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Differential ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry for proteomics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Research in our laboratory focuses on the application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry techniques to the global analysis of peptides and proteins. Recently, we have acquired differential ion mobility spectrometry (or FAIMS, high field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry) capability. FAIMS is an emerging technique with great potential for the structural analysis of biomolecules. FAIMS separates ions on the basis of shape and is orthogonal to mass spectrometry which separates ions on the basis of their mass-to-charge ratio. However, the mechanism of FAIMS is unclear and the benefits have not been fully explored. The aim of the project is to address those two issues. An area of particular interest in our laboratory is developing methods for the analysis of protein post-translational modifications. The project will also investigate the utility of FAIMS in that area. The project will result in the development of cutting-edge analytical techniques for a burgeoning area of modern biology.


To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

Please find additional funding text below. For further funding details, please see the ‘Funding’ section.
The School of Biosciences offers a number of UK Research Council (e.g. BBSRC, NERC) PhD studentships each year. Fully funded research council studentships are normally only available to UK nationals (or EU nationals resident in the UK) but part-funded studentships may be available to EU applicants resident outside of the UK. The deadline for applications for research council studentships is 31 January each year.

Each year we also have a number of fully funded Darwin Trust Scholarships. These are provided by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh and are for non-UK students wishing to undertake a PhD in the general area of Molecular Microbiology. The deadline for this scheme is also 31 January each year.

Funding Notes

All applicants should indicate in their applications how they intend to fund their studies. We have a thriving community of international PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students able to find their own funding or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship, Islamic Development Bank).

The postgraduate funding database provides further information on funding opportunities available View Website and further information is also available on the School of Biosciences website View Website


1. Shvartsburg, A.A., Creese, A.J., Smith, R.D., and Cooper, H.J., Complete separation of peptide isomers with variant modified sites by high-resolution differential ion mobility spectrometry. Anal. Chem., 2010. 82: p. 8327-8334.

2. Shvartsburg, A.A., Creese, A.J., Smith, R.D., and Cooper, H.J., Separation of a set of peptide sequence isomers using differential ion mobility spectrometry. Anal. Chem., 2011. 83: p. 6918-6923.

3. Xuan, Y., Creese, A.J., Horner, J.A., and Cooper, H.J., Separation of isobaric phosphopeptides by high field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry confirmed by high resolution electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometry. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 2009. 23: p. 1963-1969.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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