A novel set-up for Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR) is reported for simultaneous infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD) and electron-capture dissociation (ECD). An unmodified electron gun ensures complete, on-axis overlap between the electron and the photon beams. The instrumentation, design and implementation of this novel approach are described. In this configuration the IR beam is directed into the ICR cell using a pneumatically actuated mirror inserted into the ion-optical path. Concept validation was made using different combinations of IRMPD and ECD irradiation events on two standard peptides. The ability to perform efficient IRMPD, ECD and especially simultaneous IRMPD and ECD using lower irradiation times is demonstrated. The increase in primary sequence coverage, with the combined IRMPD and ECD set-up, also increases the confidence in peptide and protein assignments. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.