Deakin-Bayreuth Cotutelle – Air cathode for metal-air batteries

This is a doctoral Cotutelle project in 'air cathode for metal-air batteries' (Deakin University led)

Deakin Project Supervisor

Deakin School or Institute


Burwood Campus in Melbourne (Australia) and University of Bayreuth (Germany)

Research topic

This is a doctoral cotutelle project between Deakin University (Australia) and the University of Bayreuth (Germany).

The successful PhD Student will be awarded a scholarship from Deakin University with the supervision team being drawn from Deakin University and University of Bayreuth. The PhD Student will graduate with two testamurs, one from Deakin University and one from University of Bayreuth, each of which recognises that the program was carried out as part of a jointly supervised doctoral program. The program is for a duration of 4 years and scheduled to commence in October 2023.

The PhD Student is anticipated to spend at least 12 months of the total period of the program at University of Bayreuth, with the remainder of the program based at Deakin University.

The project will focus on the development of cathode materials for efficient metal-air batteries.

Project aim

This project aims to improve the performance of sodium-air battery technology by designing electrolyte systems and cell designs which support the incorporation of carbon-based air cathode materials based on an insulating block electrospinning process. This project will focus on pairing these electrode materials with new electrolyte systems and performing electrochemical testing on the materials and devices. The carbon-fiber electrode materials will be produced and developed in the partner project at Bayreuth.

Further development of the electrode materials may be carried out by adding more active materials (e.g. transition metal [Co, Ni, Mn, Fe] oxide, hydroxide, etc.) to overcome the sluggish kinetics of OER and ORR to decrease charge/discharge potential, facilitate the discharging products phase transfer, thus to further improve the battery efficiency and cycling life. The design of cell configurations that are more amenable to up-scaling (e.g. pouch cells) will be investigated at Deakin’s Battery Research and Innovation Hub.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, 15 July 2023

Please be aware that screening for this advert will commence immediately and the scholarship may be awarded prior to the closing date.


This scholarship is supported by Deakin University, is available over 3 years and includes:

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)
  • International students only:  Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.
  • Full Tuition Fee Waiver for up to 4 years
  • Funding to support travel of PhD Student between Deakin University and University of Bayreuth

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet the PhD entry requirements of both Deakin University and University of Bayreuth, including English language proficiency requirements
  • be enrolling full-time
  • be able to physically locate to both University of Bayreuth (Germany) and Deakin University (Australia)

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page and University of Bayreuth's research entry criteria page for further information.

How to apply

Applicants should firstly contact A/Prof. Robert Kerr and Dr. Helena Wang to discuss the project before being invited by Deakin University to lodge a formal HDR application to Deakin.

The successful applicant will also be required to lodge a separate PhD application to University of Bayreuth via the University of Bayreuth application page

Please be aware that screening for this advert will commence immediately and the scholarship may be awarded prior to the closing date.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact: :

A/Prof. Robert Kerr
+61 3 924 45628
View Robert's LinkedIn profile

Dr. Helena Wang
+61 3 924 45329
View Helena's LinkedIn profile