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Dr Sarah Benson

Senior Research Fellow


Dr Sarah Benson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology. She completed her PhD in 2016, where she explored the cognitive and behavioural effects of alcohol and caffeine. Her research portfolio has focused primarily on cognitive impairment and enhancement, alcohol hangover and drug use and functional outcomes. Sarah aims to disentangle the neurocognitive effects of licit and illicit substances, to identify relationships between their behavioural effects and pharmacological properties and reduce dangerous behaviours and harm.

Sarah has been awarded over $2 million in research funding and has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and several book chapters. She is committed to science communication and has appeared numerous times in television, radio, online and print media. Sarah is also trained in venepuncture and cannulation and serves on the Swinburne ethics committee.

Research interests

Cognitive Psychology; Psychopharmacology; Alcohol; Caffeine; Cognitive Enhancement; Alcohol Hangover

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Co-Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Cognitive And Computational Psychology - 520400
  • Behavioural Genetics - 520201
  • Social And Affective Neuroscience - 520207
  • Biological Psychology Not Elsewhere Classified - 520299
  • Clinical And Health Psychology Not Elsewhere Classified - 520399
  • Cognitive And Computational Psychology Not Elsewhere Classified - 520499
  • Social And Personality Psychology Not Elsewhere Classified - 520599
  • Applied And Developmental Psychology Not Elsewhere Classified - 520199

Teaching areas



  • 2018, International, Seal of Excellence, European Commission
  • 2016, National, Public Safety Business Agency Letter of Commendation, Queensland Police Service
  • 2014, National, Poster Presnetation Award, Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
  • 2012, International, Student Merit Award, Research Society of Alcoholism


Also published as: Benson, Sarah; Benson, S.; Benson, S. M.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2019: Effects of Hydrosol™ on alcohol hangover severity *; Innovation Connections
  • 2016: Gift from Red Bull Australia Pty Ltd *; Red Bull
  • 2014: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial investigating the neurocognitive effects of a proprietary spearmint extract in healthy older adults *; Kemin Foods LC
  • 2013: A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of Lactium and Zizyphus complex for sleep *; Sanofi Aventis
  • 2012: GSK Green Tea Study *; GlaxoSmithKline Nutritional Healthcare

* Chief Investigator

Recent media