What does a scientific community manager do? Check out the CSCCE Skills Wheel and accompanying guidebook!

Our newest resource, the CSCCE Skills Wheel and guidebook, is out this week. Created by the C3 project team of the 2017 CEFP cohort, the wheel defines 45 skills used in varying degrees by scientific community managers, laying out a common language and framework for hiring, professional development, and personal fulfillment.

About the C3 project

As part of CSCCE’s Community Engagement Fellowship Program (CEFP), fellows self-organize into small groups to take on a research or resource-development project. The Catalyzing Cultural Change (C3) team, Jennifer Davison, Andreas Leidolf, Malin Sandström, Elisha Wood-Charlson, and Lou Woodley, wanted to define the skills and core competencies for scientific community engagement managers, while also understanding how these roles are positioned within different types of scientific communities or organizations.

To do this, they compared the skills listed in a range of scientific community manager job descriptions, surveyed scientific community managers within the 2017 CEFP cohort, and, along with additional literature research, created the CSCCE skills wheel.

Continue reading “What does a scientific community manager do? Check out the CSCCE Skills Wheel and accompanying guidebook!”

Hiring / Becoming a community manager

If you’re looking to hire a community manager – perhaps for the first time – this collection of resources includes tips for doing so. It also includes information for first time community managers, or those who are starting to realize that their roles involve community management.

CSCCE skills wheel

In 2017, the CEFP2017 project team comprised of Jennifer Davison, Andy Leidolf, Malin Sandström, Elisha Wood-Charlson and Lou Woodley compared scientific community manager job descriptions to identify core skills. These were translated into a skills wheel and accompanying glossary that can be used to support conversations about hiring and training community staff – including how roles may be shared across a team.

The CSCCE Skills Wheel – Five core competencies and 45 skills to describe the role of the community engagement manager in STEM

by Lou Woodley, Katie Pratt, Malin Sandström, Elisha Wood-Charlson, Jennifer Davison, and Andreas Leidolf

January 25, 2021

This skills wheel is an output of the C3 project team from the 2017 cohort of the CSCCE Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP 2017). This guidebook is intended to be a brief, practical introduction to scientific community manager roles and provide a starting point for discussing common questions about them.


State of scientific community management survey

In 2016 we carried out a survey of over 100 scientific community professionals to determine more about their career paths to date, their skill sets and challenges.

For this survey we partnered with The Community Roundtable, who generously let us use and adapt their State of Community Management survey question bank which they use each year to look at corporate communities.

Our findings in brief


Blog posts

HIring A Scientific community manager

Scientific community managers bring a mix of skills to their roles – often combining scientific training with excellent communications. Resources in this section are aimed at hiring managers as well as prospective community managers – with advice to help you to make a good hire – and to succeed in your new role.

Setting yourself up for success

Meet a community manager Series

In 2016 we published a series of blog posts where we asked existing community managers 5 questions about their career paths, their current roles, their challenges, and how they see community engagement within science.

While many of these community managers have transitioned to other roles (often still in community-building) the series provides a useful perspective on what these emerging roles can look like.

Tania Siemens

Community manager STEM Central – a community of practice for improving undergraduate STEM education.

As technology advances and becomes more accessible, I think the online environment will come to feel as engaging as an in person meeting.

Alex Jackson

Social Media Manager Royal Society

I believe the most important part of community engagement is two-way communication and the ability of people to listen first and then offer their expertise second.

Shaila Kotaida

Education, Outreach and Diversity Manager Synberc

Adding different perspectives, being respectful of each other’s viewpoints, working together towards a common goal… is so important to any community.

Eric Olson

Outreach Coordinator PressForward

We are observing a real shift toward encouraging community building, driven at least in part by findings that grant funding flows toward strong networks.

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina

Executive Director Ciencia Puerto Rico

…as scientists we often feel isolated…Communities can help us find a way to reach out from our individual labs and offices and collectively make a difference.

Anna Boyum

Science Communications Fellow Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

Online communities allow us to link limited clusters of knowledge that scientists possess individually into an unlimited network. Communities have a potential to exponentially expand the scientific conversation, which is key to the advancement of science.

Malin Sandström

Community engagement officer INCF

…community is the infrastructure that science runs on – very few discoveries are the work of a lone genius building on nothing, many good collaborations run for decades – and engagement is the glue that binds that community together.

Elana Kimbrell

Communication Program Officer AAAS

Community engagement is important for helping the scientific community work across its silos.

Aidan Budd

Bioinformatics community manager European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Particularly important, in my opinion, are the opportunities offered by community-building activities for building stronger, more effective collaborations.

Laura Wheeler

Community Manager and blog editor Digital Science

Our active community management has created conversations and generated dialogues that traditionally would be really hard to execute.