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Sarah Vahed

PhD Student

Sarah Vahed is both a qualified lawyer (Admitted Attorney of the Republic of South Africa), and an experimental psychologist. She is currently completing her PhD in our lab. 


She joined the lab after completing a Master of Science in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience (cum laude) in England, which she pursued after being selected as a Rotary Scholar and being awarded a full Rotary Scholarship. Her master's thesis investigated self-referential processing and its link to depression through behavioural and EEG analyses. For this she was awarded the MSc Psychology Award for best masters thesis in the Health and Social Sciences Faculty.


Prior to her psychology training, Sarah obtained Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees (specialising in International Law and Children's Rights) in her home country of South Africa. During her studies, she also completed a year at KU Leuven (Belgium) where she studied aspects of international human rights and business law thanks to a Flemish Government scholarship. Her LLM received the Ismail Mohamed Reform Competition Award for best legal masters thesis in South Africa.


After her legal studies, Sarah practised as a lawyer at Africa’s largest law firm (ENSAfrica) in Cape Town and she was enrolled as an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa after she successfully passed the Bar Exam. Her areas of legal experience include working in the field of dispute resolution and litigation on high and low court matters. While conducting research in the lab, Sarah also worked as Program Manager helping to establish the Radboud Center for Decision Science ( 


Sarah is interested in the intersection of law and science through research. She is specifically interested in how research in psychology and cognitive neuroscience can be used in to inform law and public policy. To this end, Sarah's thesis investigates the fundamental mechanisms underlying unfairness and inequality, with the ultimate goal of contributing evidence-based recommendations for law and policy. 

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