ESR13 (GSK, Hertfordshire)

Exploring the potential combination of Optical and Mass Spectrometry Imaging techniques to characterise endogenous and xenobiotic components at sub-cellular resolution

Position Filled

Supervisor Dr. Steve Hood and Dr. Peter Marshall

GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development LTD.


Your Responsibilities:
GSK are pleased to advertise an Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) position to begin in October 2019 as part of the Innovative Training Network of the European Commission MUSIQ
This project will explore the potential combination of Optical and Mass Spectrometry Imaging techniques to characterise endogenous and xenobiotic components at sub-cellular resolution.

The position will last three years, and will allow the student to participate in an exciting program comprising international schools, workshops, and secondments at academic as well as industrial partners.

In order to achieve these targets, you will be involved in 3 workstreams:
• Working in the state of the art Mass Spec Imaging (MSI) facilities at GSK Stevenage, you will be trained on MALDI imaging methodologies required for the location and identification of chemical signatures in cells and tissues.
• Additional training will then be provided on non-invasive multimodal imaging platforms during secondments to Leica Microsystems and University of Konstanz (Germany), Cardiff University (UK) and Beckman Institute at University Illinois, Urbana Champaign (IL, USA). Once suitably trained, you will be actively encouraged to champion the Leica CARS/SRS microscope capabilities at GSK Stevenage.
• Finally, you will work alongside data analysts from GSK and across the MUSIQ network to develop the software algorithms required to co-register the multimodal data sets you have generated.

Specific to MUSIQ

In addition to your individual scientific project, all ESRs will benefit from further continuing education through a dedicated training program in the various fields of expertise of the consortium partners, which includes secondments, a variety of training modules, transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops, conferences and outreach activities.
As part of the position, the successful candidate will be enrolled in a PhD program at University of Cardiff.

Eligibility Criteria
There are strict eligibility requirements within Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks. At the time of appointment, applicants:
MUST at the date of recruitment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. ‘Date of Recruitment’ means the first day of the employment of the researcher (i.e. contract starting date). ‘Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience’ is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctoral degree program.

MUST NOT have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting organisation (UK) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (1st Oct 2019). Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention1 are not taken into account.
• NB –The MUSIQ network has 15 ESR positions available, 11 of which are outside of the UK. If you are ineligible for this GSK ESR due to the above restriction, please consider applying for one of the other positions in the network ( )
Applications are encouraged from all sectors of the community, reflecting the consortium’s commitment to equality and diversity.
Overview of the project and of the training offered to all Early Stage Researchers of MUSIQ

MUSIQ is an innovative European Training Network (ETN) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions program, with the unique vision of developing the next-generation optical microscopy exploiting quantum coherent nonlinear phenomena. ETNs provide training through doctoral research to talented early stage researchers (ESRs). Through 15 ESR research projects, MUSIQ will establish an intersectoral training and research programme at the physics/chemistry/life science interface with partners from 9 European countries. MUSIQ ESRs will enroll in PhD degree programs and be employed for 36 months in a beneficiary organisation. The consortium brings together a unique team of world-leading academic groups and industry, at the forefront of optical microscopy technology developments merged with fundamental understanding of ultrafast coherent light-matter interaction phenomena, development of quantitative image analysis tools, and biomedical/pharmaceutical real-world applications. MUSIQ aims at creating the next generation of skilled well-connected scientists that will pioneer the ‘quantum microscopes of tomorrow’.
The successful candidates will receive a 36 month, full-time employment contract with a highly competitive salary, as per Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) regulations for early stage researchers. The monthly salary will be confirmed upon offer, paid in UK £ sterling. Researchers may also qualify for a family allowance of €500/month depending on family situation at the time of recruitment. Please visit the EU MSCA website for further information.
The ESRs will be enrolled in a vibrant PhD program of leading academic and industrial researchers. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all ESRs will benefit from a dedicated training programme (see comprising an integrated curriculum of local and intensive network courses, schools, workshops and engagement with cutting-edge research.

CLOSING DATE for applications: Friday, 9 August – applications to the position are now closed

Please take a copy of the Job Description, as this will not be available post closure of the advert.

When applying for this role, please use the ‘cover letter’ of the online application or your CV to describe how you meet the competencies for this role, as outlined in the job requirements above. The information that you have provided in your cover letter and CV will be used to assess your application.

During the course of your application you will be requested to complete voluntary information which will be used in monitoring the effectiveness of our equality and diversity policies. Your information will be treated as confidential and will not be used in any part of the selection process.  If you require a reasonable adjustment to the application / selection process to enable you to demonstrate your ability to perform the job requirements please contact 0808 234 4391. This will help us to understand any modifications we may need to make to support you throughout our selection process.

Why You?

Basic qualifications:
• A masters degree in biology, chemistry, physics, bioinformatics, or a related field is required and experience of working in an industrial laboratory would be an advantage.
• The applicant should have a passion for innovative MSI and microscopy methods, and their applications in the life sciences or chemical industry, and a strong interest in the development of advanced image analysis procedures and algorithms.
• The applicant should have a working knowledge of at least one programming language, such as python, matlab, labview, c# or similar.
• English language: It is a requirement that network ESRs have an ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English to a level that is sufficiently high for them to derive full benefit from the network training


GlaxoSmithKline is a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops a broad range of innovative medicines and brands. We discover, make and market life-enhancing products that are used by millions of people around the world, helping them to do more, feel better and live longer. We have 3 primary areas of business in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare. We have offices in more than 115 countries, major research centers in the UK, USA, Spain, Belgium and China and an extensive manufacturing network with 87 sites globally. Our three strategic priorities are to grow a diversified global business, deliver products of value, and to simplify our operating model.

How to Apply

You can apply directly on the page of GSK with the following link:

Additionally, to comply with the EU policy of an open and transparent recruitment process rules, please also send your CV and cover letter to the central MUSIQ address at [email protected] so they can be shared across the consortium.