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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New CSCCE resource helps you find the right tool for your next virtual meeting or event

Since the global pivot to online working and convening, we’ve been working to create resources that help community managers and facilitators make their virtual meetings and events more engaging. The first two parts of our guide to facilitating engaging virtual events, a recipe book of event formats and a curated selection of resources are already helping thousands of people to thrive online. 

In the newest section of the guide, selecting and testing online tools, we offer a framework to guide how you decide what online tool(s) to use. You can download this section, as well as the earlier two sections, for free. 

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New virtual events resource alert! A DEI tip sheet and a new section of our Virtual Events Guidebook

This week we published two new free resources to help you with planning and delivering successful virtual meetings and events: a DEI tip sheet and the next part of our Virtual Events Guidebook. In this post, we tell you a little more about how these resources came to be, and ask you what you’d like to co-create with us next year. 

DEI Tip Sheet: Captioning, subtitles, and transcription for virtual meetings and events

One of our recent Community Tools Trials focused on how to caption online events, making them more accessible to participants with hearing impairments, varying language fluency, or commitments that require them to multi-task. We discussed a variety of use cases, including captioning live events without incurring major time or financial costs and how to edit transcripts when an AI didn’t understand jargon or a speakers’ accent. This hour-long session, involving several knowledgeable members of our community of practice, highlighted that there was no one, easy-to-use guide available to help community managers or meeting facilitators choose between the tools or methods currently available. And so we created one!

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CSCCE’s Community Profiles Project: First round of profiles now out!

Today we’re launching the first outputs from a project that we’ve been working on this year to better characterize communities in science – and to support scientific community managers, their leadership, and funders to meaningfully compare some of the current activities taking place across the broad landscape of STEM community projects.

The CSCCE community profiles project has resulted in the creation of an initial collection of 13 community profiles – two page PDFs capturing core features of each community from staffing to programming and funding sources. We collected the data using a custom, detailed survey and then translated what we found to a standardized profile template, which was specifically created for this project. The resulting profiles, which incorporate CSCCE’s own frameworks for describing communities and community member engagement, allow easy comparison between different scientific communities. 

In this post we introduce the rationale for the project and highlight the first 13 profiles. In Thursday’s post, we outline how the project was carried out.

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Resources

We’re working to consolidate and share resources about scientific community management and to nurture a new community of practice for scientific community professionals.

We’re building out a series of resources pages that currently include:

If you’d like to contribute, for example by offering to present a webinar or create a case study of your community, we’d love to hear from you (info@cscce.org)

Additionally, you may be interested in:

The CSCCE community of practice

We host a community of practice for scientific community managers – and those interested in scientific community-building. With monthly webinars and an online Slack group this is a great way to start connecting with others supporting scientific communities.

Stay up to date with what’s coming via our monthly newsletter.

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 skillsets and challenges. You can read the survey results here.

Blog posts

Our blog is the largest freely accessible resource of scientific community engagement information online. It includes:


Trainings

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.

Consultancy

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:

COMMUNITY STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT

  • 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

  • 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.

CULTURE

  • 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.

MEETING PLANNING AND FACILITATION

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.