Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle - Building strength in the menopause

This is a doctoral Cotutelle project in ‘promoting ‘sitting less and moving more’, incorporating progressive increases in muscle strength, for diabetes prevention in menopause between Deakin University (Australia) and Coventry University (United Kingdom)..

Deakin Project Supervisor

Coventry Lead Supervisor

Additional Supervision

Deakin Faculty


Deakin Geelong Campus (Australia) and Coventry University (UK)

Research topic

This is a doctoral Cotutelle project between Coventry University (UK) and Deakin University (Australia).

The successful PhD Student will be awarded a scholarship from Coventry University with the supervision team being drawn from Deakin University and Coventry University. The PhD Student will graduate with two testamurs, one from Deakin University and one from Coventry University, 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 3.5 years and scheduled to commence in January 2024.

The PhD Student is anticipated to spend at least 6 months of the total period of the program at Deakin University, with the remainder of the program based at Coventry University.

There is not seen to be a one size fits all approach to managing midlife changes in women, but rather a tool kit of synergistic strategies is needed. Women should understand the powerful impact of health-related behavioural approaches to help menopause-related symptoms, as well as long-term disease risk reduction. Doing so will give women a better chance in preventing type 2 diabetes and other health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease. An integrated ‘sitting less and moving more’ message is a key component for midlife women. People spending <4 hours sitting and <5 minutes doing physical activity each day are at greatest risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. Intervening using a staircase approach encourages manageable increases in physical activity and interruptions to sitting. The staircase approach could be a beneficial strategy and with an even greater emphasis on building muscle strength. Slowly building strength-related activity into daily routine would help increase functional capability today and for later years, and also see physiological improvements in glycaemic health. This PhD will explore the ‘sitting less and moving more’ strategy with an emphasis on the incorporation of strength development for midlife women at risk of type 2 diabetes.

Project aim

Aligning with the promotion of health-related behaviours within the tool kit for managing the menopause, this PhD will explore the ‘sitting less and moving more’ strategy with an emphasis on the incorporation of muscle strength development for menopausal women living at risk of type 2 diabetes and co-produce an intervention targeting this strategy in this group.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Wednesday 25 October 2023


This scholarship is supported by Coventry University, is available over 3.5 years and includes:

  • Stipend of £17,000 per annum
  • A Tuition Fee Waiver
  • Travel Support Package including one return economy airfare to Deakin University to support residency period in Australia
  • Student visa and health insurance costs for period of residency at Deakin University in Australia
  • Deakin University will also provide a full tuition fee waiver for a duration of up to 4 years.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • 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 the research degree entry pathways page and Coventry’s research entry criteria page for further information.

How to apply

Applicants should contact Prof David Dunstan to discuss the project before being invited to lodge a formal HDR application to Deakin and contact Dr Maxine Whelan before applying to Coventry University’s application page.


The successful applicant will also be required to lodge a separate PhD application to Coventry University via the Coventry University 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:

Prof David Dunstan
+61 3 924 46313
Visit David's profile

Dr Maxine Whelan
Visit Maxine's profile