Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle - Intelligent Healthcare

This is a doctoral project in prevention of diabetes related kidney disease (DRKD): using artificial intelligence empowered retinal image analysis to transform clinical outcomes between Deakin University (Australia) and Coventry University (United Kingdom).

Deakin Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision

A/Prof Robyn Tapp (Coventry)

Prof Jane Speight (Deakin)

Prof Jonathan Shaw (Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute)

Deakin School

Deakin Faculty


Melbourne Burwood Campus (Australia) and Coventry University (UK)

Research topic

This is a doctoral cotutelle program project between Deakin University (Australia) and Coventry University (United Kingdom). The successful PhD Student will be awarded a scholarship from Deakin 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 up to 4 years. The PhD Student is anticipated to spend at least 12 months of the total period of the program at Coventry University, with the remainder of the program based at Deakin University.

Personalised medicine in diabetes could be greatly enhanced through the use of cutting-edge technology, enabling improved individualised treatment recommendations, particularly for the prevention of disability from long-term complications. Early detection of retinal microvascular changes, before the onset of clinically significant complications (e.g. diabetes related kidney disease (DRKD), retinopathy and neuropathy) is key to reducing the burden of diabetes by providing an “early warning system” and an indicator of disease status, enabling improved individualised treatment recommendations.

This project will develop and evaluate AI-algorithms to predict five-year risk of developing DRKD using an extraordinarily large longitudinal cohort. DRKD outcomes and clinical data (i.e. biochemistry and blood-pressure) at each time point are available. We will also assess approaches to best implement the DRKD risk prediction tool within clinical practice.

Project aim

To develop a novel AI empowered image based DRKD risk prediction prototype tool (requiring retinal images only) and assess its predictive value in quantifying individual five-year risk of developing DRKD.

The project has potential to improve healthcare outcomes for people with diabetes, by providing an ‘early warning system’, meeting the sustainability development goal of good health and well-being.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Sunday 15 January 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 $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • International students only:  Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.
  • Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years.
  • Funding to support travel of PhD Student between Deakin University and Coventry University.

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 Coventry university, including English language proficiency requirements
  • 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 Jane Speight to discuss the project before being invited 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.  Please be aware the scholarship may be awarded prior to the closing date.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Prof Jane Speight

Prof Jane Speight
Email Prof Jane Speight