Section Head Election 2020 - Call for candidates and statements

Participatory Communication Research Section

The Participatory Communication Research (PCR) Section will be holding elections up prior to the IAMCR 2020 online conference, and is calling for nominations for the positions of two Co Chairs and four Vice-Chairs. The duration of each mandate is four years, and the Section Officers can be reelected to a further term in the same position once.

The PCR Section has currently one Chair, Nico Carpentier (Charles University, Czech Republic), and two Vice-Chairs, Ana Duarte Melo (University of Minho, Portugal) and Jonas Agerbæk (Roskilde University, Denmark). The officers of the incumbent Section Head were all elected in 2016.

At the time of issuing this call, Nico Carpentier will have to step down as Chair (as he is running for IAMCR president), Ana Duarte Melo, currently Vice-Chair wishes to be elected as Co Chair, and Jonas Agerbæk seeks to continue as Vice-Chair.

The incumbent Section Head has created three new positions, and has invited the following scholars to stand for election, based on their work for the PCR Section in the past years. They have confirmed their interest, and are running for the position of Co Chair (Dorismilda Flores-Márquez, from the University of De La Salle Bajío, Mexico), and for the positions of Vice-Chair (Ana Lúcia Nunes de Sousa, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Arun John, from the University of Hyderabad, India; and Piyu Gong, from Jinan University, China). Their candidate statements will follow.

Further candidates interested in running for PCR officers are requested to put their names forward for election no later than 10 June 2020. To nominate, please send your name, institutional position, a statement of no more than 400 words, and, optionally, a photograph, to all three members of the incumbent Head (;;, with a copy (CC) to the PCR Secretariat (, the IAMCR General Secretary Gerard Goggin (, and the Executive Secretariat (

All candidates must be current members of IAMCR, and of the PCR section.

The elections will be held online from 6 to 12 July 2020 using the SurveyMonkey platform. Voting lists will be generated on 10 June. Individual members and representatives of institutional members who are also registered as members of the PCR Section at the time the voting lists are generated will be sent ballots. Members who join the Section after the voting list has been generated will not be able to vote.

If you would like to discuss the responsibilities of the PCR Co Chair or Vice-Chair, as well as the challenges and possibilities it faces, please feel free to contact any members of the PCR Head.

You can find the election rules at:


For Co Chair:

For Vice-Chair:


Ana Duarte Melo (University of Minho / CECS, Portugal)

Living the IAMCR experience is a remarkable opportunity to learn, share and contribute to an inclusive, diverse and relevant view of the world. In the last 4 years I've been an active member of the PCR Head as a vice-chair, participating in the main conferences but also organizing and promoting other events between conferences. As a team I believe we managed an excellent level of commitment and achievement, with diverse and challenging events and initiatives. Challenging will also be the times that await us and that I would like to face with the same collaborative and proactive spirit that characterizes the section. I believe that the Participatory Communication Research Section is what its members make of it and I propose to contribute to the diversity of voices and perspectives of the section in ever more creative and participatory ways, promoting research, science and conviviality.

I am assistant professor at the Communication Sciences Department of the Social Sciences Institute of University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, a researcher of the Communication and Society Research Centre of the same University. I've been researching participatory communication since my PhD on participation through advertising (2013) and I´m also interested in strategic, health, non-profit communication and communication for social change, as I firmly believe participation is a keyword for the future of a sustainable communication and for a sustainable society as well. In the last years I’ve been editing and publishing on these subjects: Rescuing Participation (Ribeiro, Duarte Melo and Carpentier, 2019) and ParticipAD (Duarte Melo & Duque, 2018). Previously I was Chair of the Organisational and Strategic Communication Section of ECREA (2010-2016) and before fully committing to the Academia, I was an advertising professional, as copywriter and creative director, and early in my career I was a journalist. I was also a screen and scriptwriter for tv, advertising and cinema.

See further info:

Dorismilda Flores-Márquez (Universidad De La Salle Bajío, México)

I am proud of being part of IAMCR and particularly of the Participatory Communication Research Section. I appreciate the work done by the head of this section over the years, in order to promote the diversity and pluralism in the field. This nomination is an opportunity to give back to this vibrant academic community and to reinforce the diversity in the team, as I am a Latin American female scholar. In this way, my priorities are: a) to strengthen the dialogue and collaboration among colleagues from all over the world, and different theoretical and methodological backgrounds as well; b) to explore new ways of participation in the period between conferences.

I have been actively engaged in IAMCR, as a member since 2015 and as a reviewer in the PCR Section since 2017. I hold a PhD in Social-Scientific Studies (ITESO, 2016). I am associate professor of Communication at the Universidad De La Salle Bajío in México, and member of the National System of Researchers in México. I also participate as an active member in other academic communities, the International Sociological Association, and the Mexican Association of Communication Researchers, in which I am co-chair of the research group in Internet and Information Society. My latest book is Imaginar un mundo mejor: La expresión pública de los activistas en internet (ITESO, 2019).

Jonas Agerbæk (Roskilde University, Denmark)

I have been a Vice-Chair for the PCR Section since 2016, and I hereby express my interest to stand for re-election. I wish to be part of a diverse management team committed to the members of the PCR and to participatory communication research and practice.

I am an early career academic and PhD student with a broad interest in communication studies. My research is grounded in the field of Communication for Development and Social Change (CDSC) and with a regional focus on East Africa. My ongoing thesis explores ethnographically the discursive constitution of participatory communication in NGO-driven development practice. I currently make a living as a part-time lecturer at Roskilde University and University of Southern Denmark, teaching and supervising across various communication disciplines. I also have experience in NGO and government research consultancy, in television writing, editing, and production, and in conference organizing and management (before IAMCR PCR notably the Ørecomm Festival series from 2010-14).

Over the years, the PCR section has been an important platform for the CDSC field. That it continues to be so is a priority for my candidacy. At the same time, I highly endorse that our Section keeps exploring the breadth and depth of the evolving field that is participatory communication, both in terms of crossing disciplinary boundaries and including different regional experiences. On that note, I am keen to contribute to a PCR that is a place for both theory and practice, that is, for both academics and practitioners (and those in between). In addition, I see the PCR community as ideal for experimenting with a multitude of research and knowledge communication formats – as we have done with the video conference presentations and the out-of-conference activities in the recent years. I think the Section can benefit greatly from continuing to rethink how to share knowledge and create spaces for collaboration both within and between conferences.

Last, but not least, my re-nomination is motivated by having a knack for the backstage technical and administrative aspects of managing the Section that in the past term has been the responsibility of the PCR Secretariat.

Piyu Gong (Jinan University, China)

I am very honoured to be nominated for the position of PCR Vice-Chair. I have been working for the media industry and authorities for more than ten years and I am currently affiliated as a researcher at the Communication and National Governance Institute of Jinan University (Guangzhou, China). 

Internet technology has been articulated as people’s media and a participation approach that is also causing significant changes for China's social, political, economic and cultural structures. Relatively, participatory communication research is insufficient in China that motivated me to study citizens' participation in NIMBY, city governance and rural development. I was awarded PhD in communication by Jinan University in 2018 and my book about participatory communication, Communication and Good Governance: Guangdong's Experience of State Governance from the Perspective of Participatory Communication, was published in 2019. In recent years, I have been involved in academic activities on participatory communication research through PCR, presenting research papers and organizing panels in the IAMCR annual conference, and starting to translate and introduce English academic works on participatory communication into Chinese academia.

I cherish the value and importance of academic exchanges, which is of great benefit to the understanding, inclusiveness and diversity. If I were elected successfully, I would be keen to work on three main tasks: Firstly, serving the members of the PCR and work for the international exchange of participatory communication research following the plan of PCR; secondly, providing Chinese scholars with a platform for participatory communication research activities and promote them to join the PCR and also bringing the PCR's members into the Chinese academic community; thirdly, continuing to encourage Asian scholars to participate and engage in the academic activities of PCR in order to expand the sections’ global impact.

Arun John (University of Hyderabad, India)

I, Arun John am working on my doctoral thesis from the University of Hyderabad, India as well as teaching at The Annapurna College of Film and Media, Hyderabad, India. My association with the Participatory Communication Research Section ofIAMCR began in 2016 when I attended the winter school at Jinan University, Guangzhou, China. Following that, I also presented my work at the IAMCR Cartagena conference in 2017. As a young scholar dabbling in the field of participatory media research, the support I received from both these events was immense. The winter school was one of a kind and the first international event I had attended. The faculty team which consisted of prominent scholars in the field of participatory communication reinforced my faith in the discipline and my own work as well. I had the opportunity to present my work and get ample feedback while at Jinan University, China.

During my Master’s, the mandatory internship program which the University insisted on took me to United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for a brief period and upon completion of my course, I worked there as well. My roots to Development Communication can be traced back to those days other than the classes which I had during my Master’s. Shortly after my stint at the UNDP, I started in my academic career by staring to teach at a college in Hyderabad.

My experiences with the PCR Section have fuelled my interest to be part of the Section officially as well. To be part of a community which spearheads media research globally is an honour and a privilege. My motivation for contesting to this position is the faith that I have in the organization. The reality that a researcher in an Indian University can become part of an international scholar’s network is telling of the Section’s egalitarian nature.  

If I am elected as Vice-Chair of the PCR Section, I will contribute in whatever way I can towards achieving as well as furthering the goals of the organization. As a researcher studying and experiencing different manifestations of development communication, my scholarship of the same will further the boundaries of the PCR Section. The support and help I have received from the PCR is immense and given an opportunity, I would extend the same to other young scholars in the field through this position.

Ana Lúcia Nunes de Sousa (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

I have been a member of IAMCR and PCR since 2016 when I took part in the Conference in Leicester. Being involved in the multicultural and diverse environment of the Association, played a key role in my development as a young researcher. Shortly after, I participated in other events organised by the Participatory Communication Research Section, especially, the Ph.D. Winter School on Participation & Communication in Guangzhou, China. 

In addition, last year, I had the opportunity to be part of the team, which organised the International Seminar: “Participatory Communication and the struggle over the human rights”, held in Brazil, and sponsored by PCR and IAMCR, consequently, I received an expression of interest to vie for the position of vice chair for the PCR section. With this in mind, I wish to accept this opportunity with joy and gratitude while signifying my interest to stand for the position. However, I am very much aware of the responsibilities and challenges involved, but equally prepared to give it my all. Furthermore, I see this as an opportunity to work in favour of the strengthening and growth of the Section, and to stand up for some priorities: a) to expand our Section to the Global South, to make it more accessible, especially to underprivileged researchers; b) provide resources and a safe space for young researchers to develop their careers among participatory communication research. 

I hold a Ph.D. in Communication and Journalism (UAB 2017) and Communication and Culture (UFRJ 2017). Nowadays, I am an assistant professor of educative video at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. My research is cross-disciplinary, moving between participatory and community communication, science and health education, audiovisual, gender, the African Diaspora, and social movements in the countries of the global south.