Banafsheh is a PhD research fellow at the department of media and communication with a specialization in political communication and journalism. She is currently working on a PhD project on journalism in Iran. The project documents Iranian journalistic practices and explains practices through Bourdieu's sociological framework. Her research interests include journalism in more restrictive media settings, journalistic resistance, alternative channels of communication such as social media and mobile messaging applications.
Banafsheh holds a master's degree in media and communication studies from the University of Helsinki, Finland (2011-2013) with a focus on Iranian women's activists in the 2009 post-election events in Iran. She graduated in communication studies from the University of Tehran, Iran (2006-2010). Banafsheh has also worked as a journalist, photo-journalist, and translator in different media outlets.