Dr Linda Mason

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Mason is a researcher with an MSc. Medical Demography, and a PhD in Maternal Health.  She has over 25 years of experience in conducting research both in the UK and overseas, with an interest in maternal and reproductive health, qualitative research and developing workshops and training field staff. Her current focus is on menstrual health in LMIC where she has been involved in studies in Kenya and India and employed recently as a consultant for Plan Internationals campaign to tackle period shame worldwide.

She currently works as qualitative lead on the LSTM led ‘Menstrual cups and cash transfer to reduce sexual and reproductive harm and school dropout in adolescent schoolgirls in Western Kenya: a cluster randomised controlled trial’. Funded by the UK Medical Research Council-Department for International Development-Wellcome Trust. Joint Global Health Trials (JGHT award, PI Dr Penelope Phillips-Howard). Her work includes developing and facilitating workshop / training packages in menstrual health, menstrual cup use and collecting / analysing qualitative data for Kenyan field staff. Prior to this Dr Mason led the qualitative research on the Menstrual Solutions Study, set in Kenya and funded by UK JGHT award, PI Dr Penelope Phillips-Howard). She led design of the focus group topic guides for generating experiences and perceptions of schoolgirls, parents and teachers on MHM, she designed and conducted the training programme for research and field staff and lead analysis. She developed menstrual calendars helping to documents girls’ menstrual patterns, and absenteeism from school.  Similarly, she was Qualitative lead on a UNICEF-funded LSTM led study in India examining the effectiveness of their national flagship programme on menstrual care in schools and development of a basic module for schools. The work contributed to national policy and guidelines. Specifically, she led the training of field staff on interviewing as well as data analysis, overseeing the qualitative analysis herself and assisting in report writing for the funder. Prior to working in LMIC she conducted menstrual research in the UK including as Principal Investigator on a Big Lottery funded project examining Premenstrual Syndrome in women with Downs’ Syndrome, developing production of a Daily Diary for women with a learning disability to chart their well-being and their menstrual period.

Dr Mason’s expertise has included several consultancies. As well as for Plan International she she has provided technical advice and guidance on qualitative malaria studies examining antenatal care in rural western Kenya. She also guided a THeT funded project in Zambia evaluating Nurses Perceptions of Care, analysed data on reproductive health in Yemen for Marie Stopes International and acted as consultant for Nottingham University on the Emergency Hormonal Contraception Project as well as the Community Pharmacy Medicines Management Project Evaluation.

Dr Mason has been active in management and supervision of staff and students on online Masters courses including responsibility for advising 80+ dissertation advisors and 300+ students in dissertation across MPH and Clinical Research programmes at the University of Liverpool / Laureate Education.  She has supervised 30+ qualitative and quantitative dissertations in International Public Health for the University of Liverpool Online MPH Programme.


Co-I: Review of Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools in India; PI: Phillips-Howard; UNICEF India; 11/2014-04/2016 ($309k).

Co-I: Menstrual solutions in adolescent schoolgirls in western Kenya: an acceptability, feasibility and safety study (G1100677/1); PI: Phillips-Howard, PA; MRC/DfID/Wellcome Trust Global Health Trials; 03/2012-12/2013 (£716k).

Co-I: Overlap between SRH and WASH across the female lifespan. British Council, UK-  US New Partnership Grant Oct10-Mar12, (£19,950).

PI: The Big Lottery Fund (with the Down Syndrome Association) (£41,980). Premenstrual Syndrome In Women With Down Syndrome.

PI: Liverpool John Moores University. (£50,000). The Efficacy of Antenatal Pelvic Floor Exercises In Preventing Postpartum Stress Incontinence


Selected publications

  • Benshaul-Tolonen A, Zulaika G, Nyothach E, Oduor C, Alexander K, Mason L, Laserson KF, Phillips-Howard PA (2019). Pupil absenteeism, measurement, and menstruation. -  Evidence from Kenya,  CDEP-CGEC Working Paper No 74. Center for Development Economics and Policy.

    Phillips-Howard PA, Nyothach L, O ter Kuile F, Omoto J, Wang D, Zeh C, Onyango C, Mason L, Alexander KT, Odhiambo FO, Eleveld A, Mohammed A, van Eijk AM, Tudor Edwards RA Vulule J Faragher B, Laserson KF. Menstrual cups and sanitary pads to reduce school attrition and sexually transmitted and reproductive tract infections: A cluster randomised controlled feasibility study in rural western Kenya. BMJ Open. 2016; 6(11)

    Kerubo E, Laserson KF, Otecko N, Odhiambo C, Mason L, Nyothach E, Oruko KO, Bauman A, Vulule J, Zeh C and Phillips-Howard PA. Prevalence of reproductive tract infections and the predictive value of girls' symptom-based reporting: findings from a cross-sectional survey in rural western Kenya. Sex Transm Infect 2016 92: 251-256

    Mason L,Dellicour S. Ter Kuile F, et al Barriers and facilitators to antenatal and delivery care in western Kenya: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2015, 15:26

    Mason L, Laserson K, Oruko K, et al.A Qualitative Study Comparing Young Adolescent Schoolgirls Experience of Menstruation Using a Menstrual Cup, Sanitary Pads, or Traditional Methods. Waterlines special MHM edition, Jan 2015, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p15-30.

    Alexander KT, Odour C, Nyothach E, Laserson KF, Nyaguara M, Eleveld A, Mason L, et al. ‘Water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in primary schools in rural western Kenya: are the needs of menstruating girls being met? Waterlines 2014, 6(5), 1453-1466;

    Mason L, Nyothach E, Alexander K, et al. ‘We keep it secret so no one should know– A qualitative study to explore young schoolgirls experiences with menstruation in rural western Kenya. PLoS One 2013;8(11):e79132.

    Dellicour S, Desai M, Mason L, et al. Exploring risk perception and attitudes to miscarriage and congenital anomaly in rural western Kenya. PLoS One 2013 Nov 13;8(11):e80551

    Mason L, Cunningham CC.PMS in women with Down syndrome. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 2009, 22 (3): 287-297

    Mason L, Cunningham CC. An exploration of issues around menstruation in women with Down Syndrome. J Applied Research In Intellectual Disabilities 2008, 21(3):257-267