Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle - The skeletal muscle epigenome and metabolism

This is a doctoral Cotutelle project targeting the skeletal muscle epigenome in metabolic disease between Deakin University (Australia) and Coventry University (United Kingdom).

Deakin Project Supervisor

Deakin School or Institute

Deakin Faculty


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

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 4 years with the project 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 Coventry University, with the remainder of the program based at Deakin University. The project will examine the role of epigenome enzymes in skeletal muscle 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 Professor Sean McGee (Deakin University) and Dr Mark Turner (Coventry University) and, this project will investigate how epigenome enzymes, particularly histone deacetlases, are implicated in the aetiology of metabolic disease, and how lifestyle factors can modulate these changes in these enzymes.

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:

  • Are there differences in histone deacetylase enzyme function between healthy individuals and patients with metabolic disease?
  • How are histone deacetylases effected by exogenous factors?
  • How do changes in histone deacetylases regulate skeletal muscle metabolism and mass?

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Saturday 27 May 2023


This scholarship is supported by Deakin University, is available over 3 years and includes:

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 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.
  • Full Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years.
  • Funding to support travel of PhD Student between Deakin University and Coventry University.

Coventry University will also provide a full tuition fee waiver for 3.5 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 (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 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
+61 3 5227 2519