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

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

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU) at international rates from Sept 23)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2023 (international), 31 August 2023 (UK)

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

To find out more about the project, please contact Dr Simon Ellis and Dr Rea Dennis


This is a doctoral Cotutelle project between Coventry University and Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia).

The successful applicant will spend the 1st year at Deakin University and the following year at Coventry University and then the final 1.5 years at Deakin University. The supervision team will be drawn from the two Universities.

Project details

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.


Bursary (£18,622 p/a), tuition fees and additional allowances.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Candidate specification

Applicants must meet the admission and scholarship criteria for both Coventry University and Deakin University for entry to the cotutelle programme. This includes;

  • Applicants should have graduated within the top 15% of their undergraduate cohort. This might include a high 2:1 in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 70% mark (80% for Australian graduates) in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 70% overall module average (80% for Australian graduates).
  • A Masters degree in a relevant subject area, with overall mark at minimum Merit level. In addition, the mark for the Masters dissertation (or equivalent) must be a minimum of 80%. Please note that where a candidate has 70-79% and can provide evidence of research experience to meet equivalency to the minimum first-class honours equivalent (80%+) additional evidence can be submitted and may include independently peer-reviewed publications, research-related awards or prizes and/or professional reports.
  • Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study.

For an overview of each University’s entry requirements please visit: and 

Please note that it is essential that applicants confirm that they are able to physically locate to both Coventry University (UK) and Deakin University (Australia).

Additional requirements

This Cotutelle is underpinned by the epistemic and methodological possibilities of transdisciplinarity. As part of the application process, we request that applicants include a 300-word statement on what transdisciplinarity means to them and their artistic and/or scholarly work.

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus an up to 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

All candidates must apply to both Universities.

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Simon Ellis and Dr Rea Dennis

Apply to Coventry University Apply to Deakin University
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