Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle - Sensing Inside: somatic practices, physical literacy and interoception

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

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 recognise 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 September 2023.

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

Research Project:
There is significant yet independent growth in science and arts and humanities research on the role of embodiment in how humans experience and understand movement, emotions, sensations and feelings. An emerging component of this growth is interoception: the capacity for humans to sense the internal states of the body and organs, and in which high interoceptive ability correlates with self-awareness and emotional acuity. ‘Sensing Inside’ is a transdisciplinary postgraduate research project in which the PhD student will be supported to build a programme of research to explore the art and science of somatic movement practices and interoception. The transdisciplinary methodological approach of the student will depend on the student’s background and interests, but will likely draw on arts-based research, and empirical methods, data and analysis.

The prospective student will be hosted at Coventry University in UK, and a second student will be hosted at Deakin University in Melbourne. The two students will develop complementary research strands that examine interoception, physical literacy and the performing arts. Supervision will be drawn from the Centres for Dance Research and Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences at Coventry, and Deakin Motion Lab, and the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University.

Prospective candidates should have an extensive background in somatic practices, and the necessary curiosity and openness to engage with transdisciplinary research, including traditional and experimental research methods and dissemination.

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 £17,000 per annum
  • 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:

  • 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
  • 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.
Note: for IFM/Health applicants, please first contact A/Prof Rea Dennis before being invited to lodge a formal HDR application to Deakin


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