Leicester casts net for stars of research

December 9, 2005

Leicester University is hoping to attract research-focused academics with a range of incentives, writes Anthea Lipsett.

The university is advertising 20 new lecturing posts in this week's Times Higher . They span 19 subject areas, from ancient history to cardiovascular sciences.

Incentives include reduced teaching loads, study leave and money towards research travel costs. Bob Burgess, vice-chancellor, said the scheme would meet the need for more senior lecturer-level posts and should help boost the university's research standing ahead of the 2008 research assessment exercise by attracting "tomorrow's leading researchers".

"This recruitment campaign is about getting exciting and innovative people to work here," he said.

In the first year of the job, those appointed will concentrate entirely on research. One third of their time will be spent on teaching in the second year, and two thirds in the third.

"The whole idea was to make it attractive to people at the (earlier stages) of the profession and look to see how we can make their conditions good enough to encourage them to stay in the higher education community," Professor Burgess said.

"Current staff can apply - they are not excluded and that was important," he added.

Manchester University's poaching of Nigel Scrutton's molecular enzymology research team, featured in last week's Times Higher , had not been a blow to research output, the university said.

But it left room for "new blood" to join the department, one professor said.

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