Bhuvanesh Awasthi

Image Bhuvanesh Awasthi
Senior Behavioural Researcher

Bhuvanesh Awasthi is a transdisciplinary leader in the science-policy-diplomacy space, currently working as a Senior Behavioural Scientist with the Canadian Federal Government in Ottawa.

Dr Awasthi has worked across North America (USA, Canada), South America (Uruguay), Europe (UK, Denmark), Asia (India) and Australia with various organisations, applying the science of cognition, brain and behaviour in academic, business and public policy contexts. His ongoing and past projects have provided research, advice and inputs at the OECD- International Network on Financial Education (Paris), the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab, the Governments of Canada (Financial Consumer Agency of Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada), Denmark (Danish Veterinary and Food Administration) and India (NIPFP, LBSNAA, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser) as well as on projects with the national science agencies of USA (NIH), France (CNRS) and Australia (CSIRO).

He has been a MITACS - Canadian Science Policy fellow as well as an Inter American Institute (IAI) -Science Technology and Policy (STeP) fellow. The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) is an intergovernmental organisation supported by 19 countries in the Americas. Through these interfaces, Dr Awasthi is applying cognitive, behavioural and neuroscience research for design and implementation of evidence-informed behaviourally-wise policy interventions across North America, Latin America and the Caribbean region. His current interests are in science-diplomacy contexts to develop evidence for policy, facilitate consensus building, conflict resolution and address transnational global change issues.

Current research and/or projects

Behavioural science for policy. 
Behaviourally-aligned client experience measurement, impact measurement, digital modernisation, service delivery.

Behavioural Finance.

Education and awards

PhD Cognitive Neuroscience, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

MS Consciousness Studies, BITS Pilani, India

MSc Life Sciences, University of Pune, India

BSc Life Sciences, University of Pune, India



Mitacs-Canadian Science Policy Fellowship (Canada)

Inter-American-Institute of Global Change Research - Science Technology and Policy Fellowship (Uruguay)    

Travel Award, The Royal Society (London, United Kingdom) 

Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and Seminar (GRS) Bursary (United States)                                           

Neuroscientist of the Year (Sydney, Australia)                   

Macquarie University Postgraduate Research Fund (Sydney, Australia)

Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (Sydney, Australia) 

Top 100 outstanding BITSians Global 30 under 30 Awards (India)

International experience and/or work

Behavioural Insights and Experimentation, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 

Behavioural Finance Lab, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada 

UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab, Paris, France

Orange Neurosciences, Canada

University of Copenhangen, Denmark

Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

University of Glasgow, Scotland

University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia

Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


Invited Panelist, Neurotech Planet International Conference (Portugal)        

Invited Speaker and Mentor for the Synaptic Hacks 2021 (New York, USA)

Invited Speaker and Panelist-Neuroscience in Society, BITSAA Global Meet (Goa, India)

Invited Speaker, Nordic-Chinese Forum for sustainable development (Copenhagen, Denmark)         

Invited Speaker, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (New Delhi, India)     

Invited Speaker and Panelist, BITSAA Global Meet (Dubai, UAE)                                     

Key publications

Awasthi, B., et al (2023). Closing the Intention-Action Gap: Behaviorally-Aligned Strategies for Effective Plastic Pollution Reduction. Journal of Science Policy & Governance, 22(2).


Awasthi, B. (2022). Non-invasive neurostimulation modulates processing of spatial frequency information in rapid perception of faces. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. 84, 150–160


Cantergi, D., Awasthi, B., Friedman, J. (2021). Moving objects by imagination? Amount of finger movement and pendulum length determine success in the Chevreul pendulum illusion. Human Movement Science, 80, 102879.


Awasthi, B. (2021). Does the food safety ranking system act as a nudge? International Journal of Applied Behavioral Economics, 10(4), 42-58. 


Awasthi, B. (2021). The shifting psychology of food safety: from sensory evaluation to a cognitive assessment. PsyArXiv 


Awasthi, B. (2021). Software-based cognitive therapy intervention targeting core symptoms in Autism: A single case study. PsyArXiv.


Awasthi, B. (2020). Delineating the low and high spatial frequency inputs to face perception using transcranial random noise stimulation. PsyArXiv


Awasthi, B. (2020, invited). From decision takers to decision makers- public perception of food inspector rankings serve as a nudge? China, Sustainable Development and Economic Policy-Making. Asia Pacific Law Review.


Cantergi, D., Awasthi, B., Friedman, J. (2019). Moving by thoughts alone? - Amount of finger movement and pendulum length determine success in the Chevruel Pendulum Illusion. bioRxiv, 841445.


Awasthi, B. (2017). From attire to assault: Clothing, objectification and de-humanization - a possible prelude to sexual violence? Frontiers in Psychology, 8:338. 


Yaple, Z. A., Martinez-Saito, M., Awasthi, B., Feurra, M., Shestakova, A.& Klucharev, V. (2017). Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation Modulates Risky Decision Making in a Frequency-Controlled Experiment. eNeuro, 4(6) e0136-17.2017 1–10 


Awasthi, B., Williams, M.A. & Friedman, J. (2016). Examining the role of red background in magnocellular contribution to face perception. PeerJ, 4, e1617. 


Awasthi, B., Sowman, P.F., Friedman, J., & Williams, M.A. (2013). Distinct spatial scale sensitivities for early categorisation of faces and places: neuromagnetic and behavioral findings. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7:91. 


Nash, J.D., Newberg, A., Awasthi, B. (2013). Toward a unifying taxonomy and definition for meditation. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:806.


Awasthi, B. (2013). Issues and perspectives in meditation research: in search for a definition. Frontiers in Consciousness Research, 3:613.


Awasthi, B., Friedman, J., & Williams, M.A. (2012). Reach trajectories reveal delayed processing of low spatial frequency faces in developmental prosopagnosia. Cognitive Neuroscience3(2), 120–130.


Awasthi, B., Friedman, J., & Williams, M.A. (2011b). Faster, stronger, lateralized: low spatial frequency support for face processing. Neuropsychologia, 49(13), 3583-3590.


Awasthi, B., Friedman, J., & Williams, M.A. (2011a). Processing of low spatial frequency faces at periphery in choice reaching tasks. Neuropsychologia, 49(7), 2136-2141.