Scientist for mass spectrometry instrumentation development (gas phase VOC analyses)

Applications are invited for a research scientist position in gas phase ion chemistry and mass spectrometry at the J. Heyrovský Institute in Prague, a constituent part of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The proposed research is directed by the Head of the Department of Chemistry of Ions in the Gaseous Phase, Professor Patrik Spanel, co-founder of the selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry, SIFT-MS, analytical technique. Together with his colleagues, he researches trace gas analyses of air, exhaled breath, the headspace above other biological fluids and food and food products. SIFT-MS is based on the reactions in a flow tube of specific reagent cations (H3O+, NO+, O2+) and anions (O-, O2-, OH- and others) with analyte molecules present in directly introduced gaseous samples in real time. Other analytical methods are now being adopted in the Institute, including SIFDT-MS and SESI-MS, to extend the scope of gas analysis into other areas where it is needed and to improve sensitivity as necessary.

See the list of publications at

The major objective is to advance analytical techniques and to develop new smaller and more sensitive and robust instruments that can be readily transported and located in clinical settings, applied laboratories and industrial monitoring sites. The research will include:

  • Development of new instrumentation for ionisation of VOC vapours, identification and quantification of VOC analyte ions.
  • Development of customised software and firmware for such instruments
  • Design of novel algorithms for analyse of multicomponent humid air mixtures
  • Validating and demonstrating the efficacy of new analytical methods for trace gas analysis via interdisciplinary studies that have a clear societal impact

Type of contract: Temporary

Job status: Full-time

Offer starting date: 1st May 2022


  • A PhD (or equivalent) degree in physics, chemistry, a demonstrable publication record in the field of mass spectrometry or related fields.
  • Previous experience in experimental laboratory work involving purpose built instrumentation (at least 6 years).
  • Experience with mass spectrometry instrumentation development.
  • Knowledge of electronics (microcontroller, analogue, digital) and software and firmware development (C and C# required, other experience welcome).
  • Experience with vacuum system design
  • Excellent spoken and written English (intermediate B2 required, advanced C1 is welcome). Communication in Czech, Slovak or Ukrainian language is an advantage.
  • Understanding of numerical modeling, concepts of gas-phase kinetic theory and basic knowledge of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics are also welcome.

The research will be carried out in a small but vital and friendly team based in the Heyrovsky Institute in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. An active and initiative attitude to the research work will be reciprocated by the enthusiasm of the co-workers, and there will be opportunities to report the developments and applications in scientific journals.

The Department has strong international connections and research collaborations with scientists in the UK, France, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and New Zealand. The appointee can be involved in these collaborations with the possibility of visits to their laboratories and attending international conferences.

He/she will also have an opportunity to mentor PhD students working on the available Selected Ion Flow Drift Tube, SIFDT, instrument and collaborate on the research using other MS techniques, including Secondary Electrospray Ionisation, SESI. The research will be based in the Heyrovsky Institute in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

- 5 weeks paid leave of absence (holidays) per year + 3 days of paid sick-leave in addition to the statutory insurance
- Flexible working-time, the possibility of part-time work, work-life balance
- Lunch vouchers
- Subsidy for sport and cultural activities
- Recreation subsidy, recreation subsidy for children
- Possibility of attending children groups of the CAS
- Possibility to use discounts in recreation centers of the CAS
- Sports goods rental, free parking, trade union library
- Language courses
- Accommodation facilities‍

Eligibility criteria
To apply, please send your CV, list of publications, motivation letter, and two contacts as a reference to
Please, write in the subject line of your email SC2022_07.‍


By providing us with your personal data in your CV, you have allowed J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry to process and file your CV in the HR database. Your personal data will be used for the internal HR needs of the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry only. At the same time, you confirm herewith that the personal data as stated in the CV you have sent to us is true and accurate.

Application deadline
20. 4. 2022