Personal details

Professor Karen Sullivan
Faculty of Health,
School - Psychology and Counselling
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Psych and Counc - HDHS
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 4609
+61 7 3138 0486
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Identifiers and profiles

Doctor of Philosophy (The University of Melbourne)

Professional memberships
and associations

Professional credentials

  • Registered Psychologist (Psychology Board Australia)
  • Psychology Board of Australia Endorsed Area of Speciality: Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • PSYBA (Board) Accredited Supervisor since 2007

Professional memberships

Exceutive roles, current professional appointments Member, Panel of Assessors, under the Health Practitioners (Professional standards) Act, 1999 Queensland Member, Previous service in Executive roles of the Australian Psychological Society, College of Clinical Neuropsychology. Executive roles, current university appointments, see Teaching For a full CV please contact


Clinical Neuropsychology, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Dementia

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Background                                                                                                                                            updated June, 2015  Professor Sullivan completed her PhD in clinical neuropsychology, graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1998. Prior to that she completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at the University of Melbourne, completing her Honours thesis in psychophysiology. She is a registered and practising psychologist and she has held clinical appointments in major teaching hospitals. In 2007 she became a Board accredited supervisor of psychologists. In 2009 Professor Sullivan established and continues to lead the Clinical Neuropsychology Research Group.  Her research in clinical neuropsychology includes applications in aging, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, mild traumatic brain injury and malingering.  Most recent award 2010: Winner, QUT Vice Chancellor’s Performance Award Research highlightsReviewer for Australian Government Funding Agencies, including NHMRC Reviewer for the following international scholarly journals

  • Disability and Rehabilitation
  • The Clinical Neuropsychologist
  • Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Preventative Medicine
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Patient education and Counselling

Publications Three book chapters, government reports, and over 110 peer-reviewed journal articles in leading neuropsychology journals (see Publications for a selection of these journal articles). Recent conference papers (selection only)  Grieve, R., Mahar, D., & Sullivan, K. A. (2011). Semantic priming as a paradigm for the detection of faking in psychological assessment. 5th International Conference on Memory (ICOM5). The University of York, England, 31st July to 5th August 2011. Thorberg, F. A., Young, R. McD., Sullivan, K.A.,  Lyvers, M., Connor, J., Feeney, G.F.X  (accepted for 2011).  Alexithymia and Alcohol Expectancies in Alcohol Dependent Outpatients.  American Psychiatric Association, Conference, Hawaii, 2011 Schenk, K., Sullivan, KA. & Mahar, D. (2010). An Enriched Environment? An Investigation of the Cognitive Abilities of Musicians. 11th International Conference on Musical Perception and Cognition. Seattle, Washington. Sullivan, K.A. (2010). Faking, exaggerating, not really trying, deceiving, or lying? A malingering research update (Symposium convenor). International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP 2010). 11 – 16 July 2010, being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Recent research funding (selection only) McCrow, J M, Beattie, E, & Sullivan, K A. (2010) Vignettes for Improved Nurse Detection of Delirium (VINDD). Queensland Nursing Council McCarthy, A., Sullivan, K.A., Van Kuilenburg, R., Mills A. K., Gandhi, M. & Hourigan M. (2010).  Longitudinal assessment of cognition and affect in HSCT-A patients. Office of the Chief Nurse Experienced Researcher Grants Sullivan, K A, Smith, S, & Horswill, M. (2009) Driving experience, confidence and performance on a driving simulation task: how are these factors related in healthy older adults? NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust & Qld Dept Main Roads and Transport Sullivan, K A, Beattie, E, & Khawaja, N & Wilz, G. (2009) Good idea! The dementia carers’ healthy thinking project. Hazel Hawke Grants, Alzheimer’s Australia Sullivan, K A, Hills, A P, Young, R M. (2009) Resistance training to improve cognitive function and depression post stroke. ATN Center for metabolic fitness. Goncalves, S & Sullivan, K A. (2008) A brief psychoeducational intervention for rural stroke patients. QHealth Stroke Outreach Program Mann, B, Sullivan, K A, Young, R, Beames, L. (2007) The Frontal Executive Program: a trial of a computerised cognitive rehabilitation program in people with chronic schizophrenia. The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation Mann, B, Sullivan, K A, Young, R, & Beames, L. (2007) Investigation of Cognitive Remediation for People with Schizophrenia. QHealth Allied Health Research Scheme McGill, J, Sharman, R, Sullivan, K A, & Young, R. (2007) Biochemical determinants of cognitive outcomes of children with treated phenylketonuria. Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Allied Health Research Project Grant Research Students See Supervision for a list of QUT PhD and Master’s research students supervised by Professor Sullivan (completions only). Completions from non-HDR programs are not shown on this page. Non-HDR QUT completions include graduates from the following programs: Doctor of Health Sciences (n = 1),  Masters by coursework (n = 5), and >30 Honours students.  Current research students include students at all levels from the School of Psychology and Counselling (i.e., Honours, Masters by Research, Coursework Masters, Doctor of Psychology, and PhD), and the School and Nursing.  For a full cv, please contact

This information has been contributed by Professor Karen Sullivan.


Teaching Awards & Highlights

  • 2008 Nominee, QUT Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award, Teaching and Learning.
  • 2005 Winner, Faculty of Health Teaching Excellence.
  • 2004 Commendation, QUT Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Executive roles

  • 2002-2014 Director of Academic Programs, School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Faculty of Health /Academic staff representative on numerous University teaching and learning committees and working parties including the Curriculum Standards Review Group, the Support for Learning Working Party, and the Designing and Evidencing Learning Working Party
  • 2002-2014 Chair, School Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Previous Convenor of the Australian Psychological Society, College of Clinical Neuropsychology Course Accreditation Committee

Teaching and Learning projects

  • Nash, R (Project Director), Meiklejohn, B, Edwards, K, Sanders, F, Hansen, J, Sullivan, K, Dow, B, Minniecon, D, & Whatman, S (2003). “Towards cultural competence: An innovative strategy for incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives within health professional curricula”. Funded by QUT University Teaching and Learning Development Large Grant (Faculty-wide project) ($150,000)

Selected teaching related publications & conference presentations

  • Nash RE, Sacre SM, Sullivan KA, Calleja P, Le Rossignol P, (2008) Building Capstone Experiences into the First Year of Health Courses, Effective Teaching and Learning Conference 2008: Transitions In: Transitions Out, 30-31.                                
  • Sullivan, K. A. & Sharman, R. (2008). Development of a web-based multimedia tool to improve and assess psychology students understanding of cultural factors impacting psychological diagnosis.  Invited presentation cultural competency symposium. 43rd annual conference of the Australian Psychological Society, Hobart, Tasmania, Aust, Sept 23- 27. Published Abstract: Australian Journal of Psychology, 60 (Supplement 1), S107-108.
  • O’Conor, & Sullivan, K. A. (2008).  Diagnosis without a client: the challenge of undergraduate client-based learning International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology, St Petersburg.

Teaching (Unit coordination)

  • PYB306 Psychopathology (Advanced third year undergraduate subject)
  • PYB407 Research and professional development seminar (Advanced fourth year subject)
This information has been contributed by Professor Karen Sullivan.


Professional practice

5 years work experience in the public hospital sector as a clinical neuropsychologist, including in aged care, stroke units, memory clinics and community assessment teams.

International partnerships

Links with the research groups in Germany, Canada, and the United States of America.

Industry collaboration

  • Current projects with Queensland Health and the Westmead Hospital.
  • Links with the NHMRC-funded, Dementia Collaborative Research Centre, Carers and Consumers
  • Collaborations with the practitioner community.

Industry reports/publications (recent activity)

  • Sullivan, K.A., Smith, S.S., Lurie-Beck, J. & Horswill, M.S. (2011). Are older drivers’ perceptions of their driving ability reflected in performance on a driving simulation task?  Report of the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust and the Queensland Department of Main Roads and Transport.

Research tools

For information about the following measures, please contact Professor Sullivan (

  • Cerebrovascular Attitudes and Beliefs Scale-Revised
  • The Stroke Knowledge Test (including non-English versions)
  • The Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Test (including a version of this test for indigenous Australians)


This information has been contributed by Professor Karen Sullivan.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Recipient of the 2010 QUT Vice Chancellor's Performance Award
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2005 Winner, Faculty of Health Teaching Excellence award
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Commendation, QUT Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Winner, Australian Psychological Society Ethics Prize 2004. This prize is made in recognition of a significant scholarly, research, pedagogical or professional contribution in the areas of professional or research ethics. My research in this area has lead to 2 peer-reviewed high impact publications, and 1 invited book chapter.
Reference year
Convenor, Course Approvals Committee of the Australian Psychological Society, College of Clinical Neuropsychologists; This college is a college of specialist psychologists and membership is dependent on satisfactory completion of professional development activities assessed biannually. This committee has oversight of the professional accredition of neuropsychology training programs nationally. In this role I was responsible for overseeing Australian Psychological Society CCN course approvals processes (e.g., co-ordinating university site visits) when submissions are received from Australian Universities for post-graduate courses.
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
Panel of Assessors, under the Health Practitioners (Professional standards) Act, 1999 Queensland. Membership is by application, supported by evidence of suitable academic and professional work experience, and referees reports. Activities: this panel provides advice to the Minister for Health on matters relating to breaches of professional standards.
Membership of Learned Societies
Reference year
Member of the Australian Psychological Society, College of Clinical Neuropsychologists Membership Committee. This college is a college of specialist psychologists. Membership is dependent on successful completion of professional development/continuing education assessed biannually. The membership committee was responsible for vetting applications for membership, from applicants nationally and internationally. In addition to general responibilities as a committee member, I had a specific role of assessing overseas academic qualifications.