Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle - Verifying Communication and Authentication Protocols

This is a doctoral Cotutelle project in ‘Verifying Communication and Authentication 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 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 recognises 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 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.

Communication and authentication protocols should be modelled and verified with formal methods before implementation to ensure their correctness. Some existing communication protocols have been modelled and proven to be secure without the presence of quantum-capable attackers. In this project, we will address the challenge of modelling and verifying communication and authentication protocols against quantum-capable attackers. That is, the protocols should be proven secure through formally specified proofs. This project will deliver formal method proofs of multiple communication and authentication protocols.

Project aim

This project aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Investigate state-of-the art design of standard communication and authentication protocols. Consider one or more such protocols, for example DoPI with TLS, and analyse security vulnerabilities against post-quantum cryptographic standard.
  • Propose a formal framework to model and verify secrecy and authentication properties of such protocols for a more detailed security analysis against quantum attacks.
  • Evaluate the scalability and expressiveness of the proposed approach by applying the framework, tool, and techniques to one or more desired communication and authentication protocols.

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 Coventry University, is available over 3.5 years and includes:

  • Stipend of £15,000 per annum
  • A 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:

  • 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