Rob's role at NTU embraces the full range of academic activities. His research is in applied economics and public policy analysis.
He has particular expertise in EU policies, the WTO and agricultural trade policies, and biofuels policies. More details can be found under the 'Research' tab, and via the link to his publications.
His main teaching is on the Economics of European Union but, in most years he also contributes to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules on international and applied economics and, increasingly, also on research methods.
Within the Division of Economics, Rob is currently Module Leader for the Level 3 module Jean Monnet Europe and the World Economy, and Module Leader for the Level 3 Research Project (Economics). He is also the Division's Placement co-ordinator. He is a member of the NBS Research Policy Group. He chairs the NBS School Research Ethics Committee and is a member of the College Research Ethics Committee.
Rob's teaching on the Economics of the EU has received financial support from the European Commission. In 2004 he was awarded 'Jean Monnet' funding to support the creation and initial years' teaching of his module Europe and the World Economy.
In 2010 he was awarded a Jean Monnet Chair in European Economic Studies, again with funding which supports his teaching and his teaching-related research activities.
Rob places a great emphasis on teaching and has a particular interest in promoting research informed teaching as a way of enhancing the student experience.
In 2012 Rob was awarded Nottingham Trent Students Union's Inaugural Outstanding Teaching Award, for NBS.
In 2013 Rob was one of only two academics at NTU to receive the inaugural Vice Chancellor's Teaching Award.
In 2014, Rob was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.
Prior to joining NTU in 2000, Rob was Lecturer in European Economics in the Department of Economics, University of Leicester. He was Deputy Director of the Centre for European Studies, Programme Leader for the MA in European Economic Studies and also held a Jean Monnet Chair in European Economic Studies. This provided a solid foundation for the career development seen since 2000 here at NTU, where he progressed from Senior Lecturer in Economics, to Reader in European Economics in 2006, and to Professor of European Economics and Policy in 2010.
Rob's research is in the areas of applied Economics and public policy analysis. He has particular expertise in EU policies, the World Trade Organisation and agricultural trade policies, and biofuels policies. In recent years, his work on biofuels policies has expanded to embrace wider issues of food security, energy security and sustainability.
Rob leads the International and Development Economics Research Group within NBS, and is involved in NTU-wide research networks for renewable energy and low carbon.
Rob has published many articles over the years on these topics, in leading applied economics and public policy journals including:
- the Journal of Rural Studies
- the Journal of European Public Policy
- the Journal of Common Market Studies
- the Journal of European Social Policy
- the Journal of Agricultural Economics
He is the author or a book on the Common Agricultural Policy. His book on biofuels policies, co-authored with Prof. Adrian Kay of the Australian National University, is due to be published by Palgrave in December 2014.
Rob has given numerous presentations to academic conferences and seminar series, but he has also given papers to student conferences, civil society meetings and meetings with policy-makers.
Rob has supervised to successful completion several PhD candidates, covering a wide range of both applied Economics and social science topics.
Internally, Rob leads the International and Development Economics Research Group and is involved in NTU-wide research networks on renewable energy and low carbon.
Rob's research has resulted in him engaging directly with policy-makers and civil society, as well as academics. As a result of his work on the EU Budget, Rob has been invited (in 2004, 2006 and 2011) to submit evidence of House to House of Lords European Union Committee Inquiries.
Rob is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Common Market Studies, the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, an Associate Editor for Economic Issues, and a member of the Steering Group for EuroChoices.
Rob has acted as External Examiner for PhDs at Cambridge University and Utrecht University.
Rob has had Visiting Fellowships to Griffith University (in 2007) and to the Centre for European Studies, Australian National University (in 2012 and 2014).
Sponsors and collaborators
* In 2001 Rob was the only academic from a new University awarded funding from the UK Government Challenge Fund. For this Rob undertook a project for DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) looking at the budgetary impact of extending the CAP to the to the applicant countries.
* In 2007 Rob was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship. This award, of over £13,000, enabled Rob to spend a term working with Dr Adrian Kay as a Visiting Fellow in Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane. This project analysed both the dynamics behind the 2005 reform of the EU sugar regime under the CAP and also, with sugar as one case study, changes in the place of agriculture in WTO trade rules and how dispute settlement rules and their enforcement have changed over time.
* In 2008 Rob was a member of a team, led by Dr Wyn Morgan and including Dr Tim Lloyd, Professor Tony Rayner and Evious Zvogu of the University of Nottingham, that received support from the Nuffield Foundation to analyse the impact of EU sugar policy reform on sugar market and price volatility.
* In 2009 Rob, with Dr Kay (now an Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University) was awarded over £78,000 by the ESRC to investigate the dynamics and interactions of food and biofuels policies in the EU, USA and Brazil.
* In 2014, Rob was a Co-Investigator on a successful bid for funding from the ESRC for a seminar series (led by Professor David Smith, also at NTU). The award, for £21,191, is for a series of seminars entitled 'Green Innovation: making it work'.
Professor Ackrill can provide comments on agricultural policies; European Union policies; and biofuel policies, including those in relation to food security, energy security and sustainability.