Grant Recipients

2019 Early Career Researcher emma Annual Conference Grant 

Kyriakos Riskos, PhD-candidate (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

EMMA Cyprus Conference 2019 was a great experience for me! Firstly, it offered me the opportunity to get in touch and interact with other academic researchers from all over the world and secondly, I had the chance to present a part of my research work to a specialized audience and get notable feedback! As every PhD candidate researcher, I face harsh periods of time with emotional distress and disappointment. This grant rewarded me for all my effort spent through the last three years and pushed me to continue working with passion on my research projects!!

Riskos is an academic researcher and PhD candidate in marketing and media consumption at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. His research interests include Marketing Communications, Media Consumption and Consumer Behavior with a special focus on consumer brand engagement for media brands. Moreover, he has a keen interest on how the emotion of nostalgia is used in various media channels for marketing purposes. His PhD thesis tries to shed some light on how motives for news sites consumption, influence users to engage with a news brand and concurrently examines the moderating role of user interactivity in this connection. In this context, he is conducting a cross-cultural study between Greece, USA and India in order to deeply investigate whether media consumers’ preferences and behaviors are culturally specific or can be considered closely alike between the three cultural contexts. His research work has been presented in international conferences and published in international academic journals. Furthermore, in 2017, Kyriakos Riskos received an EU Research Fellowship Grant for the research project ‘Green entrepreneurship as a means to support Greek economy amid financial crisis. Usability testing of green products’ packaging with a view to create an environmental online marketing business model’.


Searchmore Muridzo, PhD-candidate (Media and Communication School, Bournemouth University, UK)

“It was a unique and amazing opportunity to be a recipient of the EMMA Annual Conference Grant 2019. To be a participate at the conference and be in the presence of some of the most renowned scholars in media management and more specifically my PhD interest – PSB management, such as Greg Lowe was a humbling experience. The presentations themselves were not only insightful but engaging. Networking and potential collaborations in the future were another bonus that came with the attendance. I worthwhile and fulfilling experience. The Emma family is warm and offers an invaluable academic expose.”


His PhD thesis centres on Public Service Broadcasting in Zimbabwe, particularly looking at management and the use of hybrid models. The study employs institutional logics perspectives to try and explain media concepts such as framing and gatekeeping in a management scope. His main research areas are media management, media business, media regulation, media economics, telecommunications and media in Africa. He contributes articles to the Aileen Getty School of Citizen Journalism and ProJurno. He was invited to participate in the UK Research and Innovation ideas platform on technology use in Africa.

2018 Early Career Researcher emma Annual Conference Grant 

José María Valero Pastor, Miguel Hernández University, Spain

“It has been a great pleasure to participate in the 2018 edition of the EMMA Annual Conference, as it has allowed me to get in contact with a lot of inspirational scholars from all over Europe, and to join the outstanding EMMA community. Furthermore, this experience has provided me new academic approaches to the topics I investigate, so I has been very productive for me”.

José María Valero Pastor is a research associate and PhD student at the Department of Social and Human Sciences of Miguel Hernández University in Elche, Spain. His research interests are media innovation and, more specifically, transformation in the internal organization of journalistic companies. He also focuses his investigations in knowledge management and transference in this organizations and its effects upon the culture of this companies.  He is also graduate in Journalism from Miguel Hernández University, where he also obtained a Master’s Degree in Media Innovation. During the 2016/2017 academic year, he was selected to benefit from a research grant awarded by UMH, and he is now part of the Department of Social and Human Sciences of the UMH thanks to another grant awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. He has assigned teaching in the subjects of Redacción Periodística, Lenguaje y Técnicas del Periodismo Impreso and Reporterismo in the Journalism Degree of the UMH, and has been coordinator of the Content Module and tutor of Final Master’s Works in Journalism Innovation Master from the UMH.

2018 emma Summer School Grant 

Dongjoon Lee, University of Warwick, UK

“Since I attempt to investigate the theories of organisational studies and management in the creative sector, my current project has been quite a challenging journey across different fields of business, management and cultural studies. The emma doctoral summer school has provided a great opportunity to clarify my ideas and to earn the insightful feedback from other PhD participants. At the same time, Bournemouth was beautiful with beaches and nice weather. This will be a memorable event!”

Dongjoon Lee is conducting PhD in creative industries at the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies, the University of Warwick. The current thesis topic is about the organisational change and leadership in the creative industries in the Korean pop music (K-pop) context. The study attempt to analyse the narratives of artist-leaders setting out a vision and a brand identity. He holds a Juris Doctor in law and a Bachelor of Business administration and is an awardee of Korean Oversees Government Scholarship. Previous research papers and projects include Governmental communications and Cultural policies and legal issues in Tourism.

Samuel Tickell, University of Ghent, Belgium

“It was an incredible opportunity to receive the emma Summer School Grant and attend the School in Bournemouth. It gave me the opportunity to present my research and gain insight from my peers and other professors in the industry – something that is invaluable. Equally, hearing from other researchers in the area and learning about funding and publications will undoubtedly assist me greatly in the future. The School was exceptionally well organised, in a beautiful location and has allowed me to network with my peers. Without doubt, this grant and the emma Doctoral Summer School has already proven to be beneficial.”

Samuel Tickell is undertaking his PhD in the Research Group for Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies (MICT) at the University of Ghent in Belgium. He has worked in public relations and motorsport communications for more than 10 years in Australia before moving to Belgium. His research interest in motorsport broadcasting and fan engagement comes after working as media on motorsport events including Formula 1, the World Rally Championship and World Endurance Championship. Moving into research, the emma Doctoral Summer School Grant helped him to develop as a researcher and improve his research project which is looking into the move OTT for the World Rally Championship and fan behaviour.

2017 Early Career Researcher emma Annual Conference Grant

Laura Olkkonen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland

“The emma conference was a great forum for gaining the latest insight and for meeting an inspirational crowd of international scholars with shared interest in media management. With the emma Early Career Researcher Grant, I was able to get involved in the emma community that felt very welcoming for young scholars.”

Laura Olkkonen has received her PhD in 2015 from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She has published her work on corporate responsibility and stakeholder relations in media organizations in Journal of Media Business Studies and Journal of Media Ethics. Currently she works at Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT School of Business and Management, Finland, where she focuses on corporate responsibility, sustainability and business ethics. At emma 2017 conference she presented a study of how the biggest Finnish media companies report their corporate responsibility and how they combine business ethics and journalism ethics.

Gianna Ehrlich, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany

“It was an amazing experience to participate in my first emma conference in the beautiful city of Ghent. The various panels, especially the session on brand management in the media industry, provided valuable insights for my own research interests and the community is very friendly and engaging. I am looking forward to being part of next year’s conference in Warsaw!”

Gianna Ehrlich is a research associate and PhD student at the Department of Communication of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. She works in the Media Business Division. Her research interests include media branding and advertising research with a focus on hybrid advertising techniques. The study she presented at this year’s emma conference in Ghent examined the effects of Native Advertising on brand equity of media and advertising companies, persuasion knowledge of the recipient and media credibility. Gianna Ehrlich is a co-speaker of MedienökonomieJR (Media EconomicsJR), which is a network for early-career researchers with a link to the Media Economics Group of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK). It addresses scholars who are interested in a variety of issues in the field of media economics and media management and search for an informal, uncomplicated and interdisciplinary exchange.