past and future. 

About Emily

Emily Lescak, a white woman with dark hair tied back. She is wearing a black top patterned with white birds.

Emily comes to CSCCE from the Wikimedia Foundation, where, as Senior Research Community Officer, she developed a multi-year strategy for growing, diversifying, and supporting the global community of researchers working on Wikimedia projects, co-organized an annual virtual research workshop, and co-developed a new funding program to support international cohorts of researchers. Previously, she developed and managed Code for Science and Society’s Event Fund. She took CSCCE’s Community Engagement Fundamentals course in 2021 and has been an active member of the community for more than three years.

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New publication highlights NMDC Ambassador Program

A new paper published today in Nature Microbiology, co-authored by CSCCE staff members Camille Santistevan and Lou Woodley, reports on the success of the National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) Ambassador Program. 

The success of this pilot cohort of NMDC Ambassadors highlights the outsized impact community champions programs can have in culture change initiatives that rely on a change in community norms – in this case, the definition and adoption of metadata standards to aid the reuse of microbiome data. In this blog post, we offer a high-level overview of the project, but we encourage you to read the new paper, which is available here

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The POSE Training Program begins: Spring 2023 pilot session

CSCCE is currently partnering with Karthik Ram at UC Berkeley on an NSF grant to provide a training program for awardees of NSF’s Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems program. The pilot version of the POSE Training Program began in April 2023, with more than 60 POSE awardees joining Training Program staff for a six-week program of workshops and webinars. You can find out more about the pilot syllabus on the website

In this blog post, we share more about how we onboarded participants to the pilot program, and how we are gathering their feedback to ensure future iterations of the program are meeting the needs of leaders in open-source ecosystem creation and sustainability. 

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April’s Community Call – The internet is breaking – what’s next for building community online?

The last few years have seen a shift in how people behave online. More and more, we see individuals announcing that they will leave this platform or that, either for new websites or for a life lived less online. Relatedly, spaces that are more private are increasingly replacing public ones for conference back channels and subject-specific discussions. While these changes may be understandable, as community managers, this shift away from sharing and connecting in public forums presents very real challenges. 

During this month’s salon-style community call, we will investigate how the upheavals in social media platforms (and how people engage with them) are impacting community-building activities online. Please come ready to share your experiences and opinions, as well as any ideas you have for what’s next. This month’s call will not be recorded, but a recap blog post will be made available shortly after. 

Date: Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Time: 11am EDT / 3pm UTC

Zoom link to join: click here

Add to calendar: click here

A blue graphic with umbel flowers in the background. White text reads "The internet is breaking- what's next for building community online?"
How do we engage members on social media when social media networks are less and less places people want to be? Image credit: CSCCE.
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