Academics recruited under the “250 great minds” initiative, launched on 1 October, will go through a five-year structured development programme leading to a permanent position as an associate professor.
Leeds’ biggest ever recruitment drive is motivated by its desire to enhance interdisciplinary research and teaching. Recruits will be asked to tackle issues such as health, energy, food, water, culture, high-value engineering, and cities and sustainable societies.
John Fisher, deputy vice-chancellor of Leeds, said: “We are looking for great minds to join us in tackling some of society’s biggest challenges, to help us create a new generation of postgraduate researchers in major areas of interdisciplinary research.
“We are investing in people who have a strong research vision and a commitment to high-quality student education, and we will support them to build a clear, compelling plan for their academic development. This is an excellent opportunity to establish an academic career at a leading Russell Group university, and to play a key role in our ambitious plans for the future.”
Sir Alan Langlands, vice-chancellor of Leeds, said: “Leeds is making an unparalleled investment in new academic staff who will be given the opportunity to build strong, independent research portfolios and deliver innovative, research-led teaching. This will have a positive impact on the profile of research and student education at Leeds.”
Several other universities have launched similar schemes to recruit early career researchers. Since 2012 the University of Birmingham has recruited three cohorts of “Birmingham Fellows”: early career researchers given a five-year fellowship and a guaranteed permanent job at the end for those who prosper. Earlier this year the University of Liverpool launched a new fellowship scheme to allow early career researchers in its Faculty of Health and Life Sciences to focus on research.