• Connect Harwell Nxt Gen: New Year Health Kick! - 30th January
Skip to content

Head of Molecular Structure Elucidation

View Full Job Details

The Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) is a new national research institute, 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.

The project will focus on the molecular structure elucidation component of the scheme. The envisioned instrument will allow accurate mass measurement of ionic species. The post is purely computational and relies on data collected on the MSI platform. The postholder will be located at the Rosalind Franklin Institute offices in Harwell from the commencement of the work outlined above. The post reports to the Franklin’s Theme Leads for Biological Mass Spectrometry (Profs Josephine Bunch and Zoltan Takats), and will also work with MS leads of the Franklin Member Institutions. The post duration is 18 months' fixed term contract.


You will:

• Embrace the primary project of the role, developing a molecular structure elucidation algorithm for the datasets produced by the integrated MSI platform

• Collaborate with experimental scientists of the theme and jointly develop workflows delivering optimal data for structure ID

• Collaborate with national and international theoretical chemistry experts regarding DFT-based algorithms and their combination with artificial intelligence/deep learning tools.

• Work with software engineers in the Franklin to create structure databases and search algorithms serving both the BMS and Next Generation Chemistry themes.

• Work with MS experts and structural biologists from the Member Institutions and broader UK user community to understand the broader context of the application

• 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.


Selection criteria


• A post-graduate qualification, or equivalent experience, in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Biomolecular Science, or related subjects.

• Experience in quantum chemical calculations

• Experience in modelling ion fragmentation pathways

• A demonstrated aptitude for programming, software engineering and user interface design

• Experience with developing routinely usable methods

• Experience with devising research questions and to develop strategies to address them

• Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

• Strong organisational and communication skills.

• Ability to travel regularly for working at the industrial partner’s facilities

• Experience with project management and demonstrated ability to deliver agreed milestones in a timely manner, adapt to changing priorities

• Ability to discuss and coordinate experiments with a variety of colleagues from different disciplines


• Expert knowledge of ion mobility spectrometry and ion collisional cross section-based separations

• Experience in mass spectrometry with emphasis on structural elucidation of ions

• Experience in molecular imaging technologies

• Experience of molecular dynamics simulation of macromolecular ions

• Knowledge of computational chemistry and cheminformatics

• Experience with general analytical and structure elucidation techniques such as chromatography, NMR or electrophoresis etc.

Area: Scientific

Location: Harwell

Type of Post: Full Time

Salary: £60,000-£100,000

Closing date: 23rd January 2020, 9:00am



We use cookies to give you the best experience of using this website. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.