Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle - Self-sensing and somatic awarenesses: A movement improvisation study of interoception and physical literacy

This is a doctoral cotutelle project entitled ‘investigating the transdisciplinary knowledge at the intersection of performing arts, physical literacy and interoception' between Deakin University (Australia) and Coventry University (United Kingdom).

Deakin Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision

Deakin Institute


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

Research topic

This is a doctoral IRP Program project investigating the transdisciplinary knowledge at the intersection of performing arts, physical literacy and interoception 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 and scheduled to commence in September 2023.

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

Research Project:
Entitled Self-sensing and somatic awarenesses: A movement improvisation study of interoception and physical literacy this project is nested within the ‘Art Meets Sport’ program and will engage two postgraduate research candidates to develop complementary research strands. One candidate will be hosted at Deakin Motion Lab (DML) or the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University Australia, and one candidate will be hosted by the Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University (with supervision from the Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences).

The transdisciplinary seeks new understanding of the power of movement for health and creative agency through expanded awareness of interior sensing. Movement improvisation and actor training approach assume a nuanced understanding of the physical body in relation to the environment—an understanding in which senses, perception, imagination and physical actions are developed and remain archived in the body over time. The broad aim of the PhD project is to investigate the way that action/agency within human movement known as interoception enables informed, intuitive, self-regulation and physical literacy development via performing arts pathways such as theatre, dance and music.

We are seeking two candidates. One with a health/sports science background interested in novel strategies to improve physical literacy in a population of their choosing. The other with an arts background, with their own honed physical practice or who is interested in arts-based approaches to impact health and creative agency.

If you want to push the boundaries of your discipline and collaborate with a diverse group of leading international researchers across two excellent institutions, then please contact us.

Project aim

The project will allow for an important transdisciplinary consideration of the embodied knowledge that is situated within interior somatic and kinesthetic intelligences known as interoception and translate findings into a schema for expanded awareness of interior sensing for physical and mental health, physical literacy, and aesthetic agency and practice.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Saturday 27 May 2023


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

  • Stipend of $30,000 per annum
  • 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.
  • Full Tuition Fee Waiver for up to 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 currently residing in Australia. 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 enrolling full-time and or part-time
  • 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 first contact A/Prof Rea Dennis and/or Dr Simon Ellis (Coventry) 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 candidate will also be required to lodge a separate PhD application to Coventry University via the Coventry '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;

Associate Professor Rea Dennis
+61 3 924 68234