Being a Scientific Community Manager

Whether you’re a first time scientific community manager or have been supporting communities for some time, resources on this page will help you to address some common challenges – from time management and making the most of networking to maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders.

Blog posts

AM I a Scientific community (Engagement) manager?

Time management

BUILDING AND MAINTAINING Relationships

RESILIENCE

  • January’s community call recap: (Personal) Resilience and Community (Management) – This blog post contains a recap of our January 2021 Community Call, along with a collection of tips for building a personal resilience practice gathered from the participants in the call, and a host of resources from blog posts to books to podcasts. You can also watch the video archive of CEFP 2017 alum Jennifer Davison’s presentation on resilience below.

SURVIVING – AND THRIVING!

  • In the Introduction to the Community Manager’s Survival Guide series, CEFP2017 Fellow Andy Leidolf reflects on the importance of building social capital.
  • In part one of the Community Manager’s Survival Guide, Andy discusses how the creation of a welcome booklet and participant portal helped members of the iUTAH collaboration to engage.
  • In part two of the Community Manager’s Survival guide, Andy describes addressing institutional diversity and power imbalances.
  • In part three of the Community Manager’s Survival Guide, the importance of a shared vision and “project commons” is discussed.
  • Strategies for survival in a newly-created community manager position – CEFP2017 Fellow and first-time community manager, Josh Knackert shares what he learned in the first year of his role.

FInding peer support

  • Online coworking partnerships are community of practice in action – CEFP2017 Fellow, Stefanie Butland and CEFP2019 Fellow, Naomi Penfold share their formula for successful work sessions.
  • Being part of a cohort and finding support in unexpected places – CEFP2017 Fellow, Heidi Olds shares how being part of the inaugural CEFP cohort of scientific community engagement managers impacted her.

And if you’d like to connect with other scientific community managers, join the CSCCE community of practice! Request an invite here.

An agile community strategy — or how to use objectives and key results (OKRs) to say no and stay focused

In the first of our series of posts by members of the CEFP2019 cohort, Naomi Penfold walks us through her strategy for prioritizing her workflow and staying focused. You look at your week ahead, and see a calendar jam-packed with meetings and not enough time to respond to community requests or even start to deal … Continue reading “An agile community strategy — or how to use objectives and key results (OKRs) to say no and stay focused”

In the first of our series of posts by members of the CEFP2019 cohort, Naomi Penfold walks us through her strategy for prioritizing her workflow and staying focused.

You look at your week ahead, and see a calendar jam-packed with meetings and not enough time to respond to community requests or even start to deal with your inbox. Some of these interruptions will be exciting opportunities, but will they help you stay focused on your current goals for the community? Will you ever be able to leave your desk and go home? Despite our best efforts to stay organised and in control, I suspect we all end up feeling overwhelmed at times, especially when community management requires you to be there for people and be reactive in the moment as well as keep the ball rolling with long-term projects and general community programming.

If this resonates, you’re not alone: 32% community managers reported ‘prioritizing number of tasks to do’ as the greatest challenge in their role in CSCCE’s survey in 2016. Clearly something has to give, but who do you prioritise and why? How do you know which tasks are most likely to contribute to your overall mission? How can you say no and avoid becoming overwhelmed? In this post, I describe a method I’m trying to outline, use, and evaluate a community-based strategy. This method has helped me to say no and stay focused before, and now I’m trying to combine it with what we are learning about community strategy through the Community Engagement Fellowship Program.

Lay out your objectives to keep your community on track. Photo by Pille Kirsi from Pexels.
Lay out your objectives to keep your community on track. Photo by Pille Kirsi from Pexels.

Continue reading “An agile community strategy — or how to use objectives and key results (OKRs) to say no and stay focused”

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 … 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”