Facilitating collaboration and decision-making: A workshop series for the Rare As One Network annual meeting

In mid-May, CSCCE was honored to host a three-day workshop series for the Rare As One Network’s annual meeting. The meeting’s attendees had a shared interest in developing strategies to support large-scale collaboration and collaborative decision-making, topics that we regularly offer trainings on, and we were delighted to share our frameworks in this highly interactive online workshop setting. 

This blog post offers a summary of the series. If you are interested in learning more about commissioning a similar training for your organization or community, please reach out to training@cscce.org. (Review a full list of workshops in our catalog.)

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Fostering equity and leadership: The rOpenSci Champions Program selection process

This post is adapted and abridged from the original, which appeared on the rOpenSci blog and was authored by Francisco Cardozo, Yanina Bellini Saibene, Camille Santistevan, and Lou Woodley

As part of our work with longtime client and partner rOpenSci, we’ve been supporting community manager Yanina Bellini Saibene with developing their champions program. 

The goal of the rOpenSci Champions Program is to enable more members of historically excluded groups to participate in, benefit from, and become leaders in the R, research software engineering, and open source and open science communities. This program includes 1-on-1 mentoring for the Champions as they complete a project and perform outreach activities in their local communities.

This blog post focuses on how participants are selected from a pool of applicants for the rOpenSci Champions Program – a multi-step process intentionally designed to ensure a diverse cohort of Champions and Mentors. 

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The Bicycle Principles – CSCCE collaborators, community members, and staff consider short form training best practices

In a new publication, which came out in November in PLOS ONE, CSCCE community of practice member Jason Williams (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), Rochelle Trachtenberg (Georgetown University), and co-authors describe the Bicycle Principles for short form trainings in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine), as well as a series of recommendations for their successful implementation. 

The work is an output from a conference that took place at CSHL’s Banbury Center and online in May of 2022. The conference convened 30 experts in short form training, including CSCCE’s Director Lou Woodley and several collaborators and members of our community of practice: Melissa Burke (Australian Biocommons), Allissa Dillman (NIH Office of Data Science Strategy), Maria Doyle (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre), Christina Hall (Australian Biocommons), Kate Hertweck (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative), Kari Jordan (The Carpentries), Lisanna Paladin (EMBL Heidelberg), Tracy Teal (RStudio, now Posit).

In this blog post, we offer a short overview of the Bicycle Principle and associated recommendations, but for more detail, please download the paper and check out bikeprinciples.org.

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CSCCE collaborators publish report on supporting environmental data science students at minority serving institutions

In 2021/22, CSCCE collaborated with the Academic Data Science Alliance (ADSA), The Carpentries, the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative, the Native BioData Consortium, NEON, and the RIOS Institute on an NSF grant to explore ways of better supporting environmental data science students at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

CSCCE’s role in the project, which was led by PI Micaela Parker (ADSA) and co-PIs Krystal Tsosie (Arizona State University), Talitha Washington (Clark Atlanta University), and Kari Jordan (The Carpentries), was to convene and facilitate a series of working group calls that brought together faculty from TCUs and HBCUs. The findings from this work were synthesized into a report published earlier this month in ADSA’s Zenodo Community. (An editable version of the report is open for comment until December 2024). 

In this blog post, we share a little more about the work we did on this project. If you are interested in working with as facilitators for your next collaboration, please contact info@cscce.org, or visit our consultancy webpage

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Planning and launching a new champions program – and online community platform – at the Michael J Fox Foundation

Over the last few months, we’ve been working with Josh Gottesman and Leslie Kirsch at the Michael J Fox Foundation to plan a new online community of practice intended to support conversations about the sharing and reuse of data related to Parkinson’s Disease Research. 

As is the norm for many community projects, we’ve been taking a phased approach to the launch of this Data Community of Practice (DCoP) – working to understand the needs of the nascent community and then identifying a small group of community champions to help test the online platform and seed initial conversations before opening the community to a wider membership. 

In this blog post, we share more about how we supported MJFF through member research, the selection and design of a new online community platform, resource creation and scaffolding for their new Data Community Innovators (DCIs) program, and the planning and hosting of a DCI kick-off meeting at MJFF’s offices in NYC.

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Preparing for large, multi-stakeholder collaborations – a two-part CSCCE workshop

In May 2023, CSCCE’s Director, Lou Woodley, and Director of Learning, Camille Santistevan, ran a two-part workshop as part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)’s Central Science Training Series. The series included training and discussion on topics related to leadership, career development, science communication, and more, with a range of experts sharing their knowledge and experiences. 

The workshops Lou and Camille developed, which ran for 2 hours each on 10 and 24 May, focused on preparing for large, multi-stakeholder collaborations, with a particular focus on the beginnings of projects as a crucial time for establishing collaborative relationships, understanding expectations, and defining working norms. 

In this blog post, we share a little more about the workshops. If you’d be interested in taking these workshops as an individual, or contracting with us to offer them in your organization, please let us know by emailing training@cscce.org

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How do you measure the impact of a community champions program?

This post was co-authored by Yanina Bellini Saibene and CSCCE Staff, and can also be found on the rOpenSci blog.

How do you measure the impact of a community champions program? This was the central question of a working session at CZI’s Accelerating Open Science in Latin America workshop, convened by rOpenSci’s Community Manager Yani Bellini Saibene and attended by CSCCE’s Founder and Director, Lou Woodley. 

Measuring the impact of any kind of community program presents a series of challenges : 

  • What is the impact that you’re hoping your program will have? 
  • Is the impact you hope the program will have something that can be measured?
  • What types of instruments can be used to measure impact? (e.g., surveys, focus groups, etc.)
  • How many times can you reasonably ask your participants to give feedback?
  • How do you (or can you?) reliably follow up with participants months or even years after a program has concluded? 
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CSCCE offers a private CEF cohort “in Australia!”

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of delivering a private cohort of our foundational training for STEM community managers, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF), in collaboration with the Australian Biocommons.

This was the second private  CEF cohort we’ve offered, having run one for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Essential Open Source Software program last Summer (and a second CZI cohort will start in early July). CEF cohorts are always unique, and custom cohorts are particularly engaging, allowing colleagues and collaborators to explore concepts in community management, and their own shared goals and challenges, together. 

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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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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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