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PDRA, Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

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The Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) 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. 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 Research Associate employed in this role will work to develop and test novel methodologies for quantitative 3D chemical imaging using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Working closely with industrial and academic partners the project will build on the internationally-leading reputation of the University of Manchester for the development of cluster ion beams and post-ionisation for molecular SIMS analysis. The project is based on the J105 3D Chemical Imager (Ionoptika Ltd). The RA will also work with external users through the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the developed protocols in a wide range of materials analysis studies.

The RA will be also expected to work closely with other staff and students in presenting and publishing findings at scientific meetings and in the open literature, as well as contributing to the academic environment of Instrumentation and Analytical Science within the University.

This is essentially a post-doctoral research associate role, however we may be able to consider senior post-doctoral research associates, depending on their skills and experience. The duration of the post is 18 months' fixed-term contract.


You will:

• Conduct individual and collaborative research projects.

• Write up research work for publication.

• Continually update knowledge and understanding in field or specialism.

• Translate knowledge of advances in the subject area into research activity.

• Deal with routine communication using a range of media.

• Communicate complex information of a specialist or highly technical nature, orally, in writing and electronically.

• Prepare proposals and applications to external bodies, e.g. for funding and contractual purposes.

• Liaise with colleagues and students.

• Build internal contacts and participate in internal networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration.

• Join external networks to share information and identify potential sources of funds.

• Manage own research and administrative activities, with guidance if required.

• Work with colleagues on joint projects, as required

• Collaborate with academic colleagues on areas of shared research interest.

• Attend and contribute to relevant meetings.

• Use new research techniques and methods.

• Use initiative and creativity to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.

• Use creativity to analyse and interpret research data and draw conclusions on the outcomes.

• Contribute to collaborative decision making with colleagues in areas of research.

• Use research resources, laboratories and workshops as appropriate.

• Plan and manage own research activity in collaboration with others.

• Balance with help the competing pressures of research and administrative demands and deadlines.

• Be aware of the risks in the work environment and their potential impact on their own work and that of others.

Selection criteria


• Have, or be about to obtain, a relevant PhD (or equivalent industrial experience)

• Specialist knowledge in secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) or laser ionisation techniques

• Significant (>2y) practical experience in laser/mass spectrometry instrumentation

• Excellent time management and organisational skills

• Ability to work independently and as part of a team

• Ability to liaise confidently and effectively with a range of individuals

• Flexible approach to dealing with research problems as they arise

• Willingness to learn and develop new skills

• Ability to present in both written and oral publications

• Ability to meet deadlines.

• Ability to assess and organise resources

• Understand equal opportunity issues as they may impact on areas of research content.


• Experience with analytical instrument development

• Experience with operation of high-powered (Class IV) lasers

• Experience with the application of secondary ion mass spectrometry

• Strong journal publication record, commensurate with experience


Closing date: 27th January 2020, 9:00am

Location: Manchester

Type of Post: Full Time

Salary: Competitive


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