Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle - Targeting the skeletal muscle epigenome in metabolic disease

This is a doctoral cotutelle project entitled ‘Targeting the skeletal muscle epigenome in metabolic disease’, between Coventry University (United Kingdom) and Deakin University (Australia).

Deakin Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision

Deakin School or Institute

Deakin Faculty


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus (Australia) and Coventry University (UK)

Research topic

This is a doctoral Cotutelle project between Coventry University (United Kingdom) and Deakin University (Australia). The successful PhD Student will be awarded a scholarship from Coventry University with the supervision team being drawn from Coventry University and Deakin University. The PhD Student will graduate with two testamurs, one from Coventry University and one from Deakin 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 3-3.5 years with the enrolment commencing in January 2023.

The project will examine the skeletal muscle epigenome in metabolic diseases. Alterations in the skeletal muscle epigenome contribute to impairments in muscle metabolism in metabolic diseases (Barres & Zierath, 2011; James et al., 2021). Under the supervision of Dr Mark Turner (Coventry University) and Professor Sean McGee (Deakin University), this project will investigate how epigenetic modifications, particularly histone acetylation, are implicated in the aetiology of metabolic disease, and how lifestyle factors can modulate these changes.

Project aim

Using a range of molecular biology techniques to explore the epigenetic modifications in physiological and pathophysiological conditions, the project will seek to answer the following questions:

  • What differences in epigenetic modifications are there between healthy individuals and patients with metabolic disease?
  • How are epigenetic modifications effected by exogenous factors (e.g. nutritional status)?
  • How do changes in epigenetic modifications influence factors released by skeletal muscle?

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Sunday  15 January 2023


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

  • Stipend of £15,000 per annum
  • Tuition Fee Waiver
  • Travel Support Package 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:

  • 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 (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
  • enrolling full-time
  • a masters degree in a relevant subject area, with overall mark at minimum 80%
  • be able to physically locate to both Coventry University (United Kingdom) 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 Sean McGee 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 Sean McGee

Prof Sean McGee
Email Prof Sean McGee
+61 3 5227 2519