As announced in my March blog, I had applied for a secondment follow-up to the graduate dean. Whereas the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme has set a maximum of 9 months for secondments, the University of Leicester’s Senate Regulations for internships and placements specify a maximum of 3 months. I understand 3 months out of a 3 year PhD is almost 10% of a PhD studies’ time and 9 months would be 25%, 3 months just wasn’t enough time for all measurements and data analyses. Luckily the same Regulations state that approval of the Graduate Dean shall be required for secondments which would exceed 3 months and my request was granted!
So at the moment I’m back at the University of Amsterdam for my secondment ‘abroad’ follow-up. Whereas everyone from the University of Leicester is probably enjoying their August Bank Holiday, I’ve taken the train early in the morning to continue with my data analyses at the UvA. Last year I’ve worked on the evaluation of a protein signature from dried blood spots, which has resulted in a large and complex dataset. This year, some additional experiments needed to be performed using the LC-MS/MS and I’ve analyzed all samples with a novel technique too; surface acoustic wave nebulisation (SAWN). Using SAWN, the resulting reduction in acquisition time went from 90 min to 2 min per sample!
There is still plenty to analyse and many measurements on the planning, but only a little over a month to go before the INTREPID Forensic contract ends. Therefore back to my analyses now. Keep an eye out for my next and probably last blog in September.