New tip sheets on planning and launching community champions programs!

Today we published four tip sheets intended to help you plan and launch a community champions program. They were co-created by CSCCE staff and members of our champions programs working group, and complement the champions guidebook that we released last year. 

Ultimately, these four tip sheets will be joined by five more, each one illustrating one of the nine stages of community champions programs described in the guidebook (and shown below). Read on to find out more about champions, champions programs, and how they maintain, grow, and evolve communities in STEM.

Image credit: CSCCE. Citation: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2021) The CSCCE Community Participation Model – Exploring the Champion mode. Woodley and Pratt doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5275270
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March’s Community Call Recap: Community manager roles in STEM

The March community call focused on the different forms that community manager (CM) roles take across the STEM ecosystem. The agenda included presentations and reflection questions to guide the conversation, which covered career paths, professional development, and common challenges. 

To kick off the meeting, Lou Woodley spoke about CSCCE’s research program, highlighting our newest resource-creation project: STEM Community Manager Case Studies. Malin Sandström (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility) and Elisha Wood-Charlson (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) then described work they performed as CSCCE Community Engagement fellows to characterize CM positions. This work will feed into a new CSCCE working group, which will launch in April and continue studying scientific community manager roles.

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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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March’s community call: Exploring scientific community manager roles

The next CSCCE community call will take place on 16 March at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC (add to your calendar: Google | iCal). We’ll be talking about what it looks like to be a community manager in a variety of settings; from scientific societies to research collaborations and everything in between. 

We’ll also be talking about our newest resource, a series of community manager case studies that we’ll be releasing every Tuesday this Spring, starting on 9 March. And, we’ll hear from the C3 project team from CEFP 2017 as we kick off a new community working group building on their research. 

Read on for more information, or click here to join the Zoom call.

This month we’re focusing on what it looks like to be a community manager in STEM, and how the role varies depending on context. Image credit: CSCCE
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February’s community call recap: Creating scaffolding to support your community

February’s community call focused on how scaffolding influences engagement and inclusion in communities. The call coincided with the release of the third installment of The CSCCE Community Participation Model guidebook, which described what scaffolding is and why it matters. And, as a gesture of gratitude and love to our community members in Valentine’s week, we also updated a number of our CC BY licensed scaffolding PDFs and created easily-adapted Google doc versions to support the creation of scaffolding across the STEM ecosystem.  

We spent time on the call discussing and exploring these resources and the challenges community managers face when trying to create and/or socialize scaffolding in their communities, as well as coworking to create, adapt, and update materials. In this post, we recap some of the key points that came up during our community conversation. 

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Scaffolding for healthy communities: New CSCCE guidebook out today!

Today we released the third part in our series of guidebooks that explore CSCCE’s Community Participation Model. It focuses on scaffolding – the items that complement programming to lower barriers to participation and support multiple modes of member engagement in a community. 

You can download a copy of the guidebook for free here, and read on for an overview of what scaffolding is and why you need it. 

Photo by Reto Simonet on Unsplash
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February’s community call: Creating scaffolding to support your community

Our February call will focus on scaffolding — onboarding documentation, how-to manuals, and tip sheets that keep everyone within an organization or community on the same page.

We’re currently finalizing a guidebook that lays out the role of scaffolding in STEM communities, and we’re excited to give you a sneak peak of the guidebook’s core concepts. This month’s call will also include time for participants to create or update their own scaffolding – either by adapting CSCCE’s CC-BY-licensed scaffolding templates or building and/or sharing their own organization’s documents.

Join us on Wednesday, 16 February at 4pm UTC / 11am EST for more. Click here to join the Zoom meeting. 

For our February 2022 community call, we’ll be discussing the scaffolding that supports communities. Image credit: CSCCE
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Community Manager Case Studies: What does it look like to be a community manager in STEM?

In 2016, we conducted a series of 10 interviews with community managers working in STEM. We asked them a series of questions with a view to sharing what their roles looked like and highlighting the work as an important piece of human infrastructure for effective collaboration. 

More than five years later, after growing a community of practice involving more than 350 members, we’re revisiting the project. Our goal is to build a collection of case studies so that new and aspiring community managers can get an idea of what their role is or will be, and for hiring managers to understand what to look for in new hires. 

We’re also curious about how community roles vary in different organizational settings. How does community management look in a professional society vs. higher education, for example? How do online communities compare to in-person ones, and how is that changing during the COVID-19 pandemic? We hope to explore these topics and more on the CSCCE blog as the project develops. 

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Opportunities to co-create with CSCCE in 2022

Co-creating resources with members of our community of practice is an important part of what we do here at CSCCE. It adds depth and breadth to the resources we publish while also being an opportunity for members to both gain a citable publication and give back to the community. In many cases, working on a CSCCE project also leads to new professional connections and working relationships that persist long after we publish the final product. 

So, as we continue our series of forward-looking blog posts, we’re thinking about the co-creating and collaboration opportunities that will exist over the next few months. If any of these opportunities pique your interest, let us know by emailing info@cscce.org

Co-create with us! Photo by Alice Dietrich on Unsplash
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Reflecting on some highlights from 2021

Happy new year! We hope that you got a bit of a break over the holiday period. Before we outline what’s coming up at CSCCE in 2022, we wanted first to reflect on 2021 and another busy 12 months for the CSCCE team. 

While this post summarizes a few of CSCCE’s “greatest hits,” from the year, it has also been an emotionally and logistically challenging year, with many of us operating under conditions of radical uncertainty and yet always trying to show one another care. As we continue to operate in the midst of a global pandemic, we want to acknowledge that while it’s important to celebrate our successes, 2021 has been difficult too.

Before we dig in, a heartfelt thank you to everyone we’ve worked with over the past year; members of our community of practice, learners in our online trainings, and clients and colleagues. We appreciate every joyful opportunity to learn and grow alongside you as we work to professionalize and institutionalize the role of the community manager in STEM. 

We’d also like to thank our major funder, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, for their continued support, guidance, and commitment to the importance of building communities in STEM. 

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