THE University of Liverpool has lured 40 world class academics to take up senior positions.
It follows a major recruitment drive in which the university pumped funding into an international advertising campaign for high quality staff.
But the new scholars say part of the attraction was the regeneration of the city itself and its Capital of Culture status.
Vice-chancellor, Professor Drummond Bone, said last night: "This initiative is a vital part of our research investment in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
"It is essential that we not only support our existing staff but attract world class research stars into strategically important areas to secure our position as a leading research university.
"I am delighted our recruitment drive has been so successful."
Appointments include archaeologist Dr Lawrence Barham, who has left his post at Bristol University.
His most recent research was in an unexplored valley in Zambia, where he discovered stone tools more than 1.5m years old.
He said: "The attraction of Liverpool was irresistible on both academic and personal fronts.
"The chance to work with world class archaeologists in fields related to my own, as well as experts in other aspects of the study of human origins, was the primary impetus for my applying to the university.
"But as well as joining a highly-respected institution with colleagues who shared my own interests, I am now living in a fantastic, lively place, well deserving of its European Capital of Culture award."
Prof Tim Kirkham has been appointed to a Chair in Psychology. He previously carried out research at Reading University, on how people's minds influence what they eat, and the effects of active ingredients in cannabis.
He said: "High among the various attractions of Liverpool was the presence here, in different departments, of internationally recognised experts in the biological and psychological mechanisms underlying appetite, body weight regulation and obesity.
"Liverpool has one of the highest concentrations of scientists working on these issues in the world. And I can now add my research, which centres on the brain neurochemicals that control eating and that give rise to our enjoyment of food.
"I'm looking forward to advancing this work here and sharing the expertise of my new colleagues and collaborating in multi-disciplinary research across campus."
Other new additions include Prof Lu Yun Lian, who has been appointed to a Chair in Structural Biology.
She will develop the university's capability in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR), a technique used to determine the structure of molecules. She has held positions at London, Oxford and UMIST.
World leading wetland expert, Prof Edward Maltby, has been appointed to direct a major initiative to protect rivers, estuaries and the marine environment. He has advised in Iraq and Vietnam and lent his expertise to minefield clearance in the Falklands.
Prof Richard Bradshaw has left his post as Danish State Geologist in the Swedish Ministry of Environment to take up a chair in Physical Geography.
And Prof Alon Faraggi, a world leader in mathematical string theory, has joined the staff after leaving his post at Oxford.