Researcher Biography

Sarah Ball is currently working on her PhD at the Institute of Social Science Research at the University of Queensland. Her research project is an ethnographic study of the use of behavioural insights and experimental methods in the development of social policy in the Australian Federal Government. Prior to undertaking her Phd, Sarah completed her Masters Degree in Sociology in 2010. This was followed by 5 years in the Australian Public Service, where she developed a deep interest in policy maker behaviour, decision making and evidence-based policy.

PhD topic

Behaviour change, rigorous evidence and public policy: An ethnography of the use of ‘behavioural insights’ in policy development by the Australian Federal Government.


  • Associate Professor Cameron Parsell (Principal)
  • Professor Brian Head (Associate)
  • Dr Sarah Bennett (Associate)
  • Dr Emma Antrobus (Associate)

Research Interests

  • Public policy
  • Organisational ethnography
  • Evidence-based policy
  • Policy maker behaviour