Her academic career includes working as lecturer of economics at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and as an assistant professor at Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and more recently as a contract lecturer for Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
Before coming to ANU for her PhD studies in 2003, Dr Ratna worked as a consultant in Bangladesh for international stakeholders like United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Her projects focused on infrastructure development, health, poverty alleviation and local governance.
She has published her findings in applied economics journals focussing on economics of immigration and diversity, social capital, food security, gender, development economics and public policy.
Dr Ratna is the coordinator for the research hub of Food, Energy, Environment and Water (FE2W) Network at Lincoln University.