Our Lab has 3 main areas of focus
1. We use survey experiments to understand public opinion toward some of society’s most pressing public policy issues such as fake news, political trust and artificial intelligence
2. We do research on the Future of Women at Work to identify the barriers to achieving gender equality and inclusivity and to develop evidence-based best practice for the workplace
3. We examine the attitudes of Australians in relation to political and institutional trust, political outlooks and how these relate to attitudes towards a range of policy and societal issues
We provide new evidence based on original data which helps governments and other public bodies develop creative solutions to pressing policy problems.
Melbourne MicroCert: Artificial Intelligence and Women
Be prepared for the future of work – understand how technology could impact your profession
Monday 19 July 2021
In our increasingly digital world, workplaces are transforming rapidly. Research shows that women could be disproportionately impacted by these shifts.
This Melbourne MicroCert explores how automation is changing the work we do, and the related gender trends and implications.
Melbourne MicroCert: Artificial Intelligence Policies
Learn the importance of factoring AI into policy design and implementation
Monday April 26 2021
As artificial intelligence (AI) embeds itself across workplaces sector-wide, policy that factors in its social and cultural implications are increasingly important.
This Melbourne MicroCert explores the importance of policy design and implementation in responding to AI in workplace settings.
Associate Professor Aaron Martin – Co-director
Aaron Martin is Co-director of The Policy Lab. Educated at the ANU, the Institute of Political Studies (Paris), Stanford University and the University of Melbourne, Aaron returned to the University of Melbourne as Lecturer (now Associate Professor) in Political Science Research Methods in 2010. Aaron’s research focuses on using survey experiments to understand public opinion towards important policy issues like automation, trust in news stories and behavioural public policy. He is the author of Young People and Politics: Political Engagement in the Anglo-American Democracies (Routledge) and, with Keith Dowding (ANU), Policy Agendas in Australia (Palgrave). Aaron is a member of the Steering Committee for Vote Compass and in 2014 was a Visiting Researcher at McGill and Princeton. More information...
Associate Professor Leah Ruppanner – Co-director
Leah Ruppanner is Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-director of The Policy Lab. Leah is a quantitative methodologist with expertise in: gender, family and family policies. Her research focuses on the impact of gender equality and family policy on individuals’ lives through analysis of large cross-national data. Her research is published in a range of top tier sociology journals, and has also been featured in Slate, the Guardian and the Age. Leah has received grants including the Australian Research Council Discover Early Career Researcher Award and is a Research Fellow at the ARC Centre for Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course. More information...
Dr Erik Baekkeskov
Erik Baekkeskov is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Political Science. His research seeks to answer why we get the policies we get through comparative studies of national policies and politics. In the past several years, Erik has studied infectious disease policies, and responses to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in particular. He has also studied government reform processes leading to public-private partnerships. Erik’s work has been published in journals such as Governance, Disaster Prevention and Management, Journal of European Public Policy, Policy Sciences, and Public Administration. More information...
Dr Azad Bali
Azad Bali is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Australian National University. Bali’s research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of policy design, public finance, and social policy in Asia. His current projects focus on the design of health systems, financing age-related spending, and policy capacity. Bali’s research has been published in Public Policy and Administration, Social Policy and Administration, Australian Journal of Public Administration amongst others. His forthcoming co-authored book, The Governance of Healthcare and Policy in Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2019) studies the design of health systems across eleven of Asia’s most vibrant economies. Bali also serves on the editorial team of Policy Design & Practice.
Associate Professor Andrea Carson
Andrea Carson is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University. Her work examines changes in the news media – with a focus on investigative journalism – on political communication, and the role of digital technologies in both. She has done extensive research on journalism, Australian politics, party representation and voter behaviour, election campaigns and beyond. Andrea holds a PhD in Political Science and an MA in International Politics from the University of Melbourne. She has taught courses on political communication, news media and politics and campaigns and elections at the University of Melbourne. She has worked previously as a print journalist, radio and TV producer and broadcaster.
Dr Brendan Churchill
Brendan Churchill is a Research Fellow in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining Melbourne, he was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Change and Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Tasmania. Brendan is sociologist researching in the ares of work and employment, family, youth and gender. His primary research program focuses on work and employment from a number of different perspective: young people, women and families and the future of work, including the gig economy. He has been researching and writing about issues to do with youth (un)employment in Australia and the on-going impact of economic and technological disruption on their futures for over a decade. More information...
Professor Mark Considine
Mark Considine is the Provost of the University of Melbourne. His research areas include governance studies, comparative social policy, employment services, public sector reform, local development, and organisational sociology. Mark is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria) and the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. He has published award-winning journal articles and numerous books, most recently Welfare to Work: Street-Level Governance in Australia, the UK, and the Netherlands. Mark has also been associated with governments and the community sector in the implementation of a number of recent projects and organisational reviews. More information...
Professor Lyn Craig
Lyn Craig is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences. She researches the contemporary family, work and social change, with emphasis on gender equity and time demands of employment, family care and social reproduction; youth, population ageing and generational equity; and comparative family and social policy. Before joining the University of Melbourne in March 2017, Lyn was Scientia Professor and Director of the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney. She is an Affiliate of the Centre for Time Use Research at Oxford University and an elected Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. More information...
Professor Belinda Hewitt
Belinda Hewitt is an Professor in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Belinda’s broad research interests are gender differences in the experiences of family, work and health. Her research program has investigated: mothers’ workforce participation, paid and unpaid labour in households, the factors that influence change over the family life course and the consequences of those changes for family members. Her research program has a strong focus on developing policy-relevant evidence. She is currently on a Future Fellowship examining the links between the family life course, health and wellbeing. More information...
Professor Yoshi Kashima
Yoshi Kashima is Professor of Psychology in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. He studies micro-macro dynamics about how culture is formed, maintained, and transformed, using a variety of research tools including experimentation, surveys, archival research, and mathematical modelling. He has co-edited six books, and written more than 180 journal articles and book chapters, on the topics including self and identity, stereotypes, culture of sustainability, and behaviour and culture change processes. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. He served as the President of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology from 2014 to 2016. More information...
Professor Jenny Lewis
Jenny M. Lewis is Professor of Public Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Jenny is particularly interested in: expertise and the policy process; policy design; public sector innovation; and performance measurement. She has published widely in international journals, is the author of six books, and has been awarded American, European and Australian prizes for her research. Jenny has led numerous research projects and was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow for 2013-16. She is the President of the International Research Society for Public Management Research (IRSPM). More information...
Dr Gosia Mikolajczak
Dr Gosia Mikolajczak is a Research Fellow at the Policy Lab. Her research focuses on gender discrimination, ideology, wellbeing, and applications of different quantitative research methods in social research. She is currently working on the ARC Discovery project ‘Understanding political debate and policy decisions using big data’. She has published in various journals including Sex Roles, British Journal of Social Psychology, and BMC Public Health. Gosia received her PhD degree in Social Psychology from University of Warsaw (2016). Prior to joining the Policy Lab, she worked on a range of projects at the Centre for Ethical Leadership (UoM), Department of Management and Marketing (UoM), and the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (La Trobe University). More information...
Associate Professor Irma Mooi-Reci
Irma Mooi-Reci studies employment instability and its implications for labour market outcomes. Her research agenda encompasses three main areas: (1) the socioeconomic consequences of unemployment, joblessness and casual employment; (2) the intergenerational consequences of joblessness; (3) application and innovation of quantitative methods for panel data. She is adjunct senior research fellow of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; associate of the Centre for Vocational and Educational Pathways at the University of Melbourne; and a fellow of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course where she is involved in the data reference group that aims to improve the Big Data potential in Australia. More information...
Dr Signe Ravn
Dr Signe Ravn is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Signe’s research is based in the sociology of youth with a particular focus on risk, gender, disadvantaged youth, and processes of marginalisation in youth transitions to adulthood. She is interested in how young people in complex and disadvantaged situations navigate their present and imagine their futures. Signe’s research also contributes to the further development of qualitative research methods. She has extensive experience with conducting interviews and focus groups and works with visual and creative methods such as photo elicitation, life charts and drawings in her research. More information...
Lía Acosta Rueda
Lía Acosta Rueda is a project manager at the Policy Lab. Lía is an economist with expertise in public policy, gender, and monitoring and evaluation. She is interested in using quantitative and qualitative methodologies to contribute to the effectiveness of social programs. Prior to joining the Policy Lab, Lía provided technical assistance for the design of impact evaluations of social policies in Mexico. Lía holds a Master in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne.
Sophie Squires is a project manager at the Policy Lab. She is an anthropologist with an interest in gender, politics and the media. She works across various social and gender equality projects. Sophie has a Master of Social Policy from the University of Melbourne.
Find us on Twitter
- Jenny M Lewis (@JennyMLewis1) | Twitter
- Leah Ruppanner (@leahruppanner) | Twitter
- Emma Blomkamp (@emmablomkamp) | Twitter
- Andrea Carson (@andrea_carson) | Twitter
- Brendan Churchill (@BrenChurchill) | Twitter
- Mark Considine (@Mark_Considine_) | Twitter
- Irma Mooi (@IrmaMooi) | Twitter
- ThePolicyLab (@ThePolicyLab) | Twitter
Enlisting the support of trusted sources to tackle policy problems: the case of anti-microbial resistance
This project tests the effects of trusted sources on citizens trust in governments and policy.
Race to the top: using experiments to understand gender bias against female politicians
This project investigates how Australians internalised biases structures attitudes towards female politicians.
Understanding causes of trust through political experiments
This research project examines the drivers of political trust and how political trust can be improved.
The Future of Women at Work
Enhancing sleep and well-being in working families
This research project investigates the role of sleep on individuals health.
Melbourne MicroCert: Artificial Intelligence and Women
Be prepared for the future of work – understand how technology could impact your profession.
Policy Lab Intern Reports: The Future of Women at Work
The Policy Lab runs an internship program for promising master's students where they tackle pressing policy issues around the future of women and work including Artificial Intelligence, COVID-19, flexible work, financial security and workforce participation.
The Future of Women @ Work
Using the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) data, this report benchmarks Australian organisations and provides evidence-based policy advice to better integrate caregivers into employment.
The Worsening of Australian Women’s Experiences under COVID-19: A Crisis for Victoria’s Future
This research project seeks to understand how Australians are coping under the COVID-19 pandemic which has placed unparalleled challenges on individuals, families, employers and governments.
Women in Local Government: Understanding their Political Trajectories
This research investigates the under representation of women in Australian politics, through a study of barriers to women’s representation in local government.
Improving Indigenous health and wellbeing
This Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project examines the impact of the family life course on the health and well-being of Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers and children.
The Intergenerational Transmission of Joblessness
This Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery project aims to understand the intergenerational transmission of joblessness in Australia and across Europe, Asia and the United States.
Understanding political debate and policy decisions using big data
This research project investigates the relationship between political debates and policy decisions.
Auckland Co-Design Lab
The Auckland Co-Design Lab has been established to provide a neutral space to explore the case for change using collective impact, co-design and other innovative approaches to complex social issues. Auckland Co-Design Lab is a case study partner on the public sector innovation labs research project.
Australia and New Zealand School of Government
The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) is a global leader in education and government-focused research relevant to the public sector. ANZSOG is funding the public sector innovation labs research project.
Australia Research Council
The Australia Research Council is an independent Commonwealth entity that plays an important role in the provision of Government support for research in Australia. Many of the Policy Lab research projects have received funding from the National Competitive Grants Program.
Department of Premier and Cabinet - Victoria
The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) works for the people of Victoria by helping the government achieve its strategic objectives. The Public Sector Innovation Branch at DPC has engaged The Policy Lab to evaluate States of Change, and is a case study partner on the public sector innovation labs research project.
Jobs Australia (JA) is the national peak body for nonprofit organisations that assist unemployed people into work. Jobs Australia is a key partner on the Policy Lab's Employment services research project.
Melbourne School of Government
The mission of Melbourne School of Government (MSOG) is to inspire and equip governments, businesses, social partners and individuals to meet the challenges of contemporary governance. MSOG is co-funding the Policy Lab's 'Race to the Top' experiment.
National Employment Services Association
The National Employment Services Association (NESA) is Australia's peak employment services body. NESA is a key partner on the Policy Lab's Employment services research project.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is Canada's federal research funding agency that promotes and supports research in the humanities and social sciences. The SSHRC is funding Policy Lab researcher Barbara Barbosa Neves' project on social networks, digital media, international ties and privacy.
The Australian Centre for Social Innovation
The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) partners with government, not-for-profits, philanthropy and business to make practical progress that leads to better lives. TACSI is a case study partner on the public sector innovation labs research project.
Westgate Community Initiatives Group
Westgate Community Initiatives Group (WCIG) delivers innovative and high quality employment services for people in Melbourne's western regions who experience the greatest levels of disadvantage. WCIG is a key partner on the Policy Lab's Employment services research project.