UK Mass Spectrometry Vision

Mission Statement

To produce a community-backed, evidence-based vision for the future of mass spectrometry in the UK to support EPSRC, UKRI, and the UK government in future business planning, prioritization, and funding of mass spectrometry in the future.


As you may know, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) recently decided to discontinue the long running National Mass Spectrometry Facility (NMSF) in Swansea.  In order to review their funding in mass spectrometry in general, they have approached the British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS) to help determine the need and utility of mass spectrometry, broadly visioned, in academia, science, society, and industry over the next 5, 10, or even 20 years. 

In order to attempt to tackle such a wide topic, in September 2018 the BMSS executive committee appointed an ad-hoc subcommittee, chaired by Prof. Peter O'Connor (BMSS Treasurer & University of Warwick), with Dr. Jackie Mosely (BMSS Vice Chair & Durham University), Dr. Tony Bristow (AstraZeneca), Dr. Anneke Lubben (Bath, EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for Capital Infrastructure, and the newly established EPSRC National Research Facilities High Level Advisory Group), Dr. Gavin O’Connor (Immediate Past Chair of BMSS, Technische Universitat Braunschwig), and Dr. Ashley Sage (BMSS Chair & Sciex). 

This committee aims to develop a ‘Vision Document’ for Mass Spectrometry in the UK. To achieve this (ambitious) task, we assembled a panel of experts, and ran an iterative questionnaire and consultation programme, primarily by email, to gather their understanding in order to determine the community need.

In the expert panel, we have aimed to develop a cohort of mass spectrometry academics, non-mass spectrometry academics, and industrialists.  We have specifically aimed for panellists who are diverse in expertise.

We operated this as a DELPHI study and are now aiming for full community engagement.

Current Status

Work has progressed and the outputs thus far can be viewed below. Following two rounds of a DELPHI study, the BMSS provided a progress report (document: UKRI progress report - June 2019) in June 2019 for EPSRC and UKRI.

More recently the third and fourth rounds of the DELPHI study were completed and the results collated in a poster (document: UK mass spectrometry vision poster and BMSS40 SWOT slides) that will be on display over the next two days at the BMSS40 annual conference. In preparation for community discussions we hope to encourage during the annual meeting, the BMSS will host a public consultation (document: BMSS40 public discussion slides) at 16:30 in the RNCM Theatre

As we begin to collate all the information provdied through the DELPHI studies, the first draft of the document for UKRI outlining the challenges our field of science faces can also be viewed (document: Draft document outlining MS challenges).

We are seeking community opinion on these documents plus your vision of the future of mass spectrometry in th UK. Please contact any of the panel members with your thoughts and ideas, we would be delighted to discuss them with you and include your semntiments in the final documementation for UKRI.

EPSRC have released a community call for a statement-of-need for national research facilities. Deadline 31st October 2019.


UKRI progress report - June 2019


BMSS40 public discussion slides


UK mass spectrometry vision poster for BMSS40


BMSS40 SWOT slides


Draft document outlining MS challenges