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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Advanced Forensic Toxicology Measurements through Ambient Ionization Mass Spectrometry


Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Measurement Science Division

opportunity location
50.64.31.C0344 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Thomas P Forbes 301.975.2111
Edward Ryan Sisco 301-975-2093


This opportunity focuses on developing and measuring the capabilities of ambient ionization mass spectrometry (AI-MS) techniques for advanced forensic toxicology. The need for rapid, comprehensive, and predictive toxicological analysis for drug identification remains a major need for the forensics, medical, and public health community – especially with the recent increases in novel psychoactive substances and opioids. AI-MS techniques, such as paperspray or direct analysis in real time (DART), show promise in being able to address these needs, though significant research gaps still exist in technique development, chemometrics, spectral interpretation, and standards development. Development of new or modified ionization sources that allow for single-drop analysis with minimal competitive ionization and maximal analyte intensity is of major interest. Additionally, creation of statistical treatment methods or algorithms for detection of the drug signal in complex mass spectral data and chemometrics for identification or classification of drug(s) is also of high interest. Through this opportunity, collaboration with other NIST laboratories as well as local, state, and federal forensic laboratories will be possible. Due to the cross-disciplinary nature of this project, backgrounds in engineering, chemistry, physics, toxicology, statistics, and computer programming are applicable.

key words
Forensics; Forensic Science; Toxicology; Statistics; Mass Spectrometry; Drugs; Chemometrics; Analytical Chemistry


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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