PhD Position in Mass Spectrometry Imaging

PhD Position in Mass Spectrometry Imaging

Published Deadline Location
4 Jun 30 Jun Maastricht

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Job description

A fully funded PhD position in the field of mass spectrometry imaging instrument development is available at the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging (M4i) Institute, embedded in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) at Maastricht University.

Job Description
Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is an exciting technique that is gaining popularity in the fields of biomedicine and medical diagnostics for its ability to chemically image tissues [1]. MSI produces images of the locations of biochemical compounds that can help us understand and even better diagnose diseases such as cancer. One area that MSI struggles compared to other biologically and medically relevant imaging techniques is that it is comparatively slow. Even a square centimeter of tissue may take many hours to image. Our lab recently combined several cutting-edge technologies to enable much faster imaging — a MSI technique we term fast mass microscopy [2].

This PhD project aims to develop a new fast mass microscopy instrument and corresponding sample analysis and preparation methods to push the boundaries of MSI throughput. Novel development of mass spectrometry instrumentation, including computer simulation and modeling, ion optics, electrical and vacuum systems, and instrument control software will be a part of this PhD project. This project will require communication with both users of MSI technology as well as collaboration and consultation with those users and an external commercial partner.

Along the way, many of the skills you will develop and use will include electrical engineering, analytical and imaging methodologies, instrument modeling and simulation, programming (both control and data processing software), biological sample preparation, and statistics. Furthermore, you are expected to present your work in scientific journals and at scientific conferences which will utilize skills such as technical writing, public speaking, and study of the current scientific literature base. You will also be able to gain experience teaching bachelor and master students.

The PhD position will be supervised by Dr. Ian Anthony and Prof. Ron Heeren. The position is a 4-year long (full-time) paid position at Maastricht University in Maastricht, Netherlands. The anticipated start date is Summer 2024, but reasonable accommodations can be made for the right candidate.

[1] McDonnell, L. A., Heeren, R. M. A. Mass Spectrom. Rev., 2007, 26 (4), 10.1002/mas.20124
[2] Körber, A. et al. Anal Chem. 2022, 94 (42) 14652-8. 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c02870

  • A master’s degree in chemistry, physics, materials science, chemical engineering, or a related subject
  • Proficiency in English (C1 or higher)
  • Lab experience with chemical or physics instrumentation
  • Capacity to quickly acquire new knowledge and master new skills
  • Interest and ability in hands-on research activities
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a research team
  • Problem solving skills and creativity
  • A desire and ability to share your research through oral and written communication

Other skills and knowledge that would be helpful for the project:
  • From-scratch development of scientific insturmentation
  • Mass spectrometry instrument development, method development, or optimization
  • Mass spectrometry imaging or data processing
  • Instrument control systems and software
  • Ion beams and ion optics
  • Electrical engineering
  • Programming

What we offer
As PhD Position in Mass Spectrometry Imaging at Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale P according to UFO profile PhD Candidate, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
At the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), everything revolves around healthy living. Our research and education are not solely focused on recovery, but place a strong emphasis on prevention, health preservation, and health promotion. Our aim is to use our knowledge and expertise to genuinely contribute to the well-being of individual people as well as society in total.

In, research, and healthcare, FHML is closely collaborating with the academic hospital in Maastricht, together forming the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+). FHML is strongly connected in education, research, and care with the Maastricht academic hospital, together with which it forms the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+).

FHML, which is the largest faculty of Maastricht University, is formed by an (inter)national community of employees and students. The faculty offers a wide range of Dutch and English-taught bachelor's and master's programs in innovative educational concepts in which the emphasis is always on building bridges to practice.

The multidisciplinary research of the FHML focuses on a number of carefully chosen topical current themes. In addition to research aimed at gaining new insights, it also concerns research whose results can be directly translated into concrete applications and innovations. The implementation of the various research programs is organized in our six graduate schools and two institutes.

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Dr. Ian Anthony at for more information or Prof. Dr. R.M.A. Heeren at

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD Position in Mass Spectrometry Imaging? Apply now, no later than 30th of June, for this position.

Please upload your CV, motivation letter, copies of their teritiary degrees, and the contact information of 2 referees.

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • PhD
  • Health
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1003


Maastricht University (UM)

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P. Debyelaan 25, 6229HX, Maastricht

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