PhD Studentship in Biological Mass Spectrometry: Novel Applications of Liquid AP-MALDI MS

University of Reading

PhD Studentship in Biological Mass Spectrometry

Project title: Novel Applications of Liquid AP-MALDI MS

Department/School: Chemistry/School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy

Supervisor: Rainer Cramer

Project Overview: 

This project aims to make step changes in biological mass spectrometry by combining the advantages of the two main ionisation techniques in mass spectrometry, i.e. ESI and MALDI. Earlier UKRI and industry-funded research successes led to the new technique of liquid AP-MALDI, which will be at the heart of this project. Particularly, its advantages in speed (>50 samples/sec) and on-target/real-time reaction monitoring will be further investigated, as being extremely relevant to the challenges in modern biotechnology and biopharma.

Potential areas of investigation will include native biomolecule analysis, protein-ligand binding/interactions, top-down protein analysis, hydrogen/deuterium exchange for structural biology, and enzyme assay and kinetics measurements. In addition, further optimisation of the liquid AP-MALDI ion source and its off-line coupling to other preparative techniques will be investigated with the objective to find the ultimate speed for integrated workflows as needed in omics analyses or large-scale (bio)assaying of thousands of samples per day.

The project is partially funded by industry, providing support throughout the project and further insight in non-academic R&D.


  • Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree or equivalent in the Physical or Life Sciences.
  • Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK applicants.

Funding Details:

  • Starts September/October 2023
  • 3-year award
  • Funding covers full tuition fees plus UKRI stipend (currently £18,622pa)

How to apply:

To apply click the “Apply” button, above, create your account, and use the link sent by email to start the application process. During the application process please select the PhD in Chemistry.

*Important notes*

  • Please quote the reference ‘GS23—015’ in the ‘Scholarships applied for’ box which appears within the Funding Section of your on-line application.
  • When you are prompted by the online application system to upload a research proposal, please omit this step as the project is already defined.
  • Application Deadline: 15th July 2023

    Further Enquiries:

    Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.

    For further details please contact Isaac Wilks ([email protected] ).

    For further project-specific details please contact Prof R. Cramer, Chemistry, University of Reading.

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