Sanne Kruikemeier

Project leader

Sanne Kruikemeier is a Professor at the Strategic Communication Group of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). She is a board member of the Society of Advertising and co-chair of the political communication division of the Netherlands-Flanders Communication Association. Between 2017 and 2022, she was a member of the Amsterdam Young Academy (AYA).

Her research focuses on the consequences and implications of online communication for individuals and society. Her research received funding from several science foundations, including an ERC starting grant, a NORFACE grant, as well as grants from various programs of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. She also received awards from the International Communication Association, such as the CAT Dordick Dissertation Award.

More details about her research and publications can be found at:

Sophie Lecheler

Principal investigator

Sophie Lecheler is Professor of Political Communication at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna. She previously worked at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University of Amsterdam, and the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her work has been published in a wide range of international journals, such as Communication Research, Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Journalism Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Media Psychology, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Journalism, Communication Monographs, Communication Yearbook, and the International Journal of Press/Politics.

More details about her research and publications can be found at

Katharina Dommett

Principal investigator

Dr Kate Dommett is Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests focus on digital campaigning, political parties, data use and public perceptions. Dr Dommett has published extensively on digital campaigning, the implications of digital technology for institutions, and the use of data in elections. In earlier work, she focused particularly on political parties, and her book, The Reimagined Party was published in 2020.    

Dr Dommett was recently awarded the 2020 Richard Rose Prize by the Political Studies Association for an early-career scholar who has made a distinctive contribution to British politics. This award recognised her work as Special Advisor to the House of Lords Committee on Democracy and Digital Technology and her extensive engagement in public policy debates.

More details about her research and publications can be found at

Rachel Gibson

Principal investigator

Rachel Gibson is a Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester, having joined the Department and Politics and Institute for Social Change December 2007. Between 2016 and 2019 she served as Director of the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research. She is currently running a 5-year international project ‘Digital Campaigning and Electoral Democracy’ (DiCED) that is funded by the European Research Council as an Advanced Investigator Grant.

Previous appointments include Professor of New Media Studies at the University of Leicester and Lecturer in Politics at the University of Salford. She completed her PhD thesis on the rise of anti-immigrant parties in Western Europe in the late 20th century at Texas A&M University in the U.S. She has held visiting fellowships at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), the Australian National University (ANU), and the Autonomous University in Barcelona (AUB).

Rachel has led several projects examining the impact of the Internet on political parties, campaigns and voters funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC). She has been a PI/Co-I on the Australian Election Study since 2001 and the Australian Candidate Study. She was co-editor of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (2011-16) and is a current Editorial Board member of generalist and specialist journals in the field including Political Studies, the Journal of Information Technology and Politics. She is a member of the Peer Review College of the ESRC and regularly reviews for the leading journals in the field and major national and international funding bodies.

Claes de Vreese

Claes de Vreese is Distinguished University Professor of AI & Society at the University of Amsterdam with a special focus on AI, media and democracy.

He is incoming scientific director of the Digital Democracy Center at SDU and member of the Danish Institute for Advanced Studies. He was the founding director of the Center for Politics and Communication and co-directs the University of Amsterdam initiatives Information, Communication & the Data Society (ICDS), Human(e) AI, and the Digital Media Methods Lab. He is member of the ICA Executive Committee and served as President 2020-21.

His research interests span from media, public opinion, and electoral behaviour to the role of data and AI in democratic processes.

Lukas Otto

Lukas Otto is an assistant professor for Political Communication and Journalism at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research / ASCoR. Previously I was a PostDoc/Senior lecturer at the Institute for Communication Psychology and Media Education, University of Koblenz-Landau, where I did my PhD (“Softening trust – Effects of Soft News Characteristics on Trust in Politicians”).

His reseach focuses on political communication, media psychology, and methods of communication research. More precisely he is investigating effects of digital political communication (a) effects of negativity, incivility, and toxic talk in political communication online, as well as (b) effects of political microtargeting. He is also interested in studying dynamics of communication through innovative methods such as experience sampling, He is mostly applying comparative designs investigating cultural differences of political communication usage, perception, and effects.

His work was published in top journals of the field such as Communication Theory, Communication Research, Digital Journalism, Journal of Communication, Political Communication. Lukas Otto is the secretary of the Political Communication Division at the International Communication Association.

Jörg Matthes

Jörg Matthes is Professor of Communication Science and Head of the Department of Communication, University of Vienna, Austria. He is currently Associate Editor of The Journal of Advertising, and has served as Associate Editor for Human Communication Research, Communication Methods & Measures, the Journal of Communication as well as Editor of Communication Methods & Measures.

His research focuses on (digital) media effects, public opinion formation, and empirical methods.

Rens Vliegenthart

Rens Vliegenthart is full professor and chair holder in Strategic Communication at Wageningen University & Research.
His research focuses on the analysis of media content and effects, both on citizens and public opinion, as well as on politicians and political decision making. Rens specializes in (automated) content analysis and time series analysis. His research is published in a wide range of journals in communication science, political science, and sociology, and is funded by grants from the Dutch science foundation (e.g. VENI, VIDI, NWA).

Andrew Barclay

Andrew Barclay is a Research Associate in Politics at the University of Sheffield, having gained his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester. His thesis concerned the political behaviour of British Jews, and he has a wider research interest in the study of elections, public opinion and political behaviour. He has recently published in Electoral Studies and Politics & Religion, and in addition to academic publications, has given commentary on the voting preferences of religious voters, and the electoral consequences of antisemitism within the British Labour party.

Susan Vermeer

Susan Vermeer is an Assistant Professor at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) within the programme group of Political Communication and Journalism. She is also an affiliate member of the University of Amsterdam Data Science Centre. In 2021, she defended her dissertation, in which she investigated news consumption in the digital society. She investigated how content features, consumer features, and context features interact in shaping news exposure and, ultimately, political interest and political participation. Her research interests center around the impact of the digital media environment, such as social media and algorithms, on political behaviour and attitudes. She combines traditional research methods with innovative and computational methods to study such processes. 

Selina Noetzel

Selina Noetzel is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna. She functions as a pre-doctoral researcher in the Advertising and Media Effects Research Group. She studied Communication Science at the University of Vienna (MSc) and at the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS Köln, B.A.). Her main research interests include political microtargeting, media psychology and media literacy.

More information about her project can be found here.

Xiaotong Chu

Xiaotong Chu is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) of the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the effects of targeting practices in modern electoral campaigns on individual-level responses. She has experiences in quantitative research methods such as automatic content analysis, experiments, etc.

More information about her project can be found here.

Sophie Minihold

Sophie Minihold is a Ph.D. Candidate in Communication Science at the University of Vienna (Political Communication Research Group) and University of Amsterdam. She studied Communication Science at the University of Vienna (Bakk. phil.) and at the University of Amsterdam (research master; MSc.). During her joint-Ph.D program she researches the digital campaign competence of voters in data-driven election campaigns in European multi-party systems.

More information about her project can be found here.

Marlis Stubenvoll

Marlis Stubenvoll is a pre-doctoral researcher at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna. In October 2018 she was awarded a uni:docs fellowship for her dissertation topic “Why Misinformation Persists: The Role of Resistance to Corrections in Political News”. She obtained her master’s degree in the Erasmus Mundus program Journalism, Media and Globalisation from the University of Aarhus and the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests include mis- and disinformation, resistance to persuasion, the effects of political micro-targeting and climate change communication.

Esmeralda Bon

Esmeralda Bon is a Research Associate at the University of Manchester, based in the Cathie Marsh Institute. She works as the lead research associate for the project ‘Digital Campaigning and Electoral Democracy’ (DiCED). This is a project run by Rachel Gibson, who is part of the DATADRIVEN team. DiCED is a comparative project for the study of the drivers and effects of digital campaigning in 5 countries and 7 national elections during the period 2020-2023. Esmeralda has recently obtained her PhD at the University of Nottingham, with a thesis about UK MP communication during the EU referendum, addressing the relationship between representation and the dynamics, frequency, and content of their political communication. In her academic work, Esmeralda applies a wide range of qualitative, quantitative, and automated research methods to study digital campaigning and public opinion. More information of her project can be found here.

Annelien Van Remoortere

Annelien Van Remoortere is a postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) of the University of Amsterdam. She wrote her dissertation about the influence of mass media on the popularity and success of political elites. As a postdoctoral researcher she is mainly interested in how online media impacts political elites and citizens with a particular interest in data-driven campaigning. Methodologically, she is interested in different methodological approaches and combines computational methods (e.g., automated content analysis) with experiments, surveys and interviews.

Alice Binder

Alice Binder is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Media and Communications at the Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt. In April 2020 she defended her dissertation on “The influence of healthy food placements within children’s movies. Persuasive mechanisms and effects“ at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on the areas of health communication, persuasive communication and media psychology. In her studies, she focuses on the effects of (political) personalized advertising on young people and adults and the effects of integrated healthy food in different media on children’s eating habits.

Melanie Hirsch

Melanie Hirsch is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna (Advertising and Media Psychology Research Group). She studied Translation Studies and Political Science at the University of Innsbruck and Communication Science at the University of Vienna. Her main research interests include the perceptions and effects of political micro-targeting, media psychology, and mobile communication.