With the academy facing a £2.9 billion funding cut and many in the sector threatened with redundancy, the University of Liverpool has launched a £20 million hiring spree, with plans to appoint 15 new professors and eight senior lecturers.
The university wants to attract 23 "world-class researchers" to its Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, a unit created last year in a restructuring exercise during which all staff were offered voluntary redundancy.
Most of the new posts are chairs in areas such as infectious diseases, genetics, pharmacology, bioinformatics and global health.
Ian Greer, executive pro vice-chancellor of the faculty, said: "We are a Russell Group university, and we are keen to ensure our research is internationally competitive. We want to expand in some key areas.
"The posts largely reflect the reorganisation. There is some new investment from good financial management and also the benefits of having several faculties and schools under one umbrella."
There will now be an international search to fill the posts.
Some institutions have found overseas recruitment hampered by tough new quotas restricting the number of visas for non-European Union staff. Professor Greer admitted that the UK was "looking a bit less attractive", but said he was hopeful that the search would not be affected.
Meanwhile, in a contrasting move, the University of Dundee has announced plans to scrap up to 195 jobs as part of a "strategic review" of the institution's activities.
The cuts, announced last week, are intended to make annual savings of £8 million. The university said it could not rule out compulsory redundancies "as a last resort".
The University and College Union, which has pledged to fight the proposals, accused Dundee of attempting to "bury bad news" by timing the announcement to coincide with the Comprehensive Spending Review on 20 October.