Staff profile

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Prof Rob Carter

Position: Alfred Deakin Professor And Chair In Health And Human Services Economics
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Health & Soc. Dev.
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Hours: Usually on campus at Burwood on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Phone: +61 3 92446001 +61 3 92446001



Prior to becoming an academic in 1993, Rob worked for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Before joining the AIHW he was a senior Commonwealth public servant, working in three different departments (Transport, Aviation, Health) in various administrative, research and policy roles; including a period as a Senior Private Secretary in Senator Button's office. The common thread across Rob's early career was the design and utilisation of economic appraisal, which continued on into his academic roles. Since becoming an academic Rob has played an important role in the teaching and application of health economics in Melbourne, together with a number of international projects. He is particularly well known for the development an application of an innovative approach to priority setting ~ called ACE (Assessing Cost Effectiveness) ~ together with Guidelines to guide priority setting. His track record includes over $23 million in research income (including an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence, an NHMRC Program Grant, 2 NHMRC Capacity Building Grants, an NHMRC Health Services Research Grant, a Strategic Grant in Health Economics, multiple NHMRC project grants, an ARC Discovery Grant, multiple international grants) and over 300 publications.

Biography summary

Many years of experience in the design and application of economic appraisal across multiple settings, using the full range of economic methods. Experienced communicator of economic results in policy relevant ways.


  • Bachelor of Arts, Macquarie University, 1973
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 2002

Career highlights

• 2015: Deakin 40th Anniversary Recognition Award for his achievements in establishing Deakin University as a leading centre for health economics
• 2014: Alfred Deakin Professor, the highest award offered by Deakin University for ongoing outstanding performance in teaching and research
• 2012: Deakin University Pro Vice Chancellor’s Award for Innovation, Faculty of Health
• 2011: Deakin University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence
• 2010: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) Special Award for Contribution to Illness Prevention Knowledge (ACE-Prevention Project);
• 2010: Deakin University School of Health and Social Development Award for Excellence in Research (ACE-Prevention Project);
• 2010: Deakin University Strategic Research Centre – Population Health Award for Partnerships and Knowledge Translation (ACE-Prevention Project);
• 2009 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) Award Finalist (Health and Economic Benefits of Reducing Disease Risk Factors Project);
• 2005: University of Melbourne School of Population Health Open Award for Excellence in Research Achievement;
• 2002: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Population Health Career Development Award (2003-2007); and
• 1984: Commonwealth Public Service Executive Development Scheme (1985-1986).


  • International Health Economics Association (IHEA)
  • Australian Health Economics Society (AHES)
  • The Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand

LinkedIn profile

Personal website


Teaching Interests

Rob helps coordinate the health economics teaching program at Deakin University, including the supervision of higher degree students.

Subjects and units currently teaching

  • HSH762: Resource Allocation and Priority Setting

Knowledge areas

#  Economic appraisal

#  Priority Setting

#  Application of economic appraisal to public health and health promotion

#  Economics of disability

#  Economics of obesity prevention

Conferences and seminars

Recent conference highlights include: Carter R (2010) The Ace-Prevention study: An innovative approach to priority setting in Australia, ATINER Annual International Conference on Health, Management and Policy, 26 June-2 July, Athens, Greece. Carter R (2010 Walking the talk together: Why partner with health economists? Invited Keynote Address, Australian Health Promotion Association 19th National Conference, 30 May-2 June, Melbourne, Victoria. Carter R (2010) Assessing the cost-effectiveness of preventive interventions, Invited Keynote Address, Rural Health Conference, 21-23 April, Ballarat, Victoria. Carter R (2009) Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Trends in Australia, Invited Keynote Address, Second Pricing and Reimbursement Future Trends Workshop, Singapore, 20 June 2009. Carter R (2009) Priority Setting in Australia: The ACE-Prevention Study, Session Chair and Introduction, iHEA 7th World Congress on Health Economics, Harmonising Health and Economics, July 12-15, Beijing, China.

Media appearances

Mostly in relation to dissemination of results from his research projects.


Awards and prizes

2005: Open Award for Excellence in Research Achievement, School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne

2002: NHMRC Population Health Career Development Award Fellowship

1985: Commonwealth Public Service Executive Development Scheme.


Research projects

Rob is involved with a large number of individual projects, including NHMRC projects in obesity prevention and diabetes (e.g. CRE in Obesity Prevention; Partnership Grant in Gestational Diabetes); and disability (e.g. CRE in Cerebral Palsy; Partnership Grant in Health Service Design). His is active in number of research collaborations, including projects in cancer (TrueNTH with Movember; Cancer Council Victoria; Peter MacCullum Cancer Institute); and projects in Simulated Clinical Placements and Dementia.
Rob also takes external service seriously and is pleased to contribute to NHMRC grant/fellowship assessment panels and review processes, refereeing articles for journals and membership of research advisory committees (e.g. Orygen Youth Research Centre Advisory Committee; HeadSpace research Advisory Committee).

Research interests

Rob’s research interests focus on economic appraisal of health care services and priority setting, particularly in the area of health promotion, health technology assessment and pharmacoeconomics. Much of his evaluation work over the years has encouraged clinicians to work with policy-makers and academics to tackle important public health issues. During the last seven years in particular, he has developed and implemented an innovative approach to priority setting that is bridging the gap between academic rigour and applied policy-making in major areas of public health, with a strong focus on knowledge transfer. His evaluation work on the initial Assessing Cost Effectiveness (ACE) study in cancer, for example, impacted on Australia’s national cancer strategy and contributed to the funding of subsequent ACE studies in heart disease, mental health, obesity prevention and the prevention of non-communicable disease.

Research grants

Please refer to the research link above

Research page



Over 350 publications since 1994, including 114 refereed journal articles and 14 book chapters.

Link to publications

Page custodian: External Relations Group
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