The Scotch Whisky Industry's Research & Technology Organisation

PhD Studentship - University of Edinburgh
Study of Scotch Whisky by Advanced Spectroscopic and Spectrometric Techniques

Current Vacancies

Scotch Whisky is of great commercial value to the UK economy having by far the largest export value of any UK food or drink product. Its production is well understood and tightly regulated. Nevertheless, the chemical complexity of Scotch Whisky is such that the identity of many of the compounds and their full relationship to the production process and flavour formation, are unknown. The proposed project is designed to advance analytical methodologies to profile Scotch Whisky and will be carried out in collaboration with the Edinburgh-based Scotch Whisky Research Institute (SWRI). The SWRI are recognised experts in the analysis of Scotch Whisky and are funded by the distilling industry to carry out strategic research on all aspects of Scotch Whisky production. The Scotch Whisky knowledge of SWRI coupled with the analytical skills at Edinburgh University offers a balanced partnership to deliver a successful and novel project at the forefront of analytical science with industrial application.

The project will use state-of-the-art techniques, liquid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectrometry, to analyse the compounds present in Scotch Whisky. The School of Chemistry, at Edinburgh University is superbly equipped to carry out this research. Its facilities house an 800 MHz NMR spectrometer equipped with a cryoprobe and a 12.0 T Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer. The project will rely extensively on the use of computer programs and chemometrics. The student will spend at least 3 months in the SWRI. This project will build on a highly successful previous research1 and provide a high-quality training opportunity, as well as excellent employment prospects.

Supervisors: Prof Dušan Uhrín (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Ian Goodall (Scotch Whisky Research Institute).

Eligibility: Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in Chemistry (at least an upper-second) and fulfil the EPSRC eligibility criteria:

Details: The fully funded (tuition fees & stipend) 36-month PhD studentships are available to start on 1st September 2018. The stipend rate for 2018/19 will be approximately £14,000 per annum. The positions will remain open until filled. Closing date is Saturday, March 31, 2018.

How to apply: Informal enquiries should be addressed to Prof Dušan Uhrín. To apply, please send a cover letter outlining your previous research experience and reasons for applying, alongside an up-to-date CV with details of two referees to Formal applications are made through the University's EUCLID system: