Innovative HPLC Frit Technology

Advanced Functional Materials and Innovative Column Frit Technology for LC and LC-MS

Degree type


Closing date

1 February 2024



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International


$36,161pa for 3.5 years

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.

Development of high surface area, functionalised and chemically tailored substrates/materials for use as selective sorbents and/or functional frits within liquid chromatographic columns forms the basis of this project, aimed at providing innovative sample preparation, handing, and/or solute isolation/concentration solutions (both on- and off-column), which aim to present/introduce the sample to the column bed in the most ideal form to improve chromatographic efficiency and resolution, and ultimately detection sensitivty. The project will explore frit design using the above functionalised materials, including exploration of larger volume frits for selective on-column concentration, solute and/or matrix trapping, and prototype such designs using additive manufacturing techniques, to explore a variety of dimensions and formats to maximise performance.   Using new nano-silica based substrates (latest core-shell technology) and new nanocomposite 'monolith type' membrane materials recently developed by Advanced Materials Technology (pre-commercial), this project will explore chemical surface functionalisation for target applications, e.g. fluorinated functionalities for targeting polyfluorinated pollutants (PFAS), and other selective chemistries to address use cases of significance, with application in LC-MS methods.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Brett Paull


The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend funded by ARC of $36,161 (2023 rate, indexed annually) per annum 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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:

  • Advanced laboratory and analytical instrumental skills
  • Collaborative and team-player mentality
  • Technically skilled in use of advanced instruments

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Demonstrable research communication skills e.g. research thesis, published papers, conference presentations

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 1 February 2024.

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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