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IV MeLCi Lab Autumn School – “Science Bootcamp to Boost Your Research Hands-On Skills”

Short description

The Media Literacy and Civic Cultures Lab – MeLCi Lab (Lusófona University, CICANT) is organising its IV Autumn School on 28-31 October 2024 in the form of a bootcamp to boost research hands-on skills. The School is designed to provide PhD students and postdocs with practical knowledge of classical and cutting-edge research methods. To this end, the School embraces an interdisciplinary approach by welcoming debate from different theories and methodological integration (qualitative and quantitative). The School will bring together a group of international scholars for workshops and keynotes.
The upcoming MeLCi Lab Autumn School 2024 specifically aims to introduce PhD students and early research fellows in communication science, social science and related fields to the transformative influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on their field. The focus is on the intersection of AI, media literacy, and civic cultures. Notable scientists such as Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web and a leading advocate for data rights, and Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer of Deep Learning, emphasise the criticality of understanding AI in our ever-more digital society.
For example, as social media platforms increasingly use AI and machine learning algorithms to curate content, it is fundamental to understand how these algorithms work and influence online interactions. Authors such as Safiya Noble (2018), author of “Algorithms of Oppression”, and Eli Pariser (2011), who coined the term “filter bubble”, have shed light on this issue. They highlight the importance of comprehending the biases and assumptions built into these algorithms and how they can inadvertently perpetuate harmful stereotypes or misinformation. Thus, Algorithmic literacy is crucial for future researchers in our field to understand how AI can empower and challenge democratic communication.
Understanding AI is no longer an option; it is necessary, particularly for communication science students. Inspired by works from scholars such as Nick Bostrom and Stuart Russell, this School will provide students with a non-technical understanding of AI, its implications, and its applications in communication science. We aim to demystify AI and illuminate its role in the future of communication.
The school will be held in English.

Call for proposals deadline

Deadline: 13 September 2024
See details about how to submit a proposal at the bottom of this page.




1.1. Introduction to AI: a non-technical overview
1.2. Role of AI in media: from media production to consumption
1.3. AI and information disorder: understanding AI’s role in the spread and detection of the so-called “fake news”
1.4. Algorithms: understanding how to study the roles and effects of algorithmic literacy
1.5. AI in civic cultures: how AI is transforming civic participation
1.6. Ethical considerations: discussing the ethical implications of using AI in media and communication


2.1. Innovative Methodologies
2.2. Linking big and small data methods
2.3. Qualitative and participatory research
2.4. Social Platforms for Research
2.5. Communication research: scientific writing and dissemination
2.6. Arts-based dissemination


28 to 31 October 2024 – IV MeLCi Lab Autumn School
TIME (Lisbon time zone)

IV MeLCi Lab Autumn School Schedule

TIME (Lisbon time zone)
9h00 – 10h45
(Academic) Writing and AI
Rita Grácio
AI as a useful and responsible tool for research
Mariana Müller &
Ana Oliveira
Keynote Speaker
Walking through memetic and algorithmic platforms to explore civic participation
Daniela Jaramillo-Dent
10h45 – 11h00
11h00 – 12h45
Literature Review
Carla Sousa
AI as a useful and responsible tool for research
Mariana Müller &
Ana Oliveira
How to reach audiences?
Célia Quico
12h45 – 14h00
Closing session
14h00 – 15h45
Welcome session
To be announced
Generative AI and Stereotypes: Risks, Challenges and Opportunities
Silvio M Pagliara
To be announced
15h45 – 16h00
16h00 – 18h00
Participation Shifts
Bruno Saraiva
Ellen Middaugh
Tutoring sessions


How to apply

Interested graduate students and postdocs must send their application (in English) by 13 September 2024, including:
1. Updated Curriculum Vitae (máx. 3 pages);
2. Candidate’s research statement that includes a description of their doctoral dissertation, research questions and methods (máx. 2 pages);
3. Motivation letter specifying what you bring and expect from the School (indicating explicitly what themes and sub-themes are of your particular interest) máx. 1-2 pages;
Send your application as a ZIP file to with the subject “Application for the IV MeLCi Lab Autumn School”.
Proposals Deadline: 13 September 2024
Notification of Acceptance: 30 September 2024


PhD Students
Early Career Researchers (with PhD obtained in the last three years)

Maximum number of participants

20 students

Fee *

  • Lusófona University, CICANT PhD Students 70 euros
  • PhD students from other Institutions 100 euros
  • Other 150 euros
    *The best participant will not pay the fee; one Equity Scholarship to support the fee will also be awarded (more details to be published soon)

Keynote Speakers

Silvio M Pagliara, University of Cagliari, Italy
Ellen Middaugh, San José State University, United States
Daniela Jaramillo-Dent, University of Zurich, Switzerland


Ana Filipa Oliveira Profile | CienciaVitae | ORCID
Carla Cerqueira Profile | CienciaVitae | ORCID
Carla Sousa Profile | CienciaVitae | ORCID
Célia Quico Profile | CienciaVitae | ORCID
Daniel Cardoso Profile | CienciaVitae | ORCID
Lúcia Mesquita Profile | CienciaVitae | ORCID
Mariana Müller Profile | CienciaVitae | ORCID
Rita Grácio Profile | CienciaVitae | ORCID
Teresa Sofia Castro Profile I Ciência Vitae I ORCID


The fourth edition of the Autumn School is the result of a partnership between four CICANT research projects: 
  1. ALQI: an intelligent chatbot to support algorithmic literacy (Seed Funding ILIND). 
  2. [GameIN] – Games Inclusion Lab: Participatory Media Creation Processes for Accessibility ( 
  3. YouNDigital – Youth, News and Digital Citizenship (PTDC/COM-OUT/0243/2021/DOI 10.54499/PTDC/COM-OUT/0243/2021). 
  4. i-Tech Families: empowering parents and children for a digital future (DOI 10.54499/2022.00105.CEECIND/CP1760/CT0001).
  5. filmEU_RIT pilot 3 Machine Acts: Collaborative Screenplay Writing with GPT-3 (H2020: 101035820)