PhD Student – Advanced Mass Spectrometry & MultiModal PhotoChemistry; Maastricht University/ Faculty Health Medicine & Life Sciences/ M4I Profession: Research & Science

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 23 Aug 2020

PhD Student – Advanced Mass Spectrometry & MultiModal PhotoChemistry; Maastricht University/ Faculty Health Medicine & Life Sciences/ M4I Profession: Research & Science
PhD Student – Advanced Mass Spectrometry & MultiModal PhotoChemistry; Maastricht University/ Faculty Health Medicine & Life Sciences/ M4I Profession: Research & Science
Published Deadline Location
22 Jul 23 Aug Maastricht

The main aim of the project is the in-depth and fundamental research into photo-ionisation procceses, the design and construction of PI ionsources in combination with advanced ion mobility spectrometry and tandem MS.
The objective is the implementation of a “high throughput experimentation” platform (PostDoc) based on hyphenated mass spectrometry (PhD) and photo flow reactors (PhD) applying novel machine learning and artificial intelligence (PostDoc) approaches.

Job description

Central Themes:

  • Unravelling of gas-phase ionization processes, with focus on photon induced and chemical ionization, e.g. penning ionization.
  • Design and testing of new photon-ionisation ion sources, in collaboration with industrial partners.
  • Use of a variety of ion mobility spectrometry (e.g TWIMS, TIMS) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) to investigate internal energy distributions in the PI and CI ionization process.
  • Application and development of APPI-IMS-MS/MS methods for e.g. the petrochemical aand pharmaceutical industry.
  • Hyphenation of APPI-IMS-MS/MS to a variety of chemical (photo) flow-reactors for Pharmaceutical Industry.

This PhD project is an essential part in a TTW funded project, entitled “MultiModal PhotoChemistry; design and development of photo chemical functionalization of molecules using advanced (micro)flow-reactors, ionization sources and ion mobility molecular structure recognition. In this project 2PhDs and 2PostDocs, stationed at the Technical University Eindhoven and Maastricht University will work closely together, and have frequent interactions with the industrial partners, being AstraZeneca, Mercachem, Innosyn, Corning, Signify and MSVision.

During the PhD research period, an internship at MSVision will allow the PhD to experience working in innovative industry, designing and engineering of advanced mass spectrometers. Likewise, research into and application for the synthesis of new pharmaceutical active compounds (AstraZeneca) is an important aspect of the team.  The frequent meetings and interactions with Signify (ex Philips Lighting) are essential to develop novel light sources. Overall, the PhD will be able to gain ample experience in fundamental curiosity and demand based scientific challenges, parallel to strengthening the knowledge on R&D processes in innovative industry and building a personal network.

This fundamental research project is embedded in the M4I Institute, having and infrastructure based on some 20 advanced mass spectrometers, a research staff with an international well recognized position in MS instrument design, development and application in a broad range of scientific fields. The project is funded by the NWO-TTW “Open Technical Partnersships”, with number .

  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • Maastricht View on Google Maps

Maastricht University (UM)


The PhD student has finished a master in (Analytical & Organic) Chemistry  or instrument (chemical) engineering (technical physics) with preferably a basic knowledge and/or practical experience with mass spectrometry technologies. Affinity with organic synthesis and flow-chemistry is an additional prerequisite, together with the basics of reaction kinetics or physical chemistry.

The PhD student has an interest in gas-phase photon (chemically)  induced ion-molecule interactions, chemistry in general.

The PhD student is social competent and able to work in a multidisciplinary research team and openness to collaborate with industrial partners.

The PhD student has a good set of organizational skills.

The PhD student has the capacity to overview and unravel complex problems/challenges.

The PhD student has a strong interest in fundamental (OA) and application research.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees

Temporary employment for 4 years. Your salary would be € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year up to € 3.061,- gross per month in the fourth year according to the PhD-student salary scale. Each year an evaluation will take place.

Maastricht University - Research institute M4i Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18.000 students and 4.400 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


The MUMC+ has an (inter)national focus on prevention. This implies not only recovery after disease but also prevention and improvement of health. Next to academic clinical work there is a strong focus on science and education.

The M4I Institute is a state-of-the art molecular imaging institute. The mission of the institute and collaboration is to perform fundamental, instrumentation and applied studies in molecular imaging as a part of a translational, synergistic, interdisciplinary research program. The institute is embedded in the faculty of health, medicine and life sciences of the UM. The research group is one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces, and targets the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging infrastructure for nanomedicine and biomedical research.The PhD student will be embedded in the M4I Institute.

The Institute collaborates with the research schools NUTRIM, CARIM and GROW and forms together with the MERLN institute the “LINK” program. Multiple collaborations with external insitutes and industrial partners are in place.

Additional information

For more information on the content of the function, please contact Prof. Dr. M. Honing, M4I institute, MUMC + tel: + 31-6-29368323,

Application procedure

For your application, please send a current CV and motivation letter to

Maastricht University is committed to nurturing an inclusive culture and a welcoming atmosphere. This inclusiveness strategy has resulted in a very diverse representation of nationalities and cultures. We strongly believe that diversity (including, but not limited to nationality, age and gender) of the staff and student population will increase the quality of UM education & research. Fostering diversity and inclusivity creates an academic community where individual talents thrive, and values and differences are cherished. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are qualified for this position.

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Don't forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2020.220 in your letter.

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