Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle - Safeguarding Post-Quantum Communication Protocols

This is a doctoral Cotutelle project in ‘Safeguarding Post-Quantum Communication Protocols’ between Deakin University (Australia) and Coventry University (UK).

Deakin Project Supervisor

Deakin School or Institute


Deakin Burwood Campus (Australia) and Coventry University (United Kingdom)

Research topic

This is a doctoral cotutelle 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 4 years and scheduled to commence in 2023.

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.

Conventional communication protocols are developed on TCP/IP stacks and are compatible with RSA, DH, ECC encryption solutions because these solutions are highly optimized. However, many post-quantum cryptosystems rely on different mathematical problems like lattice, error-correction codes, multivariant, and many more, resulting in large sizes of public keys and digital signatures. The significantly enlarged crypto components offered by post-quantum cryptosystems create challenges in fitting them into orthodox communication protocols and authentication credentials. In this project, we will address the challenges of retrofitting the quantum-safe components to existing protocols and credentials with minimum modification to the protocol design. This setup will involve technical implementation of post-quantum cryptosystems with respect to popular protocols and credentials, performance, and regression testing of the modified solutions.

Project aim

This project aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Identify the necessary changes to the network communication protocols like IPSec, TLS, SSH, VPN, DNSSec, etc.
  • Implement changes on network communication protocols to accommodate post-quantum cryptosystems
  • Conduct testing against various security attacks

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 $A30,000 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • Full Tuition Fee Waiver for up to 4 years
  • Funding to support travel of PhD Student between Deakin University and Coventry University

International students only:  Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • 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)
    • have achieved 80% or equivalent in the research component of their previous study or an equivalent level of academic attainment, taking into account previous study, relevant work experience, research publications and other research experience
    • meet all other minimum entry requirements according to the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Admission, Selection and Enrolment Procedure.
  • 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 firstly contact Dr Lei Pan to discuss the project. After discussing your application with the Deakin Supervisor, you will be required to submit an expression of interest directly with the relevant Faculty.

If successful, you will be invited by Deakin University to lodge a formal HDR application.


The successful applicant will also be required to lodge a separate PhD application to Coventry University via the 'Making an 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 Dr Lei Pan

Dr Lei Pan
+61 3 925 17483