Field Portable Liquid Chromatography

Field Deployable and Portable Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) for In-Situ Detection and Quantification of Trace Chemicals

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

The toughest analytical science challenges typically require advanced analytical technologies to acquire the desired solutions. In the field of separation science this inevitably involves hyphenated separation technologies, specifically the combination of chromatography and mass spectrometry.

To advance this technology to its full capability our ARC Training Centre for Hyphenated Analytical Separation Technologies (HyTECH) utilises the collaborative strength of academic, industry and end-user partnerships.

We are seeking outstanding graduates with an interest in solving fundamental and technical challenges in analytical science, with a focus on delivering analytical solutions and impact to technology end-users. HyTECH students will receive a competitive post-graduate stipend, contribute to a program of cutting-edge industry focused research, be supported with a substantial annual program of early career researcher professional development, and over the course of their candidature spend a minimum of twelve months placement within the facilities of one or more of the project’s supporting partner organisations.

Advancing previous research into portable modular liquid chromatograph-based systems for pharmaceutical manufacturing sites (‘Hummingbird project’, ASTech ARC Training Centre) this project seeks to advance the capability of this portable technology with research into additional modes of detection, specifically electrochemical, light-scattering, UV/Visible absorbance, and in-built portable mass spectrometry. Working in partnership with Trajan Scientific and Medical, the post-graduate research student will develop modular 'on-capillary' conductivity, miniaturised light-scattering and absorbance detectors for incorporation within the portable systems, whilst incorporation and integration of chip-based mass spectrometry capability will be the focus of a supporting research project, including oversight of software development, performance optimisation and modular/system design. The student will also work with the Partner Organisation through early-stage commercialisation processes. Demonstration of the systems as they progress will form a significant part of the research project, and point of need analysis (e.g. healthcare) and environmental applications (e.g to trace organic pollutants, chemical and biochemical toxins from production processes, and emerging contaminants) provide the ideal use cases for such disruptive hyphenated LC-MS technology.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Brett Paull


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Collaborative and team player mentality
  • Technically skilled with demonstrable advanced analytical laboratory experience

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Demonstrable research communication skills, e.g research thesis, published papers, conference presentations
  • Experience in the separation sciences

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Prof Brett Paull to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 27 March 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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