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Next Generation LA-ICP-MS Geoscience

Project Description

Reference number: CENTA20-LU8
Start date: 1 October 2020
Closing date: 10 January 2020
Interview date: Week beginning 3 February 2020

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Project Detail:

This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Loughborough University, the British Geological Survey (BGS) and industry, which seeks to apply the state-of-the-art imaging technology to address challenges in the geosciences. The supervisory team have been at the forefront of developing new laser ablation and ICP-MS systems, achieving a 50-fold improvement in imaging speed for metals analysis. These innovations are revolutionising analysis in the biosciences but are not yet routinely used for geoscientific applications. The PhD will study a range of materials (e.g. carbonates, phosphates, silicates) and applications (e.g. U-series and U-Th-Pb geochronology), demonstrating the applicability of the technique for accurate quantification and mapping of geoscientific materials at 1 µm resolution. New data handling methods will also be developed, providing the student with proficiency in statistical analysis.

The successful applicant will have an interest in both the technical and geological aspects of the project and will display a willingness to collaborate with our industrial partners, Elemental Scientific Lasers and Nu Instruments. This will include opportunities to visit their sites at Huntingdon (UK), Wrexham (UK) and Bozeman (USA). Prior experience of elemental analysis is considered advantageous, however training in operation of equipment and data handling will be provided during the PhD.

Find out more:

For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website ( or contact Dr Amy Managh () or Dr Matthew Horstwood ().

Entry requirements:

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Geoscience, Physics or a related scientific discipline. A Master’s degree and/or experience in an area associated with the research will be an advantage.

How to apply:

To apply:

1. Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word format (available from or here).
2. All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select “Chemistry”. During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.

Please quote CENTA20-LU8 when completing your online application.

Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3.5 years and is intended to start in October 2020. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum (in 2019/20) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,327 in 2019/20) and a research training support grant of £8,000. Please note that due to restrictions imposed by the funder only students with a UK/EU fee status will be considered for this position.

Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms and Conditions: View Website

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