Work with Us

We work with organisations of all sizes in many ways, including contract and collaborative research, supporting student projects, placements and internships, training, guest lectures and events for businesses.

A man sat in the InfoLab wearing a suit

Collaborative Projects

Engaging with industry is one of the core principles of the Materials Science Institute. We are keen to offer our extensive expertise in materials research and state-of-the-art facilities to provide solutions for industrially-relevant materials challenges.

We have a dedicated Business Partnerships team who can put together different packages to suit the needs of external organisations wishing to work with the university. They can also assist in identifying and procuring support for joint projects from funding bodies and charities.

The exact formats of collaborative projects can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of the external partner. Examples of joint research project opportunities include:

  • Seed funding for short proof of concept projects through Lancaster University Impact Acceleration Account
  • Joint applications for collaborative project funding through INNOVATE UK via Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
  • Funding or co-funding of 3.5 year PhD studentships to investigate a particular question in detail - ideal for fundamental or proof-of-concept studies
  • Funding or co-funding of post-doctoral researchers to work on projects in Materials Science Institute laboratories - ideal for development or follow-on projects
  • Employees of partner organisations can undertake research placements through the collaborative Technology Access Programme with full access to Lancaster synthetic and analytical facilities

An Ideal Location

Lancashire is in the Northwest of England and has a large and diverse economy consisting of a strong mix of over 35,000 registered companies representing all sectors of the UK economy. Lancaster is well connected by road and rail to Manchester and Liverpool. London is just a 2.5-hour train ride away. Consistently rated as one of the top 10 UK universities, Lancaster has established an excellent track record in its knowledge transfer activities, which aim to bring universities, businesses and communities together.


We invite local small and medium enterprises, large organisations, the public sector and academic researchers to discover how our expertise and capability could underpin their future successes, and form enduring partnerships with the Materials Science Institute to gain a technological and competitive advantage.

Access a specialist team to help build partnerships

Our award-winning Business Enterprise and Engagement team can help your organisation achieve its goals through sharing knowledge, resources, contacts and providing access to funded research and development through:

  • Collaborative research
  • Student engagement
  • Facilities for research and development
  • Professional training
  • Commercialisation of intellectual property

Wide-ranging partnerships

Our research partnerships with industry include work in the following areas:

  • Robust plastic manufacture
  • Materials analysis at low temperatures
  • Scanning probe microscopy
  • Cross-sectional imaging and analysis
  • Nano-scale security technology
  • Ceramic-based friction materials
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Selective laser sintering
  • 3D printing for product development

We have worked on a wide range of projects such as bespoke display units, product casing for sensors, and tidal turbines.

Our partnerships extend beyond business and include a diverse range of public and private sector organisations at regional, national and international level. These range from NHS trusts and Police forces to local authorities, UK and international governments.