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Personal profile


I am a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education. I obtained my PhD in Behaviour Analysis from Western New England University (Springfield Massachusetts) in 2012. Since 2003, I have held various clinical appointments at internationally-recognised organisations providing applied behaviour analytic education and treatment to children with autism and related conditions in the USA, UAE, and Australia. In 2018, I joined the faculty at Monash University, where I currently work in the Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education academic community.

Research Interests

I am currently interested in research evaluating effective tactics for training scientist-practitioners to engage in evidence-based practice in real world settings. 

Educating for Diversity and Inclusion, and Enhancing Health and Wellbeing

One of my primary research interests involves the exploration of strategies for building the capacity of the workforce to better support individuals with autism, intellectual disability, and related conditions (particularly children and young people with behaviours of concern). I am particularly interested in knowledge translation research. For me, knowledge translation involves working collaboratively with professionals, educators, parents, and individuals with disability to exchange information about what works, and what we need to do better to solve socially important problems. Knowledge translation also involves the discovery of effective tactics for bridging the research to practice gap. To this end, I am interested in exploring the social validity of behaviour analytic interventions; specifically, how behaviour analysts can engage in culturally-sensitive evidence based practice, and individualise teaching methods and interventions to reflect the values, preferences, goals, and aspirations of the direct recipient of services. I am also interested in developing qualitative and quantitative methods for assessing the ways in which the provision of contemporary applied behaviour analytic educational and behaviour support services improves quality of life, well-being, and social inclusion for individuals with autism, intellectual disability, and related conditions.

Transforming Teaching and Learning, and Shaping Digital Futures

In this area, I am particularly interested in exploring effective tactics for creating engaging, accessible, and inclusive online learning spaces in higher education, using the principles of applied behaviour analysis and universal design for learning. I am keen to understand how the incorporation of the principles of universal design for learning in online learning environments in higher education may enhance student outcomes and satisfaction. I am also interested in exploring strategies for promoting active student engagement in asynchronous online learning environments. 

Teaching Commitments  

I joined the Faculty of Education at Monash in 2018 to coordinate the Master of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis program. Applied behaviour analysis offers a comprehensive framework for both discovering and understanding the environmental variables that influence socially significant behaviours, and developing an effective technology for helping people overcome problems and become more independent, productive and happy members of society. This course will give students foundational knowledge in the scientific discipline of Applied Behaviour Analysis, and how to translate and apply this science in practice in real-world settings with diverse populations, including individuals with additional learning needs and behaviours of concern. This unique course provides a pathway for students who wish to become Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs), and has been verified by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board as meeting the faculty and course content requirements.

I currently serve as Chief Examiner for the following units:

Master of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis (4th Edition Task List)

  • EDF5680 Behaviour Analysis: Concepts and Foundations
  • EDF5681 Behaviour Analysis: Implementation and Experimental Methods
  • EDF5682 Behaviour Analysis in Diverse Contexts

Master of Applied Behaviour Analysis (5th Edition Task List)

  • EDF5683: Philosophical Foundations of Behaviour Analysis
  • EDF5679: Behaviour Assessment and Treatment
  • EDF5687: Evidence-Based Instructional Design
  • EDF5688: Performance Management and Supervision
  • EDF5689: Diverse Applications of Applied Behaviour Analysis

In 2019, I received the Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, and in 2020, I received the Monash Graduate Association’s Lecturer of the Year award. 

Professional Service and Community Engagement

I am currently a member of the Board and the Vice President of the Autism Behavioural Intervention Association, an Australian peak body for autism and evidence-based education and behaviour support. I am also currently on the Board of Directors for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.

I chair of the Victorian Department of Education and Training's Functional Behaviour Assessment working group, the purpose of which is to share information about best practice for supporting children who are at-risk for poorer educational outcomes due to persistent behaviours of concern in school settings. 

I was recently invited to join Oppida, a group of industry-leading e-learning designers, as a advisory consultant. 

I am currently a full professional member of the Association for Behaviour Analysis International, the Association for Professional Behaviour Analysts, the Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia. I am also a member of the Association for Positive Behaviour Support Australia (APBSA) and the Australia and New Zealand Chapter of the Association for Contextual Behaviour Science (ANZ ACBS). I have served as a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, The Australian Psychologist, the Australasian Journal of Special and Inclusive Education, and Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention. 


Research area keywords

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis
  • Functional Behavioural Assessment (FBA)
  • Function-Based Treatment
  • Severe Problem Behaviour
  • Verbal Behaviour
  • Single Case Research Design
  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention
  • Social Validity
  • Treatment Acceptability
  • Dissemination
  • Knowledge translation and exchange
  • Knowledge Translation
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Online teaching and learning

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

Increasing item engagement and decreasing automatically reinforced problem behavior within a modified competing stimulus assessment

Leif, E. S., Roscoe, E. M., Ahearn, W. H., Marra, J. P. & Morrison, H., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Dean's Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

Leif, Erin (Recipient), 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Monash Graduate Association Lecturer of the Year Award (2019)

Leif, Erin (Recipient), 2020

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


  • 1 Expert/ advisor
  • 1 Professional association or peak discipline body
  • 1 Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Oppida Advisory Consultant

Erin Leif (Advisor)


Activity: External Academic EngagementExpert/ advisor

Autism Behavioural Intervention Association (External organisation)

Erin Leif (Chair/Co-Chair)


Activity: Industry, Government and Philanthropy Engagement and PartnershipsMembership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Association for Science in Autism Treatment

Erin Leif (Contributor)


Activity: External Academic EngagementProfessional association or peak discipline body

Press / Media

How to create engaging online and at-home learning activities

Erin Leif & Bianca Raby


2 Media contributions

Press/Media: Blogs, Podcasts and Social MediaBlogs

How to find the underlying reasons for challenging behaviour with functional behaviour assessment

Erin Leif & Alexandra Ahlgren Berg


2 Media contributions

Press/Media: Blogs, Podcasts and Social MediaBlogs