The #CEFP2017 Project Teams: Four open questions in scientific community management

Yellow cube with question marks on each side
Question Mark Block” by Jared Cherup under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The inaugural class of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funded AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) finished their on-site training In January, but their fellowship has just begun! In this post we’ll take a look at the four project teams that formed during training week and the community engagement questions they’re looking to answer over the course of the year.

Our Fellows will be contributing regularly to the blog throughout the fellowship – including reporting out the progress of their projects teams. You can catch up on their reflections so far here.

Over the course of the CEFP January training week, certain questions and themes emerged repeatedly. Given that scientific community engagement is an emerging field, there is much still to learn – and knowledge to be synthesized and re-shared. How could the field best benefit from bringing together existing scientific community managers to address some of these big questions?

Enter the Project Teams.

Each of the 2017 CEFP Fellows selected a topic based on their interests and professional development needs. They joined up with other Fellows with common interests to establish goals, assign responsibilities, and come up with a catchy name. The Project teams are meeting monthly throughout the year to give Fellows the opportunity to keep working together and to make progress on topics that are relevant to their day jobs, but that they wouldn’t have time to tackle alone.

Here are the Project Teams and the questions they’re exploring:

 

Advocacy Ninjas

Question: What makes a successful member advocacy program?

The Advocacy Ninjas are looking at member advocacy programs (also known as member champion or ambassador programs) across the scientific community management landscape. Each of the ninjas has launched or is planning an advocacy program of their own, so they’re particularly curious about what makes these programs succeed.

 

Catalyzing Cultural Change (C3)

Question: What is a community manager’s role in facilitating cultural change within scientific collaborations?

The C3 Project Team is taking a two pronged approach to answering this question: They’re developing a definition of the community manager role and then looking at the barriers and opportunities for cultural change in scientific collaborations and how community managers fit in.

 

Content on Content

Question: What does it take to produce good content for defined audiences?

The Content on Content Project Team is creating content (which may take the form of how-to guides, infographics, listicles, and/or conference sessions) about effective content, studying what makes great content successful and modeling those aspects in their own work.

 

Solutions for Tackling Engagement Evaluation from Metrics to Impact (STEEMI)

Question: What is community impact and how can it be measured using metrics?

The STEEMI Project Team is exploring engagement metrics and identifying the most effective tools for measuring impact. They’re considering both qualitative and quantitative approaches and direct as well as indirect measurement strategies.