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Dr Sarah Bentley

Research Scientist


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Dr Sarah Bentley is a Research Scientist at CSIRO’s Data61, specializing in the application of a social psychological lens to the design and deployment of responsible AI. Sarah works from a social identity perspective - a theoretically grounded framework with which to understand human psychology and outcomes in terms of the social landscapes in which they are situated. Working under the Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform, Sarah’s research investigates both the conceptualization and articulation of AI in ways that focus on the intersection of emerging technologies with the humans, groups and societies that have the most to gain or lose from them.

Sarah joined CSIRO from The University of Queensland (UQ), where she undertook her doctoral degree with the Social Identity and Groups Network team in the School of Psychology. Alongside her training in psychology, Sarah also previously worked in the field of interactive product design in the UK. This experience in designing digital solutions went on to underpin the research Sarah led during her time as a research fellow at UQ. For example, Sarah led on the development of a psychometrically validated online tool to measure group-based processes and their impact on psychological functioning. Further, Sarah led on a number of applied research projects, collaborating with stakeholders in organisational, educational, and clinical domains. This translational work often involved the design, implementation, and evaluation of digital solutions to improve outcomes related to work team dynamics, organizational leadership, socio-cognitive processes, and individual and group-based well-being.

Sarah is passionate about extending the boundaries of psychological thinking to include social and contextual factors. Further, she is motivated to apply these often-missing ingredients to our understanding of how to best conceptualise, create, and construct AI technologies in ways that are respectful of the people, organisations, and societies impacted by them. For an example of Sarah's work, read about her project 'Mapping the social dynamics of generative AI adoption and use' here.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2019

    The University of Queensland

  • 2015

    BSc (Hons) Psychological Science
    The Open University, UK

  • 1993

    BA (Hons) Communication Studies
    The University of Westminster, UK

Achievements and Awards

  • 2020-2022

    UQ Award for Excellence: Well-being, Engagement and Research Culture project
    The University of Queensland, Australia

  • 2021-2021

    The Donald Tugby Prize in the Psychology of Peace (supervision of awarded student)
    The University of Queensland, Australia

  • 2015-2019

    Nominated for the J. Richard Hackman Award for the Dissertation that most Significantly Advances the Study of Groups
    The University of Queensland, Australia

  • 2015-2019

    Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Theses
    The University of Queensland, Australia

  • 2015-2018

    Outstanding Postgraduate Research Award
    Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP), Australia

  • 2015-2017

    Postgraduate Student Research Excellence Award (runner-up)
    The University of Queensland, Australia

  • 2015-2017

    Winner of the Institute for Social and Personality Social Psychology travel award
    Social and Personality Social Psychology (SPSP)

  • 2017-2017

    UQ Career Development Grant for attendance at the SPSP summer school
    The University of Queensland, Australia

  • 2015-2016

    3MT UQ Health and Behavioural Science finalist
    The University of Queensland, Australia

Current Roles

  • Research Scientist
    Responsible Innovation FSP


  • 2022-2023

    BEL Connect, UQ

  • 2021-2022

    UQ Research Grant (Groups 4 Education)

  • 2022-2025

    ARC Linkage with SONOVA (Social connection and hearing loss)

  • 2021-2023

    UQ Mental Health Research (Groups 4 Education)

  • 2020-2024

    The House of Commons, UK (5R Leadership)

  • 2020-2020

    icare, Australia

  • 2019-2020

    UK Firefighters Charity

  • 2018-2019

    DFAT (APO)

  • 2018-2018

    Australian Super

  • 2018-2019

    University of Melbourne, Learning and Teaching Award

  • 2018-2018

    Leading Well Consortium, Australia

Professional Experiences

  • 2020-2022

    Senior Research Fellow
    The University of Queensland (Australia)

  • 2021-2022

    Leadership Coach
    Identify Leadership

  • 2019-2021

    ARC Laureate Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    The University of Queensland (Australia)

  • 2015-2019

    Senior Research Assistant
    The University of Melbourne (Australia)

  • 2002-2014

    Communication Consultant
    Freelance (France)

  • 1998-2002

    Interactive Product Manager
    VideoNetworks (UK)

  • 1995-1998

    Multi-media Project Manager
    Dorking Kindersley (UK)

We have publications by Dr Sarah Bentley