Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: Antonio Molina Díaz
  • Email:


Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: UNIVERSIDAD DE JAÉN - Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry
  • Address: Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, 23071, Jaén (Spain)
  • Province: Jaén

Research Area

  • Chemistry (CHE)

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Jaén (UJA) is an EHEA medium-sized Spanish public university (some 16000 students and almost 1000 lecturers) that was established in 1993 and is organized into 6 main Schools/Faculties (Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Work, Faculty of Human Sciences, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and two Schools of Engineering). In addition to its 124 research groups, the University of Jaén is proud of its 4 Advanced Research Centers (Earth Sciences, Energy and Environmental Sciences, Olive Oil Research and Development, and Computational Sciences) and of its Institute on Iberian Archaeology Research. Moreover, UJA is integrated into a university network recognized as Campus of International Excellence in the fields of Agrifood (CEIA3), Climate Change (CamBio) and Historical Heritage (PatrimoniUN10).

UJA permanently welcomes new foreign research proposals as part of a conscious effort to increase its international profile and widen both its knowledge and its horizons.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

The candidate will be integrated as a post-doctoral scientist in the research group, headed by Professor Antonio Molina-Diaz. The staff of the Analytical Chemistry group consists of ca. 10 scientists (1 Professor, 2 Associate Professors, 2 postdoctoral research scientists, 4 Ph.D. students and 2 MSc students). One of the main research interests of the Analytical Chemistry research group is the development of analytical methods based on hyphenated techniques (GC-MS and LC-MS) for application in various fields such as environmental and food industry. The Analytical Chemistry Research Group is currently funded by different projects from the Spanish Research Council. During the last 5 years the host group has published some 50 scientific papers in (JCR) peer reviewed journals. The head of the group has been cited over 4500 times according to Scopus database. He has been Editor of a RSC Journal (Analytical Methods) and has mentored over 90 students during his 30-year-academic career. The host group also has close collaborations with different research groups from Europe (Germany, Poland, Hungary, France, Portugal and Spain) and The United States. Another strength of the hosting group is the world-class infrastructure available to undertake the proposed project including the following mass spectrometry systems: a nanoHPLC-Q-Exactive-MS system, 1 CE and HPLC-QTOF-MS/MS system (Agilent 6530), 1

HPLC-QQQ-MS/MS (Thermo TSQ Quantiva), 1 HPLC-TOFMS (Agilent 6220), 1 LC-MS/MS ion trap (Bruker Esquire HCT), a GC-MS (Thermo DSQ), and a GC-QQQ-MS/MS (Varian 320 MS).

Project description:

Despite the outstanding potential of liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for trace organic contaminant analysis in food and environment, yet presents some drawbacks affecting its performance. Amongst these limitations we can highlight:

1.  Problems associated with compound detection and sensitivity due to matrix effects and signal suppression

2.  Chromatographic issues when dealing with species with different polarity and/or physical properties limiting their retention in reversed-phase liquid chromatography

3.  Limitations of LC-MS for the detection of nonpolar species or those which are non amenable by electrospray (LC-MS).

The aim of the research project is to provide novel approaches in order to increase the performance of LC-MS with a special emphasis on its application to the determination of pesticides and other contaminants in food. The approaches proposed are:

(a)    the use of nanoflow liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry (nanoHPLC-HRMS)

(b)    the use of parallel chromatographic systems (HILIC/RPLC-HRMS) enabling the simultaneous separation of different species which completely different polarities and/or hydrophobicity

(c)    the evaluation of novel DBDI ionization sources with liquid chromatography (LC-DBDI-MS) to expand the array of species that can be analyzed in a single run, including those which require gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.


CV, Motivation letter and Summary of project proposal (250 words) by 15th June 2018

I want to contact the Institution

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