Researcher biography

Dr Sally Staton is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and leads the Early Childhood (Care and Education) Research Group at the Institute for Social Science Research, UQ. Dr Staton has a strong commitment to research that can inform and ensure positive early life experience for all children. Her research focuses on the role of early education and care settings in supporting young children’s immediate and on-going social-emotional, cognitive and physical development. Dr Staton’s research spans a range of study designs and methodologies, including evaluation studies in educational settings (applying randomised control trial and quasi-experimental designs), longitudinal studies tracking large child cohorts (>2000 children), standard observation techniques (in vivo and video), survey and individualised standard child assessment (using educational and psychological measures), as well as studies employing physiological (cortisol, actigraphy, heart rate variability) and qualitative (child, educator and parent interviews, socio-metric) designs. She has a particular expertise in the development, application and interpretation of observational measurement for educational practices and teacher-child interactions in education contexts, including early childhood settings. Dr Staton has a strong track record in research translation and community engagement, including delivery of reports for government and non-government organisations, professional development packages for early childhood professionals and teachers, presentations, workshops, videos and articles for parents, government regulatory officers and the early childhood sector. In 2016, she was named among Queensland’s Young Tall Poppy Scientists for her contribution to science translation and engagement. In 2019 her succesful research partnerships with industry and government was acknowledged in a Partners in Research Excellence Award from UQ.