FAQ – Summer School 2018

Who is this meant for? Who can participate?

The summer school is meant for PhD/doctoral students and Master students at the final stage of their MA program. The PhDs can also work as researchers or lecturers at their home institutions, have a stipend or devote their whole time to the PhDs – the contractual details do not matter to us. The summer school is not meant for post-doctoral researchers or professors.

The disciplinary focus is on communication and media studies plus related fields (media and social psychology, political science, media sociology, information systems). If you feel that your work fits the call, then you are most likely in that disciplinary focus.

What is the topic?

The overall topic is trust in mediated communication. Our approach is broad, so your work does not have to have the word “trust” in the title. There are related – and sometimes antagonistic – concepts that might fit as well, for example: credibility, risks, fake news, manipulation, populism & propaganda, conspiracies, reputation, reality, truth, (self-)perception, (self-)observation, fake identities, to name but a few.

There are four main areas where we would like to explore trust related questions, outlined in call. You will find related questions there, that might be indicative of what we think might fit

How does the summer school work? What type of sessions can I visit?

The summer school consists of a variety of sessions, including (a) plenary sessions with keynote speeches by leading scholars in the field, (b) poster sessions where you can present and discuss your own work, (c) workshop sessions where the participants work together with seniors on (sub)concepts, research ideas and more. Furthermore, there will be some special sessions (meet the editors, career planning, future of the field) and quite a few social events for networking (and having a good time!).

What is included in the fees?

There are no fees. You are welcome. ;-)

What about this “travel support”?

Inverse to the logic of conferences, we do not ask for fees, but support participants to reduce the financial and personal burden. All participants will receive non-monetary travel support by means of a free bus transport from the ICA conference in Prague to Münster. International participants will receive additional financial travel support. We can guarantee a minimum support in the 250-300 Euro range, which should cover the extra costs of traveling to Münster from ICA. (You will also receive travel support if you arrive from other places. Participation at ICA is not a requirement.) The exact sum of travel support depends on various factors, and it can vary individually according to country of residence: We will balance the support based on the income level of the country of residence and the distance to travel, so people in low income / high distance countries will receive slightly more support than people from high income / low distance countries. The final sum of travel support will be updated after the list of participants has been finalized.

Do I get course credits?

We will issue a certificate of participation including a detailed summary of your presentation and of lectures and seminars attended. This may be acknowledged and credited by your home universities in accordance with the local credit point system for PhD students. (Please ask at your home institution about the regulations for that. We only issue the certificate, but cannot guarantee that it is honored by each individual institution out there.)

I am a materialist. What do I “get” in practical terms?

You get a great package that is heavily subsidized by our sponsors. This includes:

  • no conference fee
  • free events & some free meals
  • free bus transfer from Prague
  • travel support for international participants
  • reduced hotel prices
  • fantastic speakers and great workshops
  • certificate of participation (potentially valid as course credit)
  • a good time

P.S.: Why did you end up in science as a materialist?

When do I receive confirmation whether I am accepted or not?

Acceptance notifications on the basis of a peer review will be sent out on January 14th. This is synchronized with ICA’s confirmation mails, so that you know by mid-January whether you are accepted at both events, or just one, so that you can make your travel plans accordingly.

Please have a look at the important dates here (scroll down).

What about the social program? I heard weird stories about a party boat and a former brothel.

All the stories are true, but we are well-behaved scientists, so this won’t be too crazy. The former brothel is a dance bar these days, so it just has a Moulin-Rouge like, velvet decor – but it is totally civilized. You will find more information on the social program (including pictures) here.

Why Münster?

Because it’s simply a great place. Actually, it won the LivCom-Award as “The World’s Most Liveable City” in 2004. While Münster may not be as big or famous as Berlin or Munich, it’s certainly a fantastic university town. It has a historic city center with much to explore, more than 40.000 students, and half a million bikes. Yes, statistically, we all have about 1,5 bikes here. We still need to find out who rides all the unicycles.

You can find some more information here or here.

How do I get to Münster?

You will find in-depth information regarding this here.

Is it worth the effort?

Absolutely. If you are not convinced yet, then please have a look at the speaker list.

Who are the speakers?

The summer school features some of the leading scholars in media and communication research. The list of speakers and workshop hosts includes a former ICA president, the editor of Human Communication Research, an associate editor of Journal of Communcation, and some people that were influential in shaping the whole field. You can find the full speaker list here.

Do I need to visit ICA for this?

No. These are two independent events. The summer school is just synchronized with ICA to make the logistics easier for visitors of ICA. For most communication scholars, the ICA is the prime convention of the year, so they will travel there, anyway. The International Summer School happens directly before or after ICA in a short travel distance, so that overseas participants do not need to make the exhausting long-haul flight twice. However, ICA supports our summer school by allowing its announcement via their Facebook group page.

Can I participate without a submission?


Will I get free access to ICA when participating in the summer school?

No. These are two independent events (s. above).

Why is this so cheap? Who’s behind this? Who are the sponsors?

Evil reptiloids from Aldebaran. Sorry, lousy attempt at German humor. Actually, this is organized by the Department of Communication of the University of Münster, Michigan State University and The University of California, Santa Barbara. It’s the fourth ISS. Previous summer schools were held in Singapore, Cologne and East Lansing. We are thankful to receive funding from various institutions at the University of Münster - the Department of Communication, the DFG Research Training Group “Trust and Communication in a Digitized World” , and the Chair of Online Communication (Prof. Thorsten Quandt). So these are all public, academic sponsors. No sinister groups involved here, sorry.

You didn’t answer my question!

Sorry about that. Please contact us directly at: orga.summer.school.2018@uni-muenster.de