Materials for food analysis

Innovative materials for sample preparation in food analysis

Degree type


Closing date

6 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Food analysis plays a crucial role in the monitoring of food quality and ensuring food safety. Matrix solid-phase dispersion is a sample preparation technique for conducting the simultaneous disruption and extraction of solid and semi-solid samples, using silica-C18 particles as abrasive/extractive phase. Matrix solid-phase dispersion permits complete fractionation of the sample matrix components as well as the ability to selectively elute a single compound or several classes of compounds from the same sample. This method has found wide application in the analysis of herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from animal tissues, fruits, vegetables, and other matrices.

This project aims to explore the application of porous crystalline micro/nanomaterials as alternative supports to silica-C18 for matrix solid-phase dispersion. The size, shape, and functionalization of these materials will be precisely tailored to improve the selectivity and sensitivity of analytical methods applied to complex food sample matrices. The candidate will synthesize and characterize porous crystalline materials and develop novel analytical methods targeting the detection of potentially harmful substances in food.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Fernando Maya Alejandro


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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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.

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:

  • Background in Analytical Chemistry
  • Experience in chromatographic techniques
  • Demonstrated research experience

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in food analysis

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Fernando Maya Alejandro to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • 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.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application 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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