What’s coming up in Q1+ for CSCCE’s professional development courses?

CSCCE is the leading training organization for community managers in STEM and this year we’re looking to build upon our successful existing courses by adding some new options – and new technology – to the mix. Plus, we’ll be experimenting with an Accessibility Fund to support broader participation. Read on for the details! 

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CSCCE in Japan (virtually!): Making a PACT for more engaging virtual meetings and events

The Japan SciCom Forum took place online 26-27 October 2021. The event was hosted by the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Tokyo, and focused on giving participants practical tools for communicating about science in English. 

CSCCE’s Lou Woodley and Camille Santistevan facilitated a workshop at the forum, sharing our PACT framework for virtual event planning, and staying up way past their bedtime to participate on Tokyo time! In this post, we share a little bit more about the event, our workshop, and how you can request a similar workshop for your organization or event. 

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Registration now open for the last offering of Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals this year (CEF21F)

General registration opens TODAY for Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF21F). This 7-week online course, intended for new and more seasoned community managers alike, grounds learners in CSCCE’s core frameworks, offering a strong foundation for strategic community building in STEM.

This is the last time in 2021 that we’ll be running CEF, and it’s also your last chance to take this consistently oversubscribed offering at its current price point. So hurry and book your place today! 

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Registration now open for Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF21S)

Today we opened general registration for the fourth cohort of our Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals course (CEF21S). This 6-week online course, intended for new and more seasoned community managers alike, grounds learners in CSCCE’s core frameworks, offering a strong foundation for strategic community building in STEM.

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Welcome to Jenny East – CSCCE’s newest trainer!

We’re excited that the CSCCE team continues to grow, and this week we welcome Jenny East onboard as CSCCE’s newest trainer. Jenny will join lead trainer Camille Santistevan, along with center director Lou Woodley, in developing and facilitating CSCCE’s modular, online trainings and client-facing support

About Jenny

Before joining the CSCCE team, Jenny spent over five years as an outreach coordinator for Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University, USA. In this role, she worked to educate recreational boaters about preventing water pollution and how to reduce their impact on the local ecosystem, a mission she undertook through the development of materials and events to engage boating communities within Oregon. Her position also included training staff at local marinas so that they had the skills and resources they needed, as they also had a role in supporting healthy waterways. 

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First Birthday Series: The future of CSCCE’s community of practice

For our “First Birthday Series” of blog posts, we took some time to reflect on CSCCE’s community of practice, which turned one year old on 21 October 2020. In this final post in the series, jointly authored by Communications Director, Katie Pratt and Center Director, Lou Woodley, we look back on CSCCE’s seed funding, how the Center is supported now, and our plans for a financially sustainable future.

Previous posts in this series outlined the community “by the numbers,” delved a little deeper into our programming offerings, discussed our resources and the importance of co-creating together, and summarized how our working groups and special interest groups operate and further our mission. Together, these five blog posts celebrate year one of CSCCE’s community of practice, and look ahead to the future of the Center. 

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CSCCE online modular trainings: Registration is now open for our Winter courses

This Fall we launched the first in a new series of CSCCE online training modules. In this blog post, we explain the courses and when they’ll be offered again, who we hope will take them, and how they impact our other programming, including a potential CEFP2021 cohort. If you have any questions about anything in this post, please reach out to us: info@cscce.org.

What are CSCCE online modular trainings?

Our online modular trainings distill years of experience and expertise in building successful communities in STEM into courses that fit into your busy schedule. Each training runs for six weeks, and involves two live sessions a week (totaling 2.5 hours) along with around 90 minutes of homework to complete each week.

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Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals

Page contents:

Course overview

Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals is an eight-week course designed to offer new or existing community managers core frameworks and vocabulary to describe their community’s purpose, refine or create strategic engagement programming to match community member goals, and describe their own roles and value as a community manager in STEM. While the content is designed for any level of learner, it should not be thought of as a “beginner” course. Rather, it is intended to create common ground so that scientific community managers can converse across disciplines, more efficiently learn from one another, and build successful engagement strategies that are grounded in research.

While we have yet to decide on what a future version of our Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) might look like, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals will be a prerequisite. You may also find that completing this course gives you a stronger foundation for other CSCCE modular online trainings, such as Nurturing and Stewarding Engaged Online Communities, although it is not currently required.

CEF is offered on a quarterly basis and registration will soon open for the winter 2022 session. You can pre-register for CEF (as well as other CSCCE courses) here and email us at training@cscce.org with any questions.

Course structure

Each week, participants will meet virtually (using Zoom) for a 90 minute lesson and a 90 minute Co-Lab. While lessons will involve structured presentations and activities, Co-Lab time is for discussion, reporting out, and seeking feedback from instructors and fellow learners.

Each week will also include approximately 90 minutes of homework, for a total time commitment of 4.5 hours per week

Graduation from the course requires attendance at a minimum of 11 of the 12 classes, as well as social hour.


This course is facilitated by:

  • Camille Santistevan, CSCCE Lead Trainer
  • Lou Woodley, CSCCE Director

Topics covered


Before the course begins, we host a virtual social hour for all participants to find out about their instructors and fellow learners.

Week two: What is community?

Participants will gain an understanding of the different types of community common in STEM fields and will define their own community in these terms, gaining increased clarity on the reach of their activities.

Week three: Exploring community engagement roles

Consider the skills needed to excel in the role of a community manager, and use CSCCE’s skills wheel to assess where you or your team might need to expand your repertoire. We’ll also explore different leadership models, empowering participants to recognize that community managers represent a new kind of network-centric leadership.

Week four: Purpose and people

With a stronger understanding of the nature of community, participants will work to identify the different stakeholder or member relationships within their community and the desired goals for each relationship. Discussion will include the challenges of distributing power.

Week five: COMMUNITY PROGRAMMING and scaffolded participation

Via a series of worksheets, we’ll explore current and planned content and programming in our communities. We’ll introduce the concept of scaffolded participation in creating supportive, responsive and multi-modal programming that empowers members to participate.


Course participants can attend two optional sessions at the same time as the regular lessons and Co-Labs to share out progress so far, work through structured examples, and catch up on completing their course worksheets.

WEEK SEVEN: Community member participation

Using the CSCCE Community Participation Model, participants will analyze the current programming in their own communities – identifying gaps and how to better align programming with desired outcomes. They’ll also acquire core vocabulary for describing different aspects of their community programming.

Week EIGHT: Community lifecycle models AND GRADUATION

Community lifecycle models can inform the type of programming appropriate for your community, as well as how your role as a community manager changes. We’ll explore several models and discuss the implications of each – for programming, team planning and evaluation.

Included in the course fee

The benefits of taking Community Engagement Fundamentals include: 

  • A pre-course social hour to get to know members of your cohort.
  • Group activities that match you with other community managers who are working in similar contexts. 
  • Access to the course facilitators for 15 minutes before and after each lesson.
  • A mid-course reading week with optional sessions for asking questions, instructor feedback, and co-working time. 
  • A dedicated cohort channel in CSCCE’s Slack community of practice where you can share ideas and resources with your classmates and facilitators.
  • Custom worksheets and exercises that help you apply key community management frameworks to your specific context.
  • A template to create a final graduation poster summarizing what you learned during the course that you can share with your team and/or supervisor.

Additional office hours

For an additional fee, we can also provide individual office hours during the course. These include:

  • Review of your homework / worksheets. 
  • An hour of one-to-one discussion with a member of CSCCE staff each week (6 weeks) to explore questions about the course and your answers to the activities. 
  • A weekly tip-sheet for your supervisor to help to bridge the gap between what you’re learning during the course and implementation within your organization. This includes a short summary of the topics covered and suggested questions for discussion together. 

Places for office hours are limited so please contact us early if you’d like to add this to your course participation: training@cscce.org.  


100% of course participants say they are extremely likely (91%) or likely (9%) to recommend our courses to their colleagues. Here’s what some of them have to say about Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals:

THANK YOU! This course has been extremely valuable for me. Now I feel more empowered to call myself Community Manager and I have the right tools and frameworks to bring my community closer to their goals. Moreover, I would love to keep in touch with CSCCE community of practice and start to contribute as well.

CEF21F Participant

It was a very enjoyable, interesting and inspiring course! It also helps to fill a gap in training opportunities in scientific community management (which, I now realise, is a part of many different roles!). Thank you Lou, Camille, and the CSCCE team for organising such a great course.

CEF21F Participant

Incredibly professional in every aspect; I couldn’t think of one detail in structure or facilitation that wasn’t perfect!

CEF20F Participant

Amazing effort by the course leaders to create such an IRL feeling in an online course!

CEF20F Participant

Upcoming session

CEF is offered on a quarterly basis. The upcoming session is sold out, but you can pre-register for future sessions here.

#CEF22W will start on Friday, 21 January 2022 and runs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm UTC / 12 pm EST until Friday, 11 March 2022. The key dates are:

  • Pre-course social: Friday, 21 January at 5 pm – 6 pm UTC / 12 pm – 1 pm EST. During this session you will start to get to know your coursemates. 
  • Lessons: Tuesdays at 5 pm – 6:30 pm UTC / 12 pm – 1:30 pm EST as follows: 25 January, 1, 8, 15, 22* February, 1, 8 March
  • Co-Labs: Fridays at 5 pm  – 6:30 pm UTC / 12 pm – 1:30 pm EST as follows: 28 January, 4, 11, 18, 25* February, 4 March
  • Graduation: Friday, 11 March at 5 pm – 7 pm UTC / 12 pm – 2 pm EST – an extended 2-hour session to include a 30-minute poster viewing session followed by poster presentations

*Reading Week: 22 and 25 February are optional sessions for sharing, discussing and co-working.

Past sessions


#CEF21F, our fifth Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals cohort, finished on Thursday, 4 November. The course ran on Mondays and Thursdays at 12pm Eastern, as follows:

  • Monday Lessons (12-1:30pm US Eastern Time): 27 September, 4,11,18, and 25 October, and 1 November
  • Thursday Co-Labs (12-1pm US Eastern Time): 30 September, 7, 14, 21, and 28 October, and 4 November 


#CEF21S, our fourth Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals cohort, finished on Friday, 16 July. The course ran on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12pm Eastern, as follows:

  • Tuesday Lessons (12-1:30pm US Eastern Time): 1, 8, 15, 22 June, 6, 13 July
  • Friday Co-Labs (12-1pm US Eastern Time): 4, 11, 18, 25 June, 9, 16 July 


#CEF21W2, our third Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals cohort, finished on Friday, 19 February. The course ran on Mondays and Thursdays at 2pm Eastern, as follows:

  • Monday Lessons (2 – 3:30pm US Eastern Time): 22 February, 1,  8, 15, 22, 29 March
  • Thursday Co-Labs (2 – 3:00pm US Eastern Time): 25 February, 4, 11, 18, 25 March, 1 April


#CEF21W, our second Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals cohort, finished on Friday, 19 February. The course ran on Tuesdays and Fridays, beginning with an optional class social on Friday 8 January 2021 at 12pm Eastern, as follows:

  • Tuesday Lessons (12 – 1:30pm US Eastern Time): 12, 19, 26 January, 2, 9, 16 February 
  • Friday Co-Labs (12 – 1:00pm US Eastern Time): 15, 22, 29 January, 5, 12, 19 February


Our Fall pilot of Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (#CEF20F) wrapped up on Thursday, 3 December. The course took place on Mondays and Thursdays starting on Monday, 26 October 2020 at 2pm Eastern and ran as follows:

  • Monday Lessons (2 – 3:30pm US Eastern Time): 26 October, 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 November
  • Thursday Co-Labs (2 – 3:00pm US Eastern Time): 29 October, 5, 12, 19, (Weds) 25 November and 3 December.


CSCCE provides a range of training options and accessible resources to support scientific community professionals and organizations working with, or funding, scientific communities.

Image credit: CSCCE

Who do we work with?

We support individual community managers in devising and attaining their community objectives. We train groups of community-focused staff, such as program managers, in cohort-based learning environments. And we work with senior-level stakeholders on strategy development and delivery – including event planning.

Our major clients are scientific associations, research collaborations, and organizations that provide scholarly communications infrastructure. We also have worked to plan and launch new scientific communities of practice focusing on specific topics, for example, diversity equity and inclusion and environmental data science.  

Find out what some of our clients and course participants say about our trainings.

How can we support you?

Our training formats range from hour-long webinars to multi-day workshops, and we are skilled at delivering these trainings online and in-person. There are a variety of ways in which we can support your work, including:

Cohort-based trainings

Ideal for individual community managers. 

E.g., if you’re a scientific community manager looking for professional development support in a supportive and collaborative group-based learning environment.

If you are managing scientific communities and interested in professional development opportunities to enhance your work and build your network, you might be interested in the following cohort-based trainings:

Custom trainings

Ideal for groups of community-focused staff.

E.g., if you’re a senior manager, research development manager or funder looking for a specific training for program/community staff, research teams, or grantees.

CSCCE regularly adapts and extends training materials to meet specific needs in the form of custom trainings for program staff, research center directors, or members of a community of practice. Please get in touch about your specific needs.

Some examples of trainings that we’ve delivered include:

  • A six-workshop series on building out community playbooks for program managers.
  • A three-workshop series on creating community roadmaps for regional community leads.
  • A one-day workshop on conflict resolution for research center directors.
  • A one-day workshop for new grantees of collaborative projects exploring three key considerations for large-scale collaborations using our “Getting SET to scale” framework.
  • A one-day workshop exploring technology choices for collaborative infrastructure for leaders of pilot research projects.
  • A one-day workshop on building out a community champions program to support FAIR data practices.
  • A 90-minute workshop on the skillsets of community leaders
  • A two-day workshop on systems thinking, culture change and organizational structure.
  • A half-day workshop on identifying core values and where there may be challenges in realizing them.


Ideal for senior-level stakeholders.

E.g., if you’re a community director or senior manager looking for help with planning or launching a specific project.

You can also hire CSCCE staff to provide one-to-one or senior stakeholder consultancy to support your community or member-focused projects. Example projects might include:


  • Designing and running a focus group to understand member needs around a new community-focused project.
  • Planning and launching a community of practice on Slack.
  • User persona research – determining your members’ needs and how to create effective, empowering programming that meets those needs.
  • Aligning existing resources (e.g., recorded lectures, slide decks, and blog posts) with an engagement or communications strategy.


  • Technology selection for communities – identifying the technology needs of your community members or collaborators and how to get the most from that technology.
  • On-boarding communications – planning the first steps in the journey of new online community members.


  • Identifying and describing orienting values in communities and teams.
  • Creating community guidelines – and escalation guidelines.
  • Conflict resolution and team-building – exploring styles of conflict, stakeholder engagement, and planning for successful collaborations.
  • Systems thinking and working with systems archetypes.
  • Burnout, self-care and enjoying complex, networked roles.


CSSCE staff are highly experienced at planning and facilitating events – both virtually and in-person. We work with clients to design and deliver interactive, engaging meetings – especially where there is an emphasis on community-building. Specific examples of projects include:

  • Support with planning how to translate an in-person annual meeting online
  • Planning and facilitating of a workshop for members of a new community of practice which includes multiple topical working groups.
  • Planning and facilitating an iterative strategic planning process for a new community via a series of workshops.