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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CSCCE partners with the National Microbiome Data Collaborative to promote metadata standards adoption

CSCCE is wrapping up a project with the National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) to support their inaugural cohort of NMDC Ambassadors, who are raising awareness and adoption of metadata standards. 

The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC) is an open science platform through which scientists can deposit and find microbiome data. NMDC staff are working to support the adoption of FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) data and metadata practices by the researchers who use their platform. One of the ways they are doing this is through the establishment of a champions program: the NMDC Ambassadors program. 

Champions programs are ways of empowering emergent leaders within a community to take on additional roles and push forward the mission of the community. At CSCCE, we regularly work with clients on what an effective ambassadors program might look like in their context, and off support and best practices for getting a program off the ground. 

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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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5 guiding questions to help you support community volunteers

On 3 March 2022, CSCCE Director Lou Woodley gave an invited talk for the Code for Science & Society Digital Infrastructure Incubator about best practices when engaging volunteer labor. Her 60-minute session included opportunities for participants to reflect on their own work with community volunteers, and how they might refine the support they offer to them in the future. 

With so many community managers in STEM looking to mobilize community members in a volunteer capacity, we thought we’d share an overview of Lou’s “5 guiding questions” for supporting unpaid contributions. 

Photo by ray sangga kusuma on Unsplash
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CSCCE to collaborate with rOpenSci on CZI grant to empower historically excluded groups as community leaders in scientific open source projects

This post originally appeared on the rOpenSci blog, and is cross-posted with permission from the authors, Stefanie Butland, Karthik Ram, Noam Ross, and Maëlle Salmon. We’re excited to be partnering with the rOpenSci team to create a champions program to support new leaders in their community. Read on for more background on the project.

rOpenSci has been awarded new funding as part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Open Science program’s education and capacity building strategy. This $400K grant will support a new project 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.

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October’s community call recap – Supporting community champions and running champions programs

Our October call focused on the role of community champions in creating engaged, welcoming, and productive communities. This post includes a summary of the call, as well as video clips of presentations from Vanessa Fairhurst (Crossref Ambassadors program), Iratxe Puebla (ASAPbio Fellows program), and Ailís O’Carroll (eLife Community Ambassadors program). 

Our next call will take place on 17 November 2021 at 4pm UTC / 11am EST (note: upcoming daylight savings time changes may affect the time of this call in your region). We’ll be focusing on community governance models. iCal | Google Calendar

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October’s community call: Community champions programs

This month, we’re considering the role of community champions (also known as community ambassadors or, sometimes, fellows) in successful community management, and how community champions programs can intentionally work with emergent leaders to meet the needs of a community or organization. 

Join us for our monthly community call on Wednesday, 20 October at 3pm UTC / 11am EDT to learn more about champions and some of the programs that already exist – or are being planned –  within the STEM ecosystem. [Add to iCal or Google Calendar]

Our October call will focus on the role of community champions and how community managers can support and empower them through intentional programming. Image credit: CSCCE

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New CSCCE resource explores the role of champions in building and sustaining communities in STEM

Our latest guidebook explores the importance of supporting and encouraging the work of community champions, emergent leaders who take on additional roles within a community to ensure its success. The guidebook builds on our Community Participation Model, which describes how community members engage with community programming and the ways community managers can design activities and events that meet members where they are. It forms part two in a growing series of foundational resources, with more to come later this year.

What is a community champion? 

We define a community champion as: 

​​​​An emergent leadership role within a community in which a community member takes on more responsibility for the success, sustainability, and/or running of the community.

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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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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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