April’s community call recap – An update on CSCCE community programming

Keeping our members regularly updated so that they can make informed decisions about where and when to engage is a core part of our communications strategy, and for our April 2021 community call we shared a quarterly update to make visible various things that have been happening so far this year. In this post, we give a summary of our community programming and related community projects over the last few months, as well as a sneak peek at what’s coming up over the summer. We will be sharing more information about our paid training offerings and sustainability planning, which we also discussed in the call, in future blog posts. 

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Building Research Software Communities: Running a workshop on community building and sustainability for the research software community

On Wednesday 17th March 2021, around 50 individuals from a wide range of different countries and time zones came together for the first of two 2-hour sessions that formed the “Building Research Software Communities: How to increase engagement in your community” workshop.

Run as part of the SORSE Series of Online Research Software Events, this workshop brought together an organising team consisting of 3 members of the international research software community and a group of speakers including experts in community engagement and sustainability. In this blog post we provide an overview of the workshop and some of the key messages and outcomes.

This guest blog post, by Michelle Barker, Jeremy Cohen, Daniel Nüst, Toby Hodges, Serah Njambi Rono, and Lou Woodley, first appeared on the Imperial College London’s Research Software Engineering blog.

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Using virtual tools to enhance your meeting or event

On 21 April 2021, Lou Woodley and Jenny East of the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement (CSCCE) hosted an interactive session on virtual events as part of the Code for Science & Society (CS&S) grantee workshop series. They focused on how to select and test online tools to help facilitate your meeting activities, and shared a guidebook to help you decide what tool to choose. This post, authored by Jenny and CSCCE’s communications director, Katie Pratt, gives an overview of the workshop and the motivation behind creating the guidebook. 

This post also appears on the CS&S Event Fund blog.

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Registration now open for Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF21S)

Today we opened general registration for the fourth cohort of our Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals course (CEF21S). This 6-week online course, intended for new and more seasoned community managers alike, grounds learners in CSCCE’s core frameworks, offering a strong foundation for strategic community building in STEM.

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Welcome to Jenny East – CSCCE’s newest trainer!

We’re excited that the CSCCE team continues to grow, and this week we welcome Jenny East onboard as CSCCE’s newest trainer. Jenny will join lead trainer Camille Santistevan, along with center director Lou Woodley, in developing and facilitating CSCCE’s modular, online trainings and client-facing support

About Jenny

Before joining the CSCCE team, Jenny spent over five years as an outreach coordinator for Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University, USA. In this role, she worked to educate recreational boaters about preventing water pollution and how to reduce their impact on the local ecosystem, a mission she undertook through the development of materials and events to engage boating communities within Oregon. Her position also included training staff at local marinas so that they had the skills and resources they needed, as they also had a role in supporting healthy waterways. 

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First Birthday Series: The future of CSCCE’s community of practice

For our “First Birthday Series” of blog posts, we took some time to reflect on CSCCE’s community of practice, which turned one year old on 21 October 2020. In this final post in the series, jointly authored by Communications Director, Katie Pratt and Center Director, Lou Woodley, we look back on CSCCE’s seed funding, how the Center is supported now, and our plans for a financially sustainable future.

Previous posts in this series outlined the community “by the numbers,” delved a little deeper into our programming offerings, discussed our resources and the importance of co-creating together, and summarized how our working groups and special interest groups operate and further our mission. Together, these five blog posts celebrate year one of CSCCE’s community of practice, and look ahead to the future of the Center. 

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CSCCE receives funding from Sloan Foundation to support transition to online collaboration

We’re delighted to announce that CSCCE has received a $125k grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to continue our work supporting the transition to online collaboration that’s been accelerated due to the global pandemic.

In this post, we outline what we plan to deliver thanks to this grant – and we indicate the emerging opportunities to participate or collaborate with CSCCE that will result.

Supporting a rapid shift in norms

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has forced a sudden transition to online meetings and online work spaces for which many scientific organizations and communities were painfully under-prepared. Although discussions were underway in many organizations to improve access to conferences and events by offering virtual options, few had begun to implement them at scale. As a result, many organizations are now frantically trying to adapt, while lacking the in-house expertise, access to reliable information, and peer support necessary for staff to succeed. 

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CSCCE online modular trainings: Registration is now open for our Winter courses

This Fall we launched the first in a new series of CSCCE online training modules. In this blog post, we explain the courses and when they’ll be offered again, who we hope will take them, and how they impact our other programming, including a potential CEFP2021 cohort. If you have any questions about anything in this post, please reach out to us: info@cscce.org.

What are CSCCE online modular trainings?

Our online modular trainings distill years of experience and expertise in building successful communities in STEM into courses that fit into your busy schedule. Each training runs for six weeks, and involves two live sessions a week (totaling 2.5 hours) along with around 90 minutes of homework to complete each week.

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First Birthday Series: The importance of co-creating resources in a community of practice

For our “First Birthday Series” of blog posts, we are taking some time to reflect on CSCCE’s community of practice, which turned one year old on 21 October 2020. Our first post summarised the community “by the numbers,” then we delved a little deeper into our programming offerings.

In this post, jointly authored by Communications Director, Katie Pratt and Center Director, Lou Woodley, we take stock of our resource collection, which now comprises eight pages on our website and includes 28 free-to-download guidebooks, worksheets, and community profiles in our Zenodo community repository

The growing CSCCE resource collection. Image credit: CSCCE
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Announcing a new CSCCE working group – Community champions programs!

This week we’re launching a new CSCCE working group – for any STEM community managers planning or supporting community champions programs. 

What are community champions programs?

As a community manager, chances are you spend a significant amount of your time operating at the “whole community” level – devising shared programming such as community calls and also creating newsletters and other reinforcing communications to keep the group informed and aligned around the various programming and activities.

While that community-level alignment is crucially important, a community moves forward its mission when members are empowered to take on emergent leadership roles – which enables the community to grow, become more sustainable, and to advance specific projects together via working groups and other smaller-group activities. In the CSCCE Community Participation Model (see image below) we refer to this mode of member engagement as the CHAMPION mode – and we’re working to develop our own champion infrastructure as well as working with other communities such as The Carpentries to develop theirs.

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