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Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP)


Community engagement is an emerging profession, especially in science. The individuals who carry out these roles may be doing so in informal ways, sometimes in addition to other responsibilities. They may not even recognize themselves as “community managers” and their job titles may span from Program Director to Membership Officer depending on their organization’s context. Frequently they are the only person in the role in their organization, which can leave them feeling isolated and unsupported.

CEFP provides a shared knowledge base and peer support for individuals in existing community management roles. Unlike some of the other AAAS fellowships, we do not place fellows into host organizations.


The program has three broad goals:

Professionalize and institutionalize the role of community management within scientific organizations; 

Provide professional development resources to individuals who manage communities and collaborations in research organizations and scientific associations;

Collect and disseminate knowledge about building strong collaborations and communities.



2018 – Recruitment of Fellows

  • Late October - Call for applications opens.
  • Mid-November - Short-listed applicants are selected and informed, and AAAS interviews short-listed applicants.
  • Late November onwards – Successful applicants are informed
  • Early December - Class of 2019 Fellows is announced.

Note: This year, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis up to the application deadline of November 18th 2018.

If you have visa requirements or other reasons for needing a swift decision about your application, you are strongly encouraged to apply early. AAAS cannot provide support with visa applications other than letters of invitation/certificates of attendance for selected fellows.


During the fellowship year there are three in-person trainings at AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC:

  • January 12 - Fellowship year begins with a week-long training at AAAS headquarters - all Fellows are expected to attend.
  • Early June - Mid-year training and experience exchange at AAAS headquarters - all Fellows are expected to attend.
  • Early December - End-of-year debrief and experience exchange at AAAS headquarters - all Fellows are expected to attend.

In addition, during the year Fellows participate in monthly all-cohort webinars and project team work in small groups (LINK). Each Fellow also produces a community playbook for their organization to codify and communicate their community strategy and tactics.

Participation in the fellowship requires a commitment of 15% of the Fellow’s work time during the year. This is a rich, rewarding professional development experience with 96% of 2017 Fellows achieving or making progress on their community goals for the year.


CEFP covers the costs of travel, accommodation and meals at the in-person trainings. We do not provide stipends for community engagement roles.