Developing fingerprint sampling as a completely non-invasive approach for therapeutic drug monitoring

Start date

1 October 2022


3 years

Application deadline

Funding source

EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership

Funding information

Enhanced EPSRC stipend (£19,062 per annum for 2022-23, with annual increments based on inflation) and fees covered. Funding also includes a research training and support grant of £3000 for the duration of the studentship.


We are currently exploring the use of fingerprint sampling as a completely non invasive approach for adherence and therapeutic drug monitoring. We have already demonstrated that fingerprints can be used to monitor drugs of abuse [1-3]. A fingerprint can be provided quickly and painlessly in a clinic, unlike other bio fluids [4]. We are now working with several NHS Trusts and hospitals internationally to test whether fingerprints can be used to monitor use of antipsychotics, anti epileptics and antibiotics. Ethics approval has already been granted.

The successful candidate will have access to our high resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometer and expertise in “omics” approaches, as well as clinical sampling. We will explore the optimal conditions for sampling fingerprints, for their storage and analysis using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. The student will work with our NHS and international partners to collect paired fingerprint and blood samples from patients, and apply their methodology to further the clinical readiness of fingerprint sampling in clinics.

We are looking for a well organised, self motivated and inquisitive applicant for this role, and an excellent degree in chemistry or bioscience. In return, we will provide an exciting project with plenty of industrial and clinical relevance. 





The University of Surrey and our collaborative partners provide a vibrant, interdisciplinary research environment, with access to state-of-the-art facilities. We see our postgraduate researchers as an integral part of our research community, collaborating and innovating together with academics at all levels. We want the most talented researchers from diverse backgrounds to join us, bringing new ideas and perspectives. We will help you make the most of your potential, removing barriers where we can and supporting you with dedicated career guidance. We offer generous funding packages, sector-leading researcher development training and mentoring, and dedicated employability support.

Whatever your aspirations, Surrey is where research careers are launched and nurtured.

Eligibility criteria

For UK candidates, only UK fees are covered. Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good Masters degree (distinction normally required).

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Chemistry PhD programme page on the "Apply" tab (select October 2022 start date). Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application. Once you have completed and submitted your application, please send an email to the primary supervisors confirming you have applied.

Chemistry PhD

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Application deadline

Contact details

Melanie Bailey
17 AZ 03
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 682593

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