Chemistry: Fully Funded MSc by Research Scholarship at Swansea University

  • Master
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 21 June 2019

Fully Funded KESS II MSc by Research Scholarship: Development and evaluation of a novel hybrid low-temperature, dielectric barrier discharge ionisation source for the Waters multi-modal ‘Universal’ platform as a diagnostic technology for advanced therapeutics.

\This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.\**

Start date: October 2019

Research areas: Diagnostic and analytical technology for (nano)therapeutics

This is an exciting opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary team of chemists, physicists, engineers and molecular biologists specialising in analytical technology, diagnostics and nanomedicine, to develop a career working in research or industry. The successful candidate will be located primarily at Swansea University, working with novel mass spectrometry technology, guided by the academic researchers and the industrial partner.

Mass spectrometry (MS) is used to identify and quantify different chemistries in many industries particularly when interfaced with chromatography. Plasma ionisation techniques are becoming increasingly popular for molecular analysis by MS due to the breadth of design options, enabling analysis of chemistries challenging to detection with other MS technologies. However, those available are used for specific applications and not easily interfaced or interchangeable with alternative ionisation technology for automation at atmospheric pressure (AP). Typical applications have involved small volatile chemistries, with more recent studies using dielectric-barrier discharge (DBD), low-temperature plasma (LTP) and flowing atmospheric pressure after-glow (FAPA) designs, showing potential for less volatile biochemicals. We have shown in-house the potential of interfacing this technology with liquid introduction, further supporting its use for clinical applications. However, these techniques are still prone to analyse degradation during operation and can reduce the ability to measure trace amounts of materials (typically required for clinical and life science work).

A novel prototype plasma technology that combines multiple ionisation approaches (DBD and LTP) has been designed which offers greater control of operation (and degradation) and the potential for surface analysis. However, this has yet to be translated to Waters MS technology and requires preliminary testing.

Project aim: To interface and evaluate the novel hybrid plasma technology as part of a Waters Universal system for liquid sample analysis via sample deposition and micro-droplet introduction. Model chemistries will be tested aligned with life science and clinical applications and, will include biological and nanomaterials (used within the Centre for NanoHealth (CNH) of Swansea University) to meet the challenges of monitoring advanced therapeutics of future drug development.

Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 1 year funding with a 3 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 40 credit award.


Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in chemistry or a related subject.

They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –


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The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,702 p.a. dependent upon the applicant's financial circumstances.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

Please note that students receiving KESS II support are not eligible for Postgraduate Master's Degree loan.


Please visit our website for more information.

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