the team

Personalised Communication is an interdisciplinary project by two research institutes at the University of Amsterdam (UvA): The Institute for Information Law (IVIR) and the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). This initiative is funded by the UvA, as part of its focus-research-program.

Natali Helberger is Professor of Information Law, with a special focus on the use of information, at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam. Her research explores how the role of the user of information is changing under the influence of information technology, and social and economic conditions. She also examines the resulting implications for the legal position, rights and obligations of information users under current and future media and communications law, consumer law and data protection law. Helberger’s research features a strong interdisciplinary component: in order to assess whether and how information law ties in with the reality of information users and information markets, she regularly works with communication scientists, social scientists, psychologists as well as cultural scientists and economists. For her research, she has been awarded a VENI-Talent Grant from the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research, and an ERC Grant for her research “Profiling and targeting news readers – implications for the democratic role of the digital media, user rights and public information policy”.NEDERLAND, AMSTERDAM, 29 OKTOBER 2013 Prof.dr.N. Helberger (Natali), hoogleraar Informatierecht, in het bijzonder met betrekking tot het gebruik van informatie, aan de UvA. Foto: Jeroen Oerlemans

As a member of the Connect Advisory Group, she advises the European Commission on the content of the Horizon2020 programme. Helberger is also a member of the European Cloud Computing Contracts Expert Group. In addition, she is an editorial staff member of the Journal of Information Policy and a reviewer for several leading international journals and financing organisations. Hellberger also sits on the programme committee of EuroCPR, which is an initiative of the Centre for European Policy Studies, and the International Telecommunications Society (ITS).


Claes H. de Vreese is Professor and Chair of Political Communication and director of the Program Group Political Communication & Journalism in The Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR at the Department of Communication Science, University of Amsterdam. He directs the UvA Research Priority Area Communication and he is Adjunct Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences FMG. He is the founding Director of the Center for Politics and Communication ( Finally, he is Affiliated Professor of Political Science and Journalism at the University of Southern Denmark. Between 2005 and 2013 he was the Director of ASCoR and NeSCoR. ASCoR is one of the largest social sciences research institutes in communication science in the world and was rated ‘Excellent’ in national research assessments. In 2010 he was one of the initiators of the English language master program in Political Communication. Communication science at the UvA is rated as a top 10 program world wide (QS University Ranking).

His research interests include comparative journalism research, the effects of news, public opinion and European integration, effects of personalised information, media exposure research, and referendum research. His research is funded by several science foundation grants, including Veni and Vici grants from the Dutch Science Foundation, as well as grants from the EU research programs. He is carrying out an ERC project between 2015 and 2020.

He has received awards for research from the International Communication Association, the Danish Science Foundation, and the Norwegian Holberg Foundation. He was a member of the Young Academy of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and is now a board member of the KNAW’s Social Science Council.He has published 100+ articles in international peer-reviewed journals, including Communication Research, Journal of Politics, Journalism Studies, Political Communication, Journal of Communication, Public Opinion Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Scandinavian Political Studies, European Journal of Communication, West European Politics, European Union Politics, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Mass Communication & Society, and European Journal of Political Research. He has lectured in a dozen of countries and frequently appears in (inter)national news media. He is the Editor of Political Communication Editor and former Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Public Opinion Research IJPOR. He serves on the Editorial Board of several ISI ranked journals and reviews manuscripts for 40+ journals in journalism, communication science, political science, and European studies.
Send him a mail.


Judith Moeller is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. In her research she focuses on the effects of political communication, in particular social media and digital media. She is experienced in longitudinal and comparative panel survey research and content analysis. Judith is fascinated by the changing nature of political participation in the digital age and uses state of the art methods and analysis techniques to understand the impact on democratic societies. She is also always trying to improve measures of media exposure, taking into account the personalized and targeted media environment users experience everyday.





Damian Trilling is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication Science and affiliated with the Amsterdam School of Communication Research. He is intrigued by the question how citizens nowadays are informed about current affairs and events in their society. How do they combine various types of online and offline media? Which factors make them follow the news? When looking into people’s news media choices, Damian is especially interested in how selective people are: Are they increasingly looking for (online) outlets that match their existing opinions? Are we moving towards a fragmented society without a common discourse – or are we becoming better informed than ever? Damian’s research and teaching interest further include the use of social media in poltical communication and journalism; the changing role of journalism in a changing media environment; and news sharing and news dissemination.

From a methodological point of view, Damian is interested in automated content analysis and the integration of computer science approaches in communication science. He also teaches courses in whsich the programming language Python is used to analyze large datasets like social media data or data scraped from the web.





Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius is a researcher at the IViR Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include data protection law, profiling, privacy, freedom of expression, discrimination, and media law. He has published widely on such topics. He regularly presents at national and international conferences, and has presented at the Dutch and the European Parliament. Frederik has obtained his Master’s in information law at the IViR. He has studied for one semester at Hong Kong University, and spent a semester at New York University for research  He is a member of the editorial committee of the European Data Protection Law Review.  He is also a member of the Meijers Committee, an independent group of experts in the field of European criminal, migration, refugee, privacy, non-discrimination and constitutional law. His first book is entitled “Improving Privacy Protection in the Area of Behavioural Targeting” (2015).


Sophie Boerman is Assistant Professor of Persuasive Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research and works as a part-time postdoctoral researcher on the Personalised Communication project, focusing on commerce.
Sophie is interested in consumers’ Sophieknowledge and perceptions of advertising and persuasion (i.e., persuasion knowledge). In her research, she mainly focuses on consumer responses to different types of embedded and personalized advertising. In particular, she studies the persuasive effects of advertising, and how informing consumers about this advertising (e.g., by disclosures or disclaimers) can alter its processing and effects. From a methodological point of view, Sophie has experience with experimental research, eye tracking, and content analysis.
Her work has appeared in several international journals and books, and has been recognized with several awards. Sophie is a board member of the European Advertising Academy (EAA).




Sanne Kruikemeier is a part-time postdoctoral researcher within the personalised communication project focussing on e-commerce. She is also an assistant professor Political Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University van Amsterdam. sanneBetween 2011 and 2014, she wrote a dissertation about online political communication and its effects on citizens’ political involvement. Sanne Kruikemeier’s research mainly focuses on the content and effects of online political communication in a political context. She investigates how politicians communicate on social media and other online platforms and she examines whether the use of online media during election campaign results in more votes. She also examines how many people participate online and with what political consequences. Her research interests include personalized communication and online (political) marketing as well. Her work is published in several international and national scientific journals and has been recognized with several international awards. She is also a blogger for the KNAW-project Faces of Science.


Kristina Irion is a postdoctoral researcher to the Personalized Communications project and her research focus is on personalized communication’s intersection with politics, law and normative values. In 2013, she joint the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam as a Marie Curie fellow. Prior, she had been faculty at the School of Public Policy and the Department of PortraitLegal Studies and research director at the Center for Media and Communications Studies (CMCS), both at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She obtained her Dr. iuris degree from Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, and holds a Master’s degree in Information Technology and Telecommunications Law from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. She has worked in the field of audiovisual media, electronic communications and data protection regulation and policy for more than ten years as an academic and professional. Kristina Irion was key personnel of four collaborative European research projects on privacy, independent media regulatory bodies, and building functioning media institutions. She frequently provides expertise to the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the OECD and ENISA as well as collaborating with the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). She is a member of the international advisory boards of the Electronic Information Privacy Center (EPIC) and Privacy Int’l.


Nadine Bol is a postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). Currently, she is working on the Personalised Communication project, focusing on health, as well as on a postdoctoral project granted by the Dutch Cancer Society, focusing on online and offline nadinetailored messages for older cancer patients and their healthcare providers. Between 2011 and 2015, she wrote her dissertation titled “how to present online information to older cancer patients”, focusing on visualization of online technologies to improve older patients’ website satisfaction and recall of information. Her research interests are driven by the desire to unravel mechanisms that explain effects as well as conditions that moderate these effects. In addressing these research interests, Nadine gained experience in conducting experimental and survey studies, usability research (i.e., eye tracking and think-aloud methods), and literature reviews. Nadine’s work has been published in several nationals and international journals and books, and has been recognized with several awards. In her future work, Nadine aims to further explore when and how online technologies are effective by examining novel ways of personalizing information to improve and optimize health outcomes for a wide variety of individuals.


Tom Dobber

Tom Dobber is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). His research focuses on political behavioral targeting practices of political campaigns in multiparty democracies. Tom researches the perception and effects of these targeting practices on citizens, through interviews, surveys and experiments. Tom is especially interested in voting behavior and the extent to which this behavior can be influenced.


Marijn BaxMarijn Sax is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Information Law (IViR). He has a background in Political Science (BA) and Philosophy (BA, MA) and is mainly interested in questions concerning ethics, privacy and technology. Marijn’s research focuses on health apps, and more specifically on the ethical dimensions of this new phenomenon and how ethical considerations relate (or should relate) to (consumer) law..




Joanna Strycharz is aJoanna PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). In her research she focuses on personalised marketing communication. Through interviews, surveys and experiments Joanna looks into the balance of personalisation in commercial communication and the degree of customer acceptance.






Bob van de Velde is a postdoc on data-science with a strong interest in complex multi-method approaches to social questions. His Bob van de Veldefocus currently lies on modelling linguistic features in the political arena using state-of-the-art machine learning methods. He aims to explore content-alignment in personalized media in juxtaposition of mass media. His work aims to contrast observational information with self-reported (survey) methods, as well as the results of qualitative studies on the adoption of personalized methods by major players in the news and politics domains. In addition to his substantive interests, Bob is part of the management and development of the distributed back-end powering big data collection. His work there includes architecture-design, containerization and consulting on the implementation of a complex, noSQL and Hadoop oriented stack.

Send him an mail

Mariella Bastian is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. She is interested in the question in how far personalization technologies impact newsroom structures and the journalistic profession. In her PhD project at TU Dortmund University (Germany) she worked on media accountability and self-regulation in Latin America. With a background in journalism studies and a focus on international journalism, Mariella has also worked on editorial responsibility and the relationship between the media and democracy. She is experienced in comparative research, including methods such as quantitative and qualitative content analysis, focus group discussions and expert interviews.

Jaron Harambam (1983) works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam, where he is part of the multi-disciplinary Fair News Project in which he studies the role of algorithms in news provision. He defended his PhD (cum laude, highest distinction) October 2017 at the Rotterdam Centre for Cultural Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, titled: “The Truth Is Out There” – Conspiracy Culture in an Age of Epistemic Instability. For this research project, he carried out extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the Dutch conspiracy milieu to study what contemporary conspiracy theories are about, who actually follows them and what these people do with these ideas in their everyday lives. The overall goal is to arrive at an empirically rich and theoretically elaborate understanding of the contemporary popularity of conspiracy theories. He has published about his research project in Cultural Sociology (2016) and in the Public Understanding of Science (2015). His broader sociological interests lie at the intersections of science, popular culture, (new) media and religion. Although most experienced with ethnographic research methods, he is knowledgeable of quantitative research as well. Before, he studied the commercialization of virtual game worlds, allegedly breaking down the “magic circle” of play which got published in the European Journal of Cultural Studies (2011). And he conducted both quantitative and qualitative research about governmental efforts to revive rural social life through new digital technologies which got published in Information, Communication, and Society (2013). He currently is an editor of the Dutch peer-reviewed journal Sociologie, co-edited a special issue on actor-network theory (2014), and is a founding member of the European network of scholars working on conspiracy theories, COST COMPACT.


Affiliate members



Balázs Bodó is a socio-legal researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam. His work explores the intersection of Internet technologies; social practices around online content creation, distribution and consumption, and the formal (legal) and informal (ethical, communal) regulation of these practices.

For two years Balazs was working on the user and producer side questions around news personalization. He also led the development of Robin, a novel tool to directly observe user interactions with personalized services.

In 2018 Balazs moved on to work on his own ERC project on the regulation of Blockchain applications.







Magdalena Wojcieszak (Ph.D. Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania), is an Associate Professor at Department of Communication, University of California, Davis. Prior to joining University of Amsterdam she was an Associate Professor at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam.

Her research focuses on how people select political information in the current media environment and on the effects of these selections on attitudes, cognitions, and behaviors. She also examines the effects of mass media, new information technologies, and various message types on tolerance, perceptions, and polarization, as related to intergroup relations. Her current interests include ways to minimize selective exposure and biased information processing.

She has (co-)authored 45 articles in peer-reviewed journals, is the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Communication and Political Communication. She has received several awards for her teaching and research (including the 2016 Young Scholar Award from the International Association of Communication).

Jochen Peter

Edith Smit

Julia van der Weert

Visit her staff page





Nico van Eijk

Joost Poort


Personalised Communication Advisory board members


Jochen Peter


Edith Smit (1967, Ph.D. 1999) is director of the Graduate School of Communication and full professor of Persuasive Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Prof. Smit is also an expert in persuasion tactics, varying from overt persuasion (advertising) to covert persuasion (brand placement, branded apps) and subtle persuasion (packaging formats). She has been actively involved with the European Advertising Academy, DDMA Privacy Authority and SWOCC for many years. She has a proven track record of publishing in leading journals (e.g., Computers in Human Behavior, Medical Internet Research, Journal of Advertising Research, International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Media Psychology), reviewing for several journals, NWO and FWO, serving at national and international dissertation committees, supervising many PhD candidates and teaching at graduate and undergraduate level for more than 25 years. Recently Prof. Smit co-founded the university-based Amsterdam Center for Health Communication.

Julia van der Weert

Nico van Eijk is Professor of Media and Telecommunications Law and Director of the Institute for Information Law (IViR, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam). He studied Law at the University of Tilburg and received his doctorate from the University of Amsterdam. His fields of research include media, telecommunications, privacy, freedom of expression, national security/surveillance and internet related topics such as internet governance and net neutrality. He also works as an independent legal adviser. He advises/advised law firms, companies and (semi) governmental organizations. For more than twenty years, he has been active in the financial sector (telecom and media transactions). Among other things, he is a member of the knowledge network of the Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD), chairman of a committee on Paid Electronic Information Services of The Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) and member of the Royal Holland Society for Sciences and Humanities (KHMW).

Joost Poort is an associate professor at the Institute for Information Law. He adds an economic perspective to various multidisciplinary research projects in media, copyright and telecommunication. He performed a large number of studies on market structure and regulation in a variety of markets and has done much research at the interface culture, heritage and economics. Over the years, he has specialized in the economic aspects of copyright, telecommunication and media.