The University of Liverpool has defended a job advert for a senior clinical research fellowship post that offered different salaries for medical and veterinary applicants.
A Facebook furore developed because an advert in the veterinary press appeared to indicate medical professionals would be paid a higher salary for the newly created post than their animal medicine counterparts.
The veterinary salary was listed as being between £39,324 and £63,009pa while the medical offering was between £76,001 and £80,761pa.
Veterinary Times contacted the University of Liverpool for clarification. According to the institution, salary scales for medical clinical academic staff are set externally and based on NHS scales and, as such, are not determined by the university.
In contrast, veterinary posts are aligned to the university’s standard non-clinical academic salary scale, with the specific grade determined by established university processes.
Furthermore, the medical appointee will be required to undertake clinical duties at a consulting level at a partner NHS Trust, whereas there will be no equivalent commitment for a veterinary appointee, an institute spokesman explained.
“In this case, as the job description, but not the advert, made clear, different duties would apply to a medical appointee as opposed to a veterinary appointee,” they added.
Tom Solomon, director of the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool, which advertised the post said: “The motivation for this position in inviting applications from both medical and veterinary backgrounds was very genuinely to promote equality of opportunity across both fields, rather than restricting applications to one at the expense of the other.
“It is regrettable our advert did not adequately highlight the differences relating to the clinical responsibilities that would have to be undertaken by an individual appointed with medical qualifications.
“We have now arranged to alter the advert and job description accordingly.”