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 Community Manager Case Studies – First one out today!

This week we released the first CSCCE Community Manager Case Study! Every Tuesday this Spring you can expect a new case study to drop; browse the collection and download your own copy of each one from our dedicated resource page

What is a Community Manager Case Study? 

These 2-page interviews ask scientific community managers a series of questions about their role, including day-to-day tasks, highlights and challenges, and how they view the importance of community building in STEM. They are very similar in structure to a series of interviews we conducted in 2016, when STEM community managers were relatively unknown, and are intended to showcase what it means to convene communities in a variety of scientific settings. 

On each case study you’ll also find a unique skills wheel signature for the community manager featured, which assesses how frequently they used 45 skills in 5 core competencies over the last 12 months. You can find out  more about the CSCCE Skills Wheel, created by the C3 project team of the CEFP 2017 cohort in our 2021 guidebook

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New community profiles collection in collaboration with the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Wilson Center

Today we’re releasing the first few CSCCE Community Profiles in a new collection we’ve created in collaboration with the Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) at the Wilson Center. The collection was initiated to understand more about how communities involved in the hardware and open science ecosystem operate, as well as the ways in which they are connected. In this blog post, we share the goals of the project, what to expect over the next few weeks, and how you can work with us to create community profiles for your own domain or project. 

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July’s community call: Adding to the collection of CSCCE community profiles

Our July community call focused on one of CSCCE’s ongoing research projects: Creating scientific community profiles. We heard from Lou Woodley and Katie Pratt, who led the project, as well as three of the scientific community managers who took part in the project. In this blog post we briefly recap why we’re doing this work, what’s coming in the next few months, and share videos of the three community manager presentations. 

If you are interested in creating a profile for your community, please let us know by filling out this short form

A selection of some of our newest community profiles. Image credit: CSCCE
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Announcing a second collection of scientific community profiles! A year in the life of 14 STEM communities

This week we published 14 new community profiles in our growing collection that describes different STEM communities. Each profile is a free-to-download infographic that provides a snapshot of the community’s structure and programming, as well as a look at its outputs, challenges, and plans for the future. 

These profiles are part of a research project we began last year, to provide a resource to describe and discuss STEM communities – and inspire community managers, senior managers and funders alike about the possibilities of community-based projects. In addition to 13 profiles created in 2020, we are conducting a meta-analysis to investigate trends observed across the dataset, as well as building out additional resources to complement the collection. 

Some of the profiles included in our newest collection. Image credit: CSCCE
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July’s Community Call: CSCCE community profiles round two

This month, we’re showcasing a new collection of community profiles on our community call, and have invited four of the community managers who took part in this project to share their experiences. Join us on Wednesday, 21 July 2021 via Zoom, and read on for more details about the call. 

Join us to learn more about research into STEM communities. Image credit: the CSCCE. 

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January’s community call recap: (Personal) Resilience and Community (Management)

For January’s community call we focused on resilience. The topic of this year’s Community Manager Advancement Day, resilience is particularly important for scientific community managers, who tend to be prone to burnout due to busy and somewhat ambiguous roles, which require rapid switching between a broad range of skills. In addition, scientific community managers often work alone, behind the scenes, and with limited institutional support.

Following two prior presentations on resilience for CSCCE fellows, CEFP 2017 alumna Jennifer Davison agreed to share her talk with the entire community. You can watch Jen’s presentation in full below, or read on for a brief recap. Also in this post, a collection of tips for building a personal resilience practice gathered from the participants in the call, and a host of resources from blog posts to books to podcasts.

…resilience is seen as the capacity to withstand change for some time but also, past a certain point, to transform while continuing or regaining the ability to provide essential functions, services, amenities, or qualities.

Moser, 2008
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What does a scientific community manager do? Check out the CSCCE Skills Wheel and accompanying guidebook!

Our newest resource, the CSCCE Skills Wheel and guidebook, is out this week. Created by the C3 project team of the 2017 CEFP cohort, the wheel defines 45 skills used in varying degrees by scientific community managers, laying out a common language and framework for hiring, professional development, and personal fulfillment.

About the C3 project

As part of CSCCE’s Community Engagement Fellowship Program (CEFP), fellows self-organize into small groups to take on a research or resource-development project. The Catalyzing Cultural Change (C3) team, Jennifer Davison, Andreas Leidolf, Malin Sandström, Elisha Wood-Charlson, and Lou Woodley, wanted to define the skills and core competencies for scientific community engagement managers, while also understanding how these roles are positioned within different types of scientific communities or organizations.

To do this, they compared the skills listed in a range of scientific community manager job descriptions, surveyed scientific community managers within the 2017 CEFP cohort, and, along with additional literature research, created the CSCCE skills wheel.

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September’s Community Call Recap – Community Profiles: What they are, how we made them, and who they serve

On this month’s community call we unveiled the first round of our community profiles, with Lou and independent contractor Sara Kobilka presenting the goals and methodology of our research. We also heard from three members of our community who took part in the study, and how their profiles helped them think about their communities, and their engagement strategies, in new ways.

Our community profiles project aims to inspire and connect scientific community managers, and begin to standardize terminology surrounding communities in STEM. Image credit: CSCCE
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CSCCE’s Community Profiles Project: How did we do it?

In out last blog post, we announced the release of 13 new “Community Profiles,” created by CSCCE staff in collaboration with independent contractor, Sara Kobilka. In this post, which was co-authored with Sara, we delve a little deeper into our methodology. 

Survey Design

As we began the survey design process we worked to balance multiple considerations. First, we wanted something as complete as possible. Lou created the first version of the survey with the goal of collecting information about communities that scientific community managers had previously expressed interest in learning about – such as funding models, staffing, and online collaboration tools. At the same time, we didn’t want to make the survey too onerous for community managers to complete.

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