Community Calls

As part of our programming to nurture a community of scientific community engagement managers and those interested in scientific community engagement, we host a monthly community call via Zoom.

Providing support for scientific community managers remains at the heart of CSCCE’s mission. Image credit: CSCCE

2022 schedule

(You can find the archive of Community Call info from 2019, 2020, and 2021 here)

We typically host our community calls at 11am EST on the third Wednesday of each month, although speaker availability may result in scheduling changes. Abstracts and speakers will be updated as the schedule is co-created. The listings below reflect the most up-to-date information.

We welcome input about the topics for discussion – both ahead of time and during the calls. Please let us know if you’d like to present – or suggest a new topic for a call!

We will also share information about our community calls in our monthly newsletter.

December 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 14 December at 11am EDT

Add to calendar: Google | Outlook 365

Topic: Annual Community Potluck

Blog posts: coming soon

Zoom link: click here

More details

ABSTRACT

Our annual potluck is a chance to connect and network with other professionals in STEM who are working to build and nurture communities. We hope you’ll join us to reflect on the past year, look ahead to 2023, and have a little fun before we take a break over the holidays.

November 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 16 November at 11am EDT

Add to calendar: Google | Outlook 365

Topic: Considering volunteer labor and overlapping communities in STEM

Blog posts: coming soon

Zoom link: click here

More details

ABSTRACT

As more and more organizations turn to community building as a “fix-all” for a range of projects, volunteers are increasingly pulled in multiple directions as they join overlapping communities. In this call, we’ll consider the existing ecosystem of communities in STEM, whether it’s time to rein in the creation of new communities in favor of partnering with existing ones, and how to work with volunteers to reduce member (and ecosystem-level) burnout.

October 2022 Community Call

Date: Thursday, 20 October at 11am EDT (please note that this month’s call will take place on a Thursday due to speaker availability)

Add to calendar: Google | Outlook 365

Topic: Expectations and metrics

Blog posts: coming soon

Zoom link: click here

More details

Speakers

  • Josh Greenberg, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • John Ohab, Fannie and John Hertz Foundation
  • Karkthik Ram, UC Berkeley

ABSTRACT

A common challenge for community managers is meeting a variety of different expectations for what success looks like in their role. In this call, we’ll talk about meeting organizational goals and what funders are looking for, and then brainstorm ways that we can improve upon existing metrics to find ways to meet those expectations.

September 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 28 September at 11am EDT

Add to calendar: Google | Outlook 365

Topic: Advocating for yourself to chart a career path

Blog posts: September’s Community Call

Zoom link: click here

More details

ABSTRACT

In this call, we’ll hear from STEM community managers who have navigated (or are in the process of working through) a career transition, either within their organization or by moving on. We’ll also consider ways that you can advocate for your own advancement, whatever that word might mean to you, and affirm your value to your community members and leaders. 

August 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 17 August at 11am EDT

Topic: The evolving landscape of STEM community manager roles – findings from the CSCCE community manager case studies

Blog posts: July’s community call (This call was originally scheduled to take place on 20 July 2022) | Recap

More details

ABSTRACT

Join August’s Community Call to:

  • Get a first look at our meta-analysis of 25 interviews with community managers in STEM
  • Learn about common challenges, goals, and skills used by those working as scientific community managers
  • Find out where this research will take us next, and let us know which future directions are most relevant to you

July 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 20 July at 11am EDT POSTPONED UNTIL 17 AUGUST

Topic: The evolving landscape of STEM community manager roles – findings from the CSCCE community manager case studies

June 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 29 June at 11am EDT

Topic: Summer social!

Blog post: June’s Community Call

More details

This will be our third annual summer social, a chance to get to know members of the CSCCE community of practice as well as our staff team. We’re hosting another round of our curated networking forum, which we first ran last summer.

On this month’s call, we’ll set up five one-on-one chats for everyone who registers, and for anyone showing up at the last minute, we’ll have some “random meetup” rooms, too. If you’d like us to help you make new connections, please register here on or before Tuesday, 21 June.

May 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday 18 May at 11am EDT

Topic: Revisiting virtual events

Blog posts: May’s community call | Recap

More details

In 2020, thanks to a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we hosted a series of tools trials and created resources to support the pivot to virtual convening. Two years on, and online is the norm for many of us still, with hybrid events becoming more common. In this month’s community call, we’ll take some time to consolidate our learnings in two community writing sprints. The first will be to develop a virtual events glossary (which will live on our website as part of our growing STEM community management glossary), and the second will involved revisiting the fourth part of our virtual events guidebook and refreshing the resources it includes.

April 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 20 April at 11am EDT

Topic: CRM (customer/community relationship management) platforms

Blog posts: April’s community call | Recap

More details

Abstract

CRMs are database-driven tools that offer a mechanism for tracking activity within a community. However, many of the tools available today were created with a sales and marketing lens and lack some features community managers might find useful. In addition, they can be pricey, making them inaccessible for communities operating on a tight budget. In this month’s call, we’ll hear from three members of our community of practice who are using different platforms, highlighting the pros and cons of each. We’ll also talk about what we’d like to see, collectively creating a requirements document for the ideal community management platform. 

Join April’s Community Call to:

  • Learn about different CRMs and how you can use them to support community management
  • Share your experience with CRMs; what went well and what do you wish you could change? 
  • Contribute to a co-created community resource to guide CRM selection and/or development

Speakers

  • Yamina Berchiche, Institute for Protein Innovation
  • Erin Conn, AAAS
  • Chris Hartgerink, Liberate Science

March 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 16 March at 11am EDT

Topic: Scientific community manager roles

Blog posts: March’s community call | Recap

More details

Abstract

Join March’s Community Call to:

  • Learn about CSCCE’s community manager case studies, and (maybe) sign up to have one made about you. 
  • Find out what research already exists on STEM community manager roles, and volunteer to join our newest working group to continue digging into the topic. 
  • Discuss what it means to be a scientific community manager and how the role varies depending on organizational context.

Speakers

  • Elisha Wood-Charlson, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Malin Sandström, International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility
  • Lou Woodley, CSCCE
  • Katie Pratt, CSCCE

February 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 16 February at 11am EST

Topic: Scaffolding for building communities

Blog posts: February’s community call | Recap

More details

ABSTRACT

Join February’s community call to:

  • Learn about our new guidebook on the role of scaffolding in STEM communities
  • See examples of CSCCE’s documents and templates
  • Work on your own organization’s support structure, using CSCCE templates if you’d like
  • Share your experiences and learn from your peers

January 2022 Community Call

Date: Wednesday, 19 January at 11am EST

Topic: Project management for community managers

Blog posts: January’s community call | Recap

More details

ABSTRACT

Join January’s Community Call to:

  • Learn about project management tools and how to deploy them for your needs (we’ll be covering Trello, Asana, Todoist, and Mural)
  • See how other community managers in STEM are using these platforms for their own strategic planning
  • If you’re considering implementing a platform in your own organization, this is also a great opportunity to ask any burning questions you might have. 

SPEAKERS

  • Alycia Crall, The Carpentries
  • Ellen Dow, KBase / Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Anne Heberger Marino, Lean-To Collaborations
  • Lou Woodley, The CSCCE

Stepping Beyond the Personal and Professional Silos of a Research Project Manager

Brit Myers is a Project Manager for the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), a non-profit membership organization with the mission of facilitating cross-boundary Arctic knowledge, research, communication, and … Continue reading “Stepping Beyond the Personal and Professional Silos of a Research Project Manager”

Brit Myers is a Project Manager for the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), a non-profit membership organization with the mission of facilitating cross-boundary Arctic knowledge, research, communication, and education. She works to enhance the ability of the highly distributed Arctic research community to connect with one another and work more effectively through collaborative research programs.

Last year I was invited by Dr. Luisa Cristini  from the Alfred Wegener Institute to co-convene a session at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting.  Luisa was interested in submitting a session proposal specifically focused on issues relevant to the work of scientific project managers – a job title she and I share. Hoping to attract a larger number of abstracts to the proposed AGU session, we also agreed to reach out to the AAAS CEFP community to see if our session topic might be similar enough to their interests to warrant collaboration.  Luckily, CSCCE’s Lou Woodley and another group of #CEFP17 session conveners agreed to join us in our efforts!

However, as we drafted the combined AGU session description – and during a number of other conversations that followed – there was some genuine uncertainty about where the boundaries might stand between those focused on professional development from a “Project Manager” standpoint vs. that of a “Research Community Manager.”  For anyone with a Project Management job title, it is hard to forget that Project Management is a well-established profession with an official Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) regulated through accreditation organizations like the Project Management Institute.  Alternatively, the “Research Community Manager” is viewed by the new Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement as an “emerging profession,” distinct enough from both traditional project management and/or non-scientific online community management to justify the time and attention needed to professionalize and institutionalize the role.

Image by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/building-ceiling-classroom-daylight-373488/
Image by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/building-ceiling-classroom-daylight-373488/

Continue reading “Stepping Beyond the Personal and Professional Silos of a Research Project Manager”

Ten networking strategies for community managers

One task of a scientific community manager is to facilitate the activities of a community and to create opportunities for community members to engage in productive interaction. In this post … Continue reading “Ten networking strategies for community managers”

One task of a scientific community manager is to facilitate the activities of a community and to create opportunities for community members to engage in productive interaction. In this post CEFP2019 Fellow, Rayna Harris shares ten networking strategies for community managers.

Networking is a process we use to exchange ideas and to build relationships with individuals that share a common interest.  In previous decades, most networking was done in-person, perhaps with the exchange of a business card or elevator pitch; however, digital communication is an increasingly common way that people network (Leek 2016). Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, the goal of this blog post is to provide community managers with a few strategies for networking to build their community and facilitate the exchange of ideas and information.

Networking strategies for social media

rayna1 Continue reading “Ten networking strategies for community managers”

Breaking the ice well, part 2

2017 marked the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a … Continue reading “Breaking the ice well, part 2”

2017 marked the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. As they continue to develop their community engagement skills and apply some of the ideas and strategies from their training, the Fellows will report back on the CSCCE blog, sharing their challenges, discoveries, and insights. Here, Fellows Allen Pope, Amber Budden, and Stefanie Butland and mentor Aidan Budd discuss facilitating interpersonal community interactions in person.

Photo credit: Jaymantri, https://www.pexels.com
Photo credit: Jaymantri, https://www.pexels.com

As we discussed last time, the purpose of icebreakers is to bring together a group of people (e.g., professionals, students, community members, etc.) and facilitate social cohesion for the purpose of having them start learning together, benefit from shared experiences, and collectively ‘produce’ during the course of the event. These introductory activities start building shared understanding within the group and allow the group to begin to work toward shared goals.

You’ve chosen an activity or two that suits your community and your specific situation – now what?

Continue reading “Breaking the ice well, part 2”

Breaking the ice well

2017 marked the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 … Continue reading “Breaking the ice well”

2017 marked the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. As they continue to develop their community engagement skills and apply some of the ideas and strategies from their training, the Fellows will report back on the CSCCE blog, sharing their challenges, discoveries, and insights. Here, Fellows Allen Pope, Amber Budden, and Stefanie Butland and mentor Aidan Budd discuss facilitating interpersonal community interactions in person.

Photo credit: Wikimedia
Photo credit: Wikimedia

The purpose of icebreakers is to bring together a group of people (e.g., professionals, students, community members, etc.) and facilitate social cohesion for the purpose of having them start learning together, benefit from shared experiences, and collectively ‘produce’ during the course of the event. These introductory activities start building shared understanding within the group and allow the group to begin to work toward shared goals.

As CEFP Fellow Melissa Varga wrote: “It can be a little nerve-wracking to bring people together in person, but there are some tactics that can help people ‘break the ice.’ Icebreakers are a great way to help get everyone on the same page and get people chatting to one another. They can be silly, or they can be more structured and topically focused; the goal is to get people to introduce themselves and get comfortable.”

But, as a community manager, where do you start with implementing and designing an Icebreaker during an event?

Continue reading “Breaking the ice well”

Strategies for survival (and maybe even some success) in a newly created community manager position

In December 2017, we wrapped up the first year of the Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up … Continue reading “Strategies for survival (and maybe even some success) in a newly created community manager position”

In December 2017, we wrapped up the first year of the Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. We’ll be recruiting for cohort two later this year for a start date of January 2019.

Meanwhile, we’re continuing to share reflections from the 2017 Fellows on the blog. In today’s post, Josh Knackert shares some reflections about his experience as a first time community manager. You can catch up on all posts by the Fellows here.

Scientific community manager positions often evolve from existing roles within an organization or are fostered by an intrepid individual, passionate for this type of work, who convinces stakeholders of its necessity and their fitness for the position.  (Here’s some great advice on how to be this intrepid individual.)  Another origin story is beginning to emerge as the benefits of scientific community managers are becoming increasingly recognized and valued–organizations are realizing a need for these positions and creating them independently of the these more organic methods.

While these newly built positions offer fantastic potential for a manager and their community, they can come with some unique challenges.  Back in January 2017, I found myself in just this situation, filling a newly established community engagement role with the IceCube Collaboration at the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC).

What were your most successful strategies as a first time community manager? Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/dock-feet-footwear-jetty-mat-1846008/
What were your most successful strategies as a first time community manager?
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/dock-feet-footwear-jetty-mat-1846008/
Continue reading “Strategies for survival (and maybe even some success) in a newly created community manager position”

Scheduling my way to success! Time management tips for community managers

In December, we wrapped up the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of … Continue reading “Scheduling my way to success! Time management tips for community managers”

In December, we wrapped up the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows was made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. We’ll be recruiting for Cohort Two later this year for a start date of January 2019.

Meanwhile, we’re continuing to share reflections from the 2017 Fellows on the blog. In today’s post Allen Pope shares an experiment in which he tries to solve his challenges with multi-tasking. You can catch up on all posts by the Fellows here.

Allen Pope is the Executive Secretary for the International Arctic Science Committee, an international scientific organization pursuing a mission of encouraging and facilitating cooperation in all aspects of Arctic research, in all countries engaged in Arctic research and in all areas of the Arctic region. On Twitter @PopePolar and online at about.me/allenpope & iasc.info.

I started my new job running the secretariat of the International Arctic Science Committee at the beginning of 2017. In the past year, there has been a lot for me to learn, a lot for me to get up to speed on, and a lot for me to do! After wrapping up our large annual Arctic science meetingI realized that I was spending too much time responding to emails and getting small tasks done and not enough time working on longer-term projects and thinking forwards. That might be okay for a little bit, but it isn’t sustainable in the long run.

Continue reading “Scheduling my way to success! Time management tips for community managers”