Jobwatch: treatment options

November 7, 2003

Flexibility is the new watchword in health and social care-related disciplines, which are spreading the net wider in search of suitable candidates to fill a range of posts, reports Caroline Davis

Demand for academics skilled in health-related subjects is looking strong in this week's THES jobs section. Recruiters include the University of Dundee, which is looking for five lecturers in its School of Nursing and Midwifery. One of the posts, a lectureship in child nursing, has proved difficult to fill in the past. David Muir, associate dean of the school, says: "There is such a small pool of qualified people. If we get no good applicants this time, we will have to home grow."

The lectureship in care of the older person and continuing nursing care is proving similarly difficult, while the other three posts - two in mental-health nursing and one in acute and critical-care nursing - have come up in the natural course of an active and developing department.

Kingston University's faculty of health and social care sciences wants to beef up its research portfolio and is looking to increase its professorial count from four to six in a faculty of about 200 staff.

This follows the recent advertisement for a professor of mental health.

Faculty dean Patrick Salter explains that after a year in post, he is ready to invest heavily in this side. In particular, he wants to build an interdisciplinary approach to the research portfolio.

As well as a straightforward chair in nursing and a lectureship in emergency care, Kingston is looking for a professor of health sciences.

This appointment will be a lot more flexible, he explains. "We have left it fairly open. It could be (someone) from the social sciences and health sociology through to physiology or bioengineering. It really depends on the individual we get."

Depending on what sort of applications are received, Salter says there may be more chairs advertised or a deeper investment made in new readership posts.

Both chairs will be salaried at about £50,000 a year.

At the top level, the University of Hertfordshire is looking for a dean of the faculty of health and human sciences. The university failed to land the candidate it wanted when the post was advertised earlier this year, but Ian Jeffcott at recruitment agents Tribal GWT is hopeful that this time the university will have more success.

Hertfordshire has high ambitions for the faculty, which was one of the first to set up a nursing department. In particular, the university may in future bid for its own medical school should the local health authority agree to plans to build a hospital adjacent to the university.

Jeffcott says the candidate might just as easily come from a health trust or a strategic health authority as from among academic ranks.

The successful applicant will be rewarded with a £70,000 salary, plus performance-related pay.

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