HDR Scholarship - Modelling shared road space: Quantitative examination of the operational and safety characteristics of shared road space types in the UK and Australia

Applications now open.

A doctoral cotutelle project and scholarship between Deakin University (Australia) and Coventry University (UK) is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic of ' Modelling shared road space: Quantitative examination of the operational and safety characteristics of shared road space types in the UK and Australia'.

Project Supervisor

School OR Institute


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

Modern cities use various living street concepts, such as shared zones and shared spaces, to allow motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to share the same road space. While such concepts have been used and evaluated in many cities, limited research attention has been given to understanding the comparative operational and safety benefits/issues of these concepts. Furthermore, with the arrival of newer mobility and technological solutions (e.g. micromobility, autonomous and connected vehicles), there is a greater need to re-examine the understanding obtained to date on the functional characteristics of shared zones and shared spaces. In addition, safety aspects of these road spaces in relation to interactions between different types of road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorists) are required to be examined to better understand the contributing factors of unsafe events in such spaces. Collective understanding on the operational and safety benefits/issues of these road areas would allow identifying design solutions for making the areas more efficient and safer.

This project and scholarship are offered as part of a collaborative doctoral cotutelle program with the Institute for Future Transport and Cities, Coventry University, UK. The successful candidate will be jointly supervised by a team of leading researchers from Deakin University and Coventry University and will graduate with a jointly supervised doctoral degree from each institution. The program is for a duration of 3.5 years. It is anticipated that the PhD candidate will spend at least 1 year during the program at Coventry University, with the remainder of the program based at Deakin University.

The PhD scholar will have access to the world class research facilities of both universities and work under joint supervision of Dr Ashim Debnath and Prof Stewart Birrell. This collaborative arrangement offers a unique research strength in that data and resources from two different jurisdictions, where the design principles and usage of shared zones and shared spaces vary significantly, could be accessed in this PhD research project.

Project aim

This PhD research project aims to perform a comparative evaluation of the operational and safety benefits of shared zones and shared spaces. User perceptions and traffic movement data from a number of sites in Australia and the UK will be collected and analysed to achieve this aim. Results obtained from analyses of the field data will be supplemented through microsimulation of traffic movements. This project will provide the PhD scholar opportunities to develop and utilise a good number of research tools, including survey techniques, microsimulation, image processing, and advanced statistical and econometric methods. The outcomes of the project are expected to make significant contributions to the relevant policies on shared zones and shared spaces in Australia and UK.

Important dates

Expressions of Interest to Deakin and applications to Coventry close 5pm AEST, Monday 22 June 2020.


This scholarship is supported by Deakin University and is available for a duration of 3 years

  • Stipend of $A28,092 per annum (2020 rate, indexed)
  • 4 year tuition fee waiver
  • Return economy airfare to Coventry University to support residency period in the UK
  • Student visa and health insurance costs for period of residency at Coventry University in the UK

Coventry University will also provide a tuition fee waiver for the duration of the program.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic or international candidate
  • meet the PhD entry requirements of both Deakin University and Coventry University, including English language proficiency requirements
  • be enrolling full time
  • be able to physically locate to both Coventry University (UK) and Deakin University (Australia)

Please refer to Deakin’s research degree entry pathways page and Coventry’s research entry criteria page for further information.

How to apply

Applications are submitted to both institutions. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel of academic staff from each institution.

Please apply using the Expression of Interest Form, available via the ‘How to Apply – research degrees’ page, prior to being invited by the Faculty to lodge a formal HDR application to Deakin. The successful candidate will also be required to lodge a separate PhD application to Coventry University via the Coventry ‘Making an Application page’.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Ashim Debnath

Dr Ashim Debnath

Email ashim.debnath@deakin.edu.au

Ph. +61 3 522 73528