medical masks

Developing fully biodegradable medical-grade respiratory protection equipment

One year enterprise-led funded Masters by Research, Ref. No. LU-047


  • Get paid £16,000 tax-free
  • Have your tuition fees reduced. Your partner company pays £2,200 towards your fees, meaning students eligible for home fees pay only £2,300. International students will need to pay the remaining £20,050.
  • Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation within a cohort of talented graduates working on exciting business-led R&D.
  • The Centre is based at Lancaster University, so you will gain your Masters from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Sunday Times University of the Year 2018 and International University of the Year 2020.
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas or progress on to further study.

Start: October 2021

Deadline: Midnight Sunday 29th August 2021

This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is subject to funding confirmation.


The Challenge

The use of masks and visors in the Covid-19 epidemic has identified a need for a way to communicate with patients who rely on lip-reading and use facial expression to support communication; this includes people who are deaf, have a learning disability, autism, dementia and other client/patient groups. However, respiratory and PPE currently used in the healthcare sector is primarily single use and generating millions of tonnes of waste per year.

Therefore this 1 year Masters by Research project aims to research and test fully biodegradable transparent materials. The resultant materials will then be used to develop and design medical-grade transparent reusable face masks.

Once a suitable material has been found, the aim is to collaborate with a national PPE and international mask manufacturer to incorporate the researched materials to produce prototypes masks for testing against medical grade standards.

Application Criteria

This Masters by Research will be based within Lancaster University’s Engineering Departments, however there is an element of Chemistry to the research. Therefore applicants should have either a first class or a 2:1 degree in Engineering (or a related discipline). The Graduate Researcher will be supervised by Professor Allan Rennie in Engineering and Dr John Hardy in Chemistry.

Enterprise and collaborative partners

My Medical Mask is a clinician-led PPE provider in the UK. My Medical Mask LTD was set up during Covid-19 pandemic with a vision to create reusable and biodegradable alternatives to current RPE and PPE. They focus on the research and manufacture of reusable & biodegradable medical grade gowns and masks to significantly reduce environmental waste and associated costs.


How do I apply?

Please complete and send all of the following documents to by the advert closing date:

Please send all of the above to: by the advert closing date.

Non-UK/home candidates

For information on home/international fee eligibility please see the university fee status webpage. From 1st January 2021, EU students are required to have a visa to enter into the UK as well as other international categories. Please check these details to see if you would need to apply for a visa and indicate this on your criteria document.

After the closing date the interview panel (consisting of the academic supervisors and business sponsor) will shortlist preferred candidates. These candidates will be invited to interview and where appropriate a candidate will be selected to deliver the project. A separate formal university application process is then completed following recommendation from the interview panel.

Deadline: Midnight Sunday 29th August 2021