AMCAP | Association of Media & Communication Professionals - Lahore

Doctoral Spring School 2021

2nd AMCAP Doctoral Spring School 2021

February 20-28, 2021


The 2nd AMCAP Doctoral Spring School 2021, hosted by Fatima Jinnah Women University, aimed to strengthen the structure and content of Communication and Media Studies Ph.D. research projects in Pakistan in collaboration with the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) and the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

Association of Media and Communication Academic Professionals (AMCAP) under its Doctoral Spring School program brings together prominent Foreign and Pakistani academics to provide structural and individuated support to young Pakistani and other Asian scholars in their Ph.D. projects. The AMCAP Spring School is a PhD-student centered school that gives participants unique opportunities to polish their scientific research skills in the emerging digital environment through Ph.D. feedback panels, workshops, and lectures along with panel discussions.


Venue: Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Organizers: Association of Media & Communication Academic Professionals (AMCAP)

Sponsors: University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.


In the age of digital humanities and emerging ecosystems, the School provides opportunities for learning pedagogies in digital ecosystems. The AMCAP Spring School aims to provide a supportive international setting where doctoral students present their ongoing work, engage in various activities, and receive one-to-one feedback on their Ph.D. projects from foreign and Pakistani academics. It also provides an opportunity to establish valuable networking with the academia of different countries.

In its 2nd 9-day Doctoral Spring School held this year in collaboration with Punjab Higher Education Commission and International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, AMCAP provided an opportunity to Ph.D. candidates and M-Phil students to polish their research skills in the guidance of faculty coming from around the world. Nine resource persons from various countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, the USA, Sweden, Qatar, Egypt, and the Czech Republic, and seven experts from Pakistan joined the 2nd AMCAP Doctoral Spring School 2021. The school was attended by 31 participants in total and 7 of them were awarded scholarships.


The doctoral school included the following sessions:

1. One-on-one sessions

2. Workshops on Research Skills

3. Student Feedback panels

4. Keynote Lectures

5. Media Dialogues

6. Student Group Projects

7. Panel Discussion on Careers

8. Networking and publishing opportunities


It will also be an opportunity to establish valuable networking with the academia of different countries.


Participants of AMCAP Spring School can apply under the following two categories:

1.      As Ph.D. scholars (Those who are currently enrolled in any University for Ph.D. Degree)


2.      As Observers (Any aspiring Ph.D. scholar, Ph.D. Scholar awaiting viva, Faculty Member, and Early Career Media Professional)


Observers will benefit from keynote lectures, workshops, media dialogues, networking, and publishing opportunities except for the student feedback panels.

Program Director:

Dr. Bushra Hameedur Rahman

Spring School Coordinators:

Dr. Abida Ashraf & Dr. Saadia Ishtiaq

Spring School Co-coordinators:  Dr. Zaeem Yasin, Mr. Fahad Mehmood, Dr. Shazia Saeed
Spring School Facilitators: Dr. Sameera Batool, Dr. Ayesha Ashfaq, Dr. Zahid Bilal, Ms. Sabahat Afsheen
International Advisor: Dr. Nico Carpentier


Message from Program leaders:

Prof. Dr. Nico Carpentier

International Advisor

The AMCAP doctoral spring schools are exciting events that are very demanding for all participants but that also produce high levels of satisfaction for both participants (regular participants and observers) and lecturers. One of the main reasons for success is the doctoral spring school model, which uses a student-centred approach, which has been tried and tested in other (older) doctoral schools that have inspired the AMCAP doctoral spring school (e.g., those organised within ECREA and ALAIC).

At the heart of the doctoral spring school is the idea that participants and teachers can work together in improving the quality of the research projects that the participants bring to the table. For every participant, the doctoral spring school reserves a one-hour slot, which allows for structured, in-depth and high-quality feedback on their projects. Also in other workshops, the participant’s research projects are placed at the centre stage. For instance, during the poster workshop, at the very beginning of a doctoral spring school, each participant produces a poster about their research project, and then introduces their poster to all other participants in a brief poster presentation. Equally important are the many informal conversations participants have, with lecturers and other participants, about their work. A second reason for the success of the doctoral spring school is the mixture of experienced, enthusiastic, and caring national and international lecturers, who work hard to ensure a good learning experience for the participants, bringing a diversity of perspectives into the spring school. After all, knowledge production is very much about the dialogical combination of perspectives, where no particular academic perspective should prevail. This also produces a constructive, warm and safe space, where critique remains possible, but where all present share a strive for excellence.

Prof. Dr. Bushra H. Rehman

Program Director

AMCAP Doctoral Spring School 2021 was designed to give the opportunity to young scholars of mass communication to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge of international standards to make meaningful contributions to society through their research.  The key feature of this School was to encourage the participants to work in a collaborative environment on their research projects. The Doctoral School aimed to train the participants in high research culture including both positivist and interpretive paradigms. Participants were just not encouraged to work independently to bring out their own perspectives but also to work as a team in an environment of open communication and mutual trust and respect. Lectures on diverse topics opened new ways of looking into mass communication research.  The interactive sessions with national and international sessions gave them the confidence that their ideas are valuable and that they can be translated into possible research projects.

There is a deep sense of pleasure and happiness to witness the synergies achieved during the 9-days rigorous sessions. I am very confident that the strong network of understanding formed during the doctoral school will facilitate them in taking initiatives to improve the quality of research to address the concerns of their communities and create a vision of the desired future.


Resource Persons:

9 International and 7 National Resource Persons joined the 2nd AMCAP Doctoral Spring School.

The AMCAP Doctoral Spring School brought together faculty from renowned universities around the world. The International faculty for the spring school included nine professors from United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Czech Republic, Sweden, Egypt and Qatar. The program included sessions from seven leading national scholars as well. 10 of the resource person conducted sessions on sight while 6 of them joined virtually.


International Faculty:


Dr. Nico Carpentier  

Nico Carpentier is an Extraordinary Professor at Charles University in Prague; he also holds part-time positions at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB – Free University of Brussels), as Associate Professor, and at Uppsala University, as a Senior Researcher. Moreover, he is a Research Fellow at the Cyprus University of Technology and Loughborough University.

Earlier, he was ECREA Treasurer (2005-2012) and Vice-President (2008-2012), and IAMCR Treasurer (2012-2016). Currently, he is Chair of the Participatory Communication Research Section at IAMCR. His latest books are The Discursive-Material Knot: Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation (2017, Peter Lang, New York); Cyprus and its Conflicts. Representations, Materialities, and Cultures (2018, co-edited), Critical Perspectives on Media, Power and Change (2018, co-edited), Respublika! Experiments in the Performance of Participation and Democracy (2019, edited), and Communication and Discourse Theory (2019, co-edited).


Dr. Fatma Elzahraa


Fatma Elzahraa Mohamed Ahmed Elsayed is an Associate Professor at Cairo University and focuses majorly on New Media. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Mass Communication from Cairo University, Master Degree in New Media from Leeds University, UK, Master Degree in Journalism, and  BA (Hons) degree in Mass Communication from Cairo University, Egypt and  Study of the U.S. Institute on Journalism and Media from Ohio University.

She is a member of IAMCR, AREACORE and AEJMC. She remained Head of Journalism Department, Ahram Canadian University, Cairo, Lecturer of Media and Journalism, Cairo University, Egypt and Editor in Chief of the Scientific Journal of Journalism Research, Cairo University, Egypt. She has earned two awards as best researcher in the International Conference of Mass Communication Faculty.


Dr. Vaia Doudaki


Dr. Vaia Doudaki is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Media Studies, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Earlier, she has served as Associate Professor at Dept. of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University, Sweden; Research Fellow at Uppsala University; Assistant Professor at Dept. of Communication and Internet Studies, Cyprus University of Technology; Lecturer at Cyprus University of Technology; Journalist in online and print media, Athens, Greece; Postdoctoral researcher at Department of Communication, Media and Culture, Panteion University; Adjunct lecturer at Panteion University. She has supervised many research projects and coordinated many programs.

Her research focuses on the intersection of journalism studies, discourse studies and alternative media studies.