Research Volunteers Q&A

Research Volunteers FAQ
How can I contribute to a research document?

Join a working group! Have a topic that interests you that you may want to share your knowledge on? Working Groups work through quarterly objectives and combine contributions that can end up as white papers, blogs, and even webinars.

View active working groups

How do I join a working group?

To join a work group, you will need to create an account on CSA’s community platform Circle. Once you have created an account, browse the Research Working Group Communities and select the group you would like to join. You will then be onboarded to the Circle Community for that working group, which is where most of the weekly meeting notes and documents are stored that are currently being worked on.

How are research topics selected?
Current and future trends are constantly being monitored and analyzed to ensure the topics that are being approached will help the community as a whole. These topics can stem from volunteers, members, or any other community involvement that has seen a raised awareness on a subject, or covering a topic that may need further foundation and knowledge basis.
How much time does it take to contribute to CSA research?
As much or as little as you would like to contribute. Working group calls are driven from the volunteers and members of the group. As much as we would love to hear from everyone on every meeting, sometimes that isn’t feasible. That’s why you can even join a working group and be a fly on the wall, or assist in discussion and idea topics. There is no specific time requirement.
Does it cost anything to be involved in CSA research?
There is no cost to be involved.
What contributions go towards the CSA Research Fellow?

Easy! Just achieve the following:

  • 100 hours of cumulative time volunteering in CSA research activities
  • Material participation in a CSA working group culminating in a published research artifact
  • One reference from a CSA staff member and one reference from an external member of the information security community

For more Information on the CSA Fellowship Program please visit

How and where do working groups meet?
A typical working group meeting is scheduled through Webex invite from the comfort of your own home, work, or local coffee house. In most cases the groups meet once every two weeks online, but is of course dependent on agreed schedules.
What software/tools do I need to attend or participate in CSA research events?
A PC or laptop is highly recommended, but if you are unable to have one during a scheduled meeting, a cell phone with a stable connection will suffice. All scheduled calendar invites are emailed to participants in each working group where a link to the call details is provided. Collaboration efforts usually take place in working documents that can be shared, so internet is a must!
Do you have in-person research meetings?
The research team meets twice a month in person, however if any volunteers are local, we would love to schedule time to meet. Aside from those instances, the research team also will typically schedule in person meetings during conventions where we are present to give volunteers and members a chance to meet collaborate in real time and meet the team.
How often do the WGs meet, and for how long (cadence and duration)?
A typical working group will meet twice a month, for roughly an hour at a time. Much of the time spent on projects will be outside of these calls however. The calls address prioritized items and weekly to-do lists. As well as any other business someone may need to address.
Which Working Groups are looking for volunteers?

All of them! There is never too much knowledge or collaboration effort.

What kind of knowledge or expertise does it take to contribute to CSA research?

You can either be a subject-matter expert or have general technical knowledge that relates to the working group’s topic. Once familiar with the work that the WG is developing you can decide the level of your involvement according to your time and comfort zone. Since not any one person contains all the answers, these groups are built off of learning from one another to strengthen knowledge as a whole.

Still have questions? Contact [email protected] and we will be glad to answer them.