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’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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CSCCE Community Manager Certification Program – More information available and live info sessions!

In July we announced that in 2023 we’ll be launching a new certification program for STEM Community Managers, building on our foundational training Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals. Since we made that announcement, we’ve been listening to feedback and working on some details. 

In this blog post, we share some updates, including when the first cohort will begin their course of study and how you can let us know that you plan on enrolling. We also share when we’ll be hosting info sessions so that you can get quick answers to any questions you might have, and how your organization can sponsor the program if you’d like to support the participation of others. 

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November’s community call recap: Community managers share their strategies for engaging volunteers

For our November call, the theme was working with volunteers. Yanina Bellini Saibene (rOpenSci) moderated a discussion between Saranjeet Kaur (RSE Asia Association) and Melissa Mendonça (NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and Pandas) with brief comments from Yared Abera Ergu (The Carpentries in Africa). The panelists addressed a range of topics including:

  • The types of volunteer positions available in their communities
  • What motivates their volunteers
  • Problems with common approaches to volunteer labor and potential solutions

In this blog post, we provide brief descriptions of the panelists’ and facilitator’s backgrounds and summarize their thoughts on these three topics.

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November’s Community Call: Creating fulfilling volunteer opportunities in open source software communities

Many STEM communities rely on volunteers, and yet it can be hard to sustain volunteer engagement. For our November call, we’ve invited three community managers from open source software organizations to participate in a panel discussion about how to create volunteer opportunities that are emotionally and intellectually fulfilling, and recognize and reward member contributions in these volunteer roles.

While our panelists this month all work with open source communities (which ties in with the new POSE training program we’re developing!), we encourage you to attend even if this isn’t your focus area. The discussion will be relevant to a range of STEM community settings. 

Join us via Zoom on 16 November 2022 at 11am EST/4pm UTC (note that the US daylight saving’s transition may change the time for this monthly call in your time zone.)

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This month’s call will feature a panel discussion about how to create opportunities that will keep volunteers engaged and fulfilled in the open source software space. Image credit: CSCCE
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October’s Community Call: Expectations and Metrics

Our October call will focus on why community-building is important to different STEM organizations and what success looks like in each case. We’ll hear from three STEM leaders – each representing a different type of organization from a funder to a lead PI – about why community is important to the work they do.

Join us via Zoom on Thursday*, 20 October, 2022, at 11am EDT/3pm UTC.

*Please note that this month’s call is on a Thursday rather than during the regular Wednesday time slot due to speaker availability.

This month we’re looking at how to define successful community engagement.
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Re-introducing the CSCCE blog – An orientation to what’s here and how you can contribute!

CSCCE’s blog is a wealth of information on scientific community management. But, we realized, for many folks new to CSCCE, that information is somewhat buried in the archives. So, this week we decided to take a look back* at some of the blog posts we’ve** shared over the years, curating them so that you can easily find certain topics or collections, and invite you to add your thoughts as a guest blogger. 

A photo of dozens of books open to random pages. Some of them overlap.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
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Community calls coming up this fall: Being a community manager in STEM

Following on from our August community call, where we introduced some of the emerging trends from our forthcoming report on community manager roles, this fall we’ll be hosting a series of follow-on conversations to get at some of the challenges we identified. Each call will address at least one of the common challenges community managers face, and hold space for community reflection and feedback. 

In this blog post, you’ll find a brief summary of what to expect from each call, as well as dates and details so that you can add each call to your calendar. We’re still working out some of the details for this series, so if you see something that particularly resonates with you and you’d like to be involved as a speaker or panelist, please let us know by emailing (note: you don’t have to be a member of our community of practice to contribute to our monthly calls). 

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The long haul: Understanding STEM community sustainability as a systems challenge

At the end of April 2022, CSCCE’s Director Lou Woodley co-developed a session on sustainability in community projects for the National Organization of Research Development Professionals conference with Melissa Vaught (University of Washington), Jennifer Glass (Eastern Michigan University), Connie Johnson (Umass Chan Medical School), and Jessica Moon (Stanford Aging and Ethnogeriatrics Transdisciplinary Collaborative Research Center).

In this guest blog post, Melissa, who is also a member of CSCCE’s community of practice for STEM community managers, recaps the goals and outcomes of the session.

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CSCCE team trains eLife Ambassadors: Empowering community champions in STEM

The CSCCE training team took to the virtual road in mid-March to work with the current cohort of eLife Ambassadors. In two, 90-minute sessions tailored to the eLife Ambassadors program, Lou Woodley and Camille Santistevan are sharing best practices and actionable tactics for STEM community engagement. 

About the eLife Ambassadors

The eLife Ambassadors program was created to “enable early-stage researchers to build lasting support networks and to help them innovate solutions and work together to overcome the many barriers and issues that their research communities face.” [See the current call for applications for next year’s program].

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