An update about how we’re using Zoom at CSCCE

This post was authored by CSCCE’s Director of Community, Alycia Crall.

The CSCCE relies on a number of communication platforms to support programming in our community of practice. One of the primary platforms we have adopted is Zoom, and we currently have two Zoom accounts. One that is used for external programming, training, and events. The second is used internally for staff meetings and other communications.

Background on changes to Zoom

In August 2023, Zoom updated their terms of service that suggested they could use meeting audio, video, chat, screen sharing, and other content to train their Artificial Intelligence (AI) model. At CSCCE, we value making our programming accessible in a range of ways AND we want our learners and community members to feel comfortable speaking freely without any concerns for their privacy. Due to privacy concerns, closed captioning was activated on a case by case basis as we examined how our team and community of practice might be impacted by these changes. 

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How does CSCCE online training impact community managers and their organizations? Read our report to find out!

Thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we recently completed a medium-term evaluation of our foundational training course, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF). We’ve just published a report that summarizes the results of this work, which shows impact across three levels of scale – the individual, their community/organization, and the wider STEM ecosystem.  

In this blog post, we’ll recap some of the rationale for the report and a high level overview of our findings. Subsequent posts will share more about our user-centered design approach to creating professional training courses, what we learned about the impact of CEF at each level, and how this work will impact our ongoing training offerings. 

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April Community Call Recap – The impact of short-form professional development training in STEM

At this month’s community call, we were talking about the impact of short-form professional development trainings – focusing not only on how individuals use what they learned during a training in their day to day work, but also considering how such trainings may result in changes at the level of the STEM ecosystem by affecting common practices and connecting learners across projects and organizations.

The call included an overview of the Bicycle Principles, a framework for designing and evaluation inclusive and engaging trainings, as well as presentations about two different methods for gathering and analyzing impact. 

In this blog post, you’ll find recordings of the three presentations from the call, as well as a brief summary of what each talk focused on. Do join us for our call next month, Wednesday 29 May at 12pm EDT / 4pm UTC, when we’ll be taking a closer look at the application and utility of community playbooks (a.k.a. Collaboration guides, lab handbooks, and more). Add to calendar

Three bicycles stand on a set of concrete steps, with long grass on either side. The bicycle in front is pale blue with white wheels, the one behind is white with black wheels, and the one in back is black with yellow wheels.
What do bicycles have to do with short-form training? Read on to find out! Photo by Solé Bicycles on Unsplash
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More than 300 learners have graduated from Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals!

This month we celebrated a very exciting milestone – more than 300 STEM community managers (305, to be exact!) have now successfully completed our foundational training in community management, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF).

Congratulations to all of our graduates – many of whom are featured on this page of our website – and if you’re interested in taking part in the course yourself, registration is open for our fall 2024 cohort (registration deadline: 23 August). But hurry! It’s more than half full already. 

“The course provides essential information to support community work whether you are just beginning or seeking to expand your community engagement activities.  It provides resources to help you develop a strategy and tools to support implementation of your ideas.  This course demystifies many aspects of community engagement and helps to ensure your community is built to last.”

CEF24W participant
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February Community Call Recap – Community-engaged content and its informational roles

Communities rely on content – from websites describing purpose and personnel to documentation guiding activities, gatherings, and collaboration.

Creating content that serves these purposes well, and inspires ongoing connection between members, is therefore something that community managers are often tasked with. It’s also the topic of our advanced training course Content Design (CODE), and on this month’s community call we shared one of the frameworks we’ve developed to demystify the process of creating community-engaged content. 

In this blog post, you’ll find an overview of the call and some of the topics covered in it. It would be impossible for us to condense a 6-week training into a single 90-minute community call, and even less likely that a single blog post could capture all of the nuances of content creation for STEM communities. If you’d like to go deeper, we encourage you to sign up for CODE. Registration is currently open for a Spring 2024 cohort of the course, however if April/May is not a great time for you to participate, please use this form to let us know when might make more sense for you

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February’s Community Call: The informational roles of community-engaged content

Content creation is a core skill for any community manager in STEM. Creating content might look very different depending on your context – from writing monthly newsletters or resources and reports, to creating podcasts, videos, and slide decks. And it’s a skill that many of us pick up on the job, without formal training or a sense of strategy behind what we make. 

In this month’s call, we’ll share a new framework for thinking about how to share information with your community members, and how the content you create can meet specific goals in your engagement strategy. The “informational roles of community-engaged content” is a CSCCE framework that we explore more deeply as part of our Content Design (CODE) course, the spring 2024 cohort of which (CODE24Sp) is now open for registration. So, this month’s community call is both a primer for anyone creating community-engaged content, and a sneak peek into what you can expect from a CSCCE professional development training course. 

Date: Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Time: 11am EST / 4pm UTC

Zoom link to join

Add to calendar (or contact us at to be automatically added to CSCCE calendar updates)

Join this month’s call to explore content-creation through the lens of community engagement. Image: CSCCE
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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

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Join us for CEF23F! Head into the new “school” year with some updates to our foundational training course

Today we opened general registration for the next offering of Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF), our foundational course on community management in STEM. This course is relevant to anyone convening communities in the STEM ecosystem, whether new to the work or more experienced.

Sign up by 4 August and enjoy a 25% early bird registration discount (use the code EARLYCEF23F at checkout)!!

CEF23F will run on Tuesdays and Fridays starting on 8 September and ending on 27 October. More information about the course can be found here

If you have any questions about CSCCE’s professional development training courses – including about information in this post – please email

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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

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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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