Academic Director (Research Training)

Swinburne University of Technology

I am a Senior Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne, Australia), and I have my PhD in Social Psychology (Queen’s University, Canada). My research sits at the intersection of Psychology and the Law. My main focus is on eyewitness memory and identification procedures. I am interested in the factors that influence eyewitness identification decisions and/or recall, how eyewitness evidence is used by decision-makers (e.g., jurors, lawyers, judges), as well as how this evidence should be presented in court to reduce the risk of wrongful convictions. In terms of teaching activities, I convene a large first-year Psychology unit and teach into other undergraduate Psychology and Criminology units. In addition, I am Co-Director of a Forensic Psychology Volunteer Research Assistant Program, which gives high-achieving undergraduate students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience collecting data, engaging with research participants, and managing research projects. I supervise Honours students’ research projects, in addition to supervising Masters and PhD students. I talk with students at all levels about Open Science whenever I get a chance, and I am proud to say that all of my research students are preregistering their studies and sharing their data. One of my PhD students and I are thrilled to be involved with the Psychological Science Accelerator’s Face Perceptions Around the World study.

I am also the Academic Director (Research Training) for the School of Health Sciences. I oversee approximately 200 postgraduate research students, from reviewing their applications through to submission of their theses. As someone familiar with the North American education system, I was surprised by the complete lack of coursework for postgraduate research students in Australia. I am concerned that our students are not getting the best training possible, so I used this administrative role as a conduit for change. I created a student-led association (HDR–HeSSA; Higher Degrees by Research¬–Health Sciences Student Association), which hosts monthly symposia, writing retreats, and networking sessions. The symposia are designed to further their knowledge of advances in the field, which gives me an opportunity to speak about Open Science practices. Of course, both the students and the supervisors need to be aware of these issues, so I also gave an Open Science training session to research supervisors in our Faculty of Health, Arts and Design. To continue the conversation online, I started a series of semi-regular posts called “Open Science Fridays,” where I share relevant resources and articles with the HDR students and supervisors. As a testament to my efforts (and those of a few passionate like-minded colleagues), our Department of Psychological Sciences has embraced Open Science as its departmental research vision.

Understanding that our university needs a more sustainable and far-reaching model for embracing methods to increase transparency and reproducibility, I convinced Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) to create the Swinburne Open Science Task Force. This task force (of which I am an active member) is leading four key activities: (1) surveying researchers in all disciplines about their current Open Science practices, attitudes, and barriers; (2) identifying current institutional efforts to facilitate, incentivise, and train Open Science practices; (3) summarising best practices for key priority areas; and (4) making recommendations for an implementation strategy that encourages and supports Open Science practices at Swinburne.

I have presented about my engagement activities at the First Australasian Open Science Conference (University of Queensland; Sept, 2018) and at the Credibility Revolution session hosted by the Interdisciplinary Meta-Research Group (University of Melbourne; Nov, 2019). I have also co-organised two multi-day international events: the First Psychology & Law Open Science Conference and the Second Annual Open Science Meeting (IGDORE; Ubud, Bali; Feb, 2019). I am one of the organisers for the upcoming Australian Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science (AIMOS) conference (Nov, 2019). Finally, I am a member of the Australian and New Zealand Open Research Network (ANZORN) and a member of the steering committee for the Melbourne Open Research Network (MORN).