Professor Helen Louise Ackers

School of Health and Society

Photo of Professor Helen Louise Ackers

Contact Details

Allerton C501

Please email for an appointment.


Professor Ackers holds degrees in geography, social policy and law and post graduate qualifications in social policy and European Law. Her doctoral thesis was on racism in the British labour Party. She has worked both in the academic sector and in local government and is actively involved in two British charities focused on global health.

Areas of research

Global Health, Highly skilled migration, Knowledge transfer


  • Professor Ackers teaches Research Methods and Contemporary
  • Mobilities on the undergraduate and Master’s in Social Policy

Research Interests

Her research focuses on highly skilled mobility and knowledge transfer processes. Much of her work has explored mobility in the context of science careers and the internationalisation of research. In addition to academic outputs she has worked closely with the research councils in the UK and with the European Commission in the development of policy on internationalisation, impact and research careers. Professor Ackers is applying her expertise in this area to the specific context of mobile professional voluntarism and its role in the reduction of maternal and neo-natal mortality Uganda. She has been coordinating the ‘Sustainable Volunteering Project’ which has deployed over 50 long term volunteers to Uganda ( She is also currently coordinating a project funded by Health Education North West (the training arm of the UK NHS) focused on understanding the returns to the NHS on international placements ( and a project involving the development of sustainable elective placements for undergraduate students. She is also now working on a HEE funded study on the impacts of undergraduate elective placements and runs a placement program in Uganda via a registered charity:

Qualifications and Memberships


  • Economics (London School of Economics), 2.1 (1981);
  • PhD Geography (LSE, 1985); MA Social Policy (Goldsmiths, 1986);
  • CPE (Nottingham Trent, 1992);
  • Postgraduate Certificate in European Law (Bristol, 1993);
  • LLM European Law by Research (Bristol,1999).