PDRA in Laser Desorption and Spectroscopy (10329)

    The Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) is a national research centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology. The Biological Mass Spectrometry theme focuses on the development of new instrumentation for mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) allowing the visualisation of molecular distributions at subcellular level and the de-novo structure elucidation of chemical species detected by MSI techniques. The ultimate goal of the Theme is to understand the working mechanism of molecular interaction networks in health and disease and define novel diagnostic and prognostic targets for next generation healthcare. Turning mass spectrometry into a vital tool for analytical chemistry, structural biology, and clinical medicine by creating the only instruments capable of generating structures ‘from atoms to animals’.

    The project will focus on the use of lasers for novel atmospheric pressure desorption sources to achieve high-sensitivity and high-resolution mass spectrometry imaging of biological samples. This will include working closely with colleagues on incorporating Raman and IR spectroscopy into the instrumental workflow to develop complementary data acquisition and novel instrumentation. The successful candidate can expect to be developing cutting-edge analytical tools and applying them to a range of challenges in biological sciences. This will involve working in a multidisciplinary team to achieve unique outcomes in instrumentation to medicine and diagnostics.

    The candidate will have experience with lasers, optical experimentation and laser characterisation. An interest in instrumentation, mass spectrometry and biological imaging would be ideal. The project will be hosted in the new Rosalind Franklin Institute facilities at Harwell but will also involve working with collaborator laboratories at Imperial College London in both Physics and the faculty of medicine and with Chemistry at the University of Oxford. The post reports to the Franklin’s Theme Leads for Biological Mass Spectrometry and will also work closely with investigators across the Franklin and its member institutes.


    You will:

    - Embrace the primary project of the role, namely developing and characterising lasers for the desorption of ions from tissue samples for mass spectrometry imaging (MSI).
    - Collaborate with flow dynamics and laser physics experts at the Franklin and the member institutions to develop innovative solutions for the MS laser desorption ion (LDI) sources and the integration of inline spectroscopy techniques.
    - Adapt LD-MSI to be used across a range of MSI instrumentation for regular analysis of tissue and cell samples.
    - Investigate the use of lasers for optimised, soft, post-ionisation of desorbed materials across a range of MS source systems both in ambient and in vacuum conditions.
    - Collaborate with experts across the Franklin and the broader UK user community to develop medical applications of the instrumentation.
    - Develop the scientific scope of the project, formulate relevant research questions, conduct individual research, analysing detailed and complex qualitative and/or quantitative data from a variety of sources, and generate original ideas by building on existing concepts.
    - Publish research articles in leading academic journals.
    - Present findings at national and international meetings/conferences.
    - Take a formal or informal role (as required) in the supervision of research students, including recruitment, mentorship, and career development.
    - Raise research funds through grant applications, and manage own area of a larger research budget.
    - Participate in and support the public engagement and widening access activities of the Franklin.
    - Any other duties that come up in the normal running of the facility and that can be reasonably requested of the post-holder.

    In return we offer:

    - 25 days holidays plus bank holidays and - Christmas holiday shutdown
    - Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)
    - Group Life Assurance (also known as Group Life Insurance or Death in Service)
    - Hub building with state-of-the-art laboratories
    - Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels
    - Bus pass discount scheme and good transport links to Oxford and surrounding areas
    - Cycle to Work Scheme
    - Access to employee discount platform (Perkbox)
    - Occupational Health and wellbeing support including Employee Assistance (24/7 support and counselling)
    - Health Cash Plan
    - Subsidised canteen and food outlets on campus
    - Free on-site parking
    - Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

    Please note whilst the role is a Postdoctoral Research level and requires candidates to hold a PhD/DPhil (or equivalent), we may consider candidates who are close to completion of their PhD/DPhil qualification, in which case the initial appointment will be made at £34,500 per annum (to be increased on completion of the PhD/DPhil qualification).

    Before submitting your application please ensure you read the Job Information Pack for full details of this role by clicking on the attachment at the bottom of the page on our website:

    About us: The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a new national Research Centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology.

    Location: The Franklin is based in Harwell Campus, UK’s innovation hub and well-established as one of the leading science and innovation campuses in Europe.

    The Franklin’s underlying aim is to produce the best science for research today, and this means resolutely embracing a diverse team, who have a wide range of experiences, skills and knowledge to push forward on the innovative work our institution delivers. Both our work and our institution are better for it. For further information, view our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy:

    At the Rosalind Franklin Institute we welcome applications from all around the world!

    To be considered for this role, please send a CV and cover letter through explaining why you think you are the right person for this job.

    Closing date: Please be aware that applications are accepted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled; therefore, we reserve the right to close this vacancy earlier if required.

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