Leeds seeks biologists following faculty rejig

November 18, 2005

Leeds University has announced a recruitment drive after a complete overhaul of biological sciences and is advertising 14 new posts in The Times Higher this week.

Leeds is the latest redbrick university to embrace a more multidisciplinary approach to research.

Focusing on research is a key part of new vice-chancellor Michael Arthur's mission to put Leeds in the top 50 academic institutions in the world by 2015.

Phil Gilmartin, pro-dean for research, said: "Biological sciences has been realigned around research, with a focus on research driving the agenda for all our activities."

The new faculty of biological sciences houses three research institutes in molecular and cellular biology, membrane and systems biology, and integrative and comparative biology. Single schools for undergraduates and postgraduates will coordinate different degree programmes.

"Clustering activities will provide greater focus and create an environment where there are low walls between disciplines, which creates a fluid research environment," Professor Gilmartin said.

The 14 posts are designed to bridge different research groups and foster a more flexible research environment.

The faculty is looking for four chairs in cardiovascular biology, cell biology and virology, bioinformatics or systems biology, and genetics or genomics. Alongside these are positions up to reader level in molecular contractility, neuroscience and membrane biology, and a senior lectureship in ecology and evolutionary biology.

Two independent fellows are sought in antimicrobial therapy and plant sciences, and three research council-funded fellows in systems biology and protein structure modelling and design.

Professor Gilmartin said: "Teaching is one of our key activities. This is not to the detriment of teaching, it's an integrated strategy to enhance all of our activities. We can build a world-class research environment and within that we can deliver teaching. Students will benefit from a highly focused environment and from being at the cutting edge."

The restructuring includes a £30 million revamp of the faculty's resources, including new buildings and refurbishment of laboratories from Science Research Infrastructure Fund money.

A university spokeswoman said Leeds' mission to be among the world's top 50 institutions by 2015 would involve all faculties.

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