Application engineer position for the transfer of a compact NMR-based analytical platform to the Scientific Police

Dear colleagues,
We will recruit an application engineer with at least 3 years of experience or a PhD for transfering  compact NMR-based analytical platform to the Scientific Police. Dont hesitate to largely diffuse the below-detailed offer:

New psychoactive substances (NPS) are molecules mimicking the effects of different conventional illicit products, e.g., ecstasy, cocaine, or cannabis. NPS are either derived from commercial drugs which have been misused (recreational rather than medical use) or whose structure has been slightly modified. The effects of those substances remain generally unknown and their consumption can lead to intoxication, overdose, or even death. Due to the growing consumption of NPS on the market, there is an urgent need for accessible and reliable analytical tools allowing improved tracking of NPS seized by the Police and/or purchased on the internet. Among the available analytical techniques, high field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a powerful tool, well recognized for elucidating molecular structures and quantifying them within mixtures. However, NMR is generally associated with heavy equipment, maintenance, and high operating costs. In contrast, benchtop NMR spectrometers are low cost, portable and offer an alternative for structure elucidation. Nevertheless, major developments are required to make them applicable to the identification of NPS that could be either pure or embedded in mixtures. In order to improve the performance of compact NMR, the CEISAM lab was implemented a set of optimized 1D and 2D NMR experiments on a 60 MHz benchtop spectrometer [1,2]. By combining these approaches with Infrared spectroscopy, a multi-method database was created to identify and also, for the first time, to elucidate the composition of seized drugs. This integrated analytical platform was blindly validated on 6 real samples seized by the scientific Police of Lyon [3]. In addition, NMR quantification was used to assess the purity of each NPS, allowing for better tracing of trafficking networks.
Objectives: The last objective of the DEVIL_INSID project funded by the French National Agency for Research is to turn the analytical platform developed by CEISAM and based on benchtop NMR into a every day’s life routine equipment for scientific Police laboratories using the NF EN ISO/CEI 17025 norme as a reference. This will require:
1)      Transferring the integrated analytical platform from CEISAM to Police of Lyon (LPS). A qualification of the instrument performances will be carried out. 2)      Training the scientific Police for the routine and autonomous use of the integrated platform. A detailed operating procedure on structural elucidation and quantification will have to be written.
Technological skills will be transferred by the recruited candidate to Police and the ready-to-use instrument will integrate the Police laboratory. A continuous user feedback from the Police and consulting from CEISAM will ensure that the performance of the new analytical platform is continuously improved so that Police becomes totally autonomous on both the LF NMR spectrometer and the associated prediction/ recognition software assisted tools as well as quantification.
[1] Castaing-Cordier, T.; Ladroue, V.; Besacier, F.; Bulete, A.; Jacquemin, D.; Giraudeau, P.; Farjon, J. High-Field and Benchtop NMR Spectroscopy for the Characterization of New Psychoactive Substances. Forensic Science International 2021, 321, 110718.

[2] Castaing-Cordier, T.; Bouillaud, D.; Farjon, J.; Giraudeau, P. Recent Advances in Benchtop NMR Spectroscopy and Its Applications. In Annual Reports on NMR Spectroscopy; Academic Press, 2021. [3] Castaing-Cordier, T.; Benavides Restrepo, A.; Dubois, D.; Ladroue, V.; Besacier, F.; Buleté, A.; Charvoz, C.; Goupille, A.; Jacquemin, D.; Giraudeau, P.; Farjon, J. Characterization of New Psychoactive Substances by Integrating Benchtop NMR to Multi-Technique Databases. Drug Testing and Analysis, 2022, 1-10.

Environment of work : The project is carried out in collaboration between two French institutes: CEISAM (Chimie Et Interdisciplinarité: Synthèse, Analyse, Modélisation) for the analytical development side and LPS (Laboratoire de Police Scientifique de Lyon) for the application side on NPS. LPS is the main actor in France to perform analytical investigations in the field of criminalistics, ballistics and arsons. The chemistry division of the LPS of Lyon is the reference institute for illicit drugs. LPS is expert in in IR and GC coupled with MS techniques to identify NPS with the help of databases that are indispensable to elucidate new unknown drugs. The MIMM team of the CEISAM lab is recognized for developing techniques in solution-state and for applying such tools to the analysis of complex mixtures. The mission will be mainly performed at LPS in Lyon with a permanent support of CEISAM.
Profile: The candidate will be in charge of the application of the integrated analytical platform for routine use. Candidates shall have a Ph. D. in analytical chemistry or chemical physics and have demonstrated a solid track record in NMR and chemical analysis for the identification, elucidation of unknown structures with ideally databases and softwares for assisting structural characterization. She/he should be open-minded due to the interdisciplinary and collaborative aspects of the project. She/he will present her/his work in national and international conferences and good skills in English are required. She/he will be highly encouraged to participate in academic (publications, conferences) and non-academic valorization (dissemination). She/he will train the Police staff to the application of the NMR / database to drug characterization. Excellent communication skills are therefore required.
This recruitment will provide a unique opportunity for a motivated engineer with 3 years of experience or a Ph.D. to be invested in the application of an innovative analytical platform for a routine use at the Police to track illicit drugs like NPS. The net monthly salary is between 1500 € and 2400 € up to 12 months, depending on skills and status.
Application procedure: Candidates shall submit before the 2nd of April 2023 their complete Curriculum Vitae, a motivation letter as well as two recommendation letters to:
Jonathan Farjon (
Céline Charvoz (
Dr. Jonathan FARJON
Directeur de Recherche, 2ième classe / Research Director, 2nd class
Laboratoire CEISAM
Tel : 02 51 12 54 34
Mail :
Nantes Université
2, chemin de la Houssinière
bâtiment 22, BP 92 208
RdC, bureau : 028
44322 Nantes Cedex 3,