a man's hands type at a laptop

Understanding Mechanical Vibrations of Vocal Folds for Speech Processing Through Advanced Radar Sensing To Retrieve Healthcare Information

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

OR UK graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU at international rates from Sept 21)

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

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

For further details contact: Dr Syed Aziz Shah


This PhD project is part of the Cotutelle arrangement between Coventry University, UK and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

The successful applicant will spend the 1st year at Coventry University and the following year at Deakin University and then the final 1.5 years at Coventry University

The supervision team will be drawn from the two Universities.

Project details

Research on the vibration of vocal folds is important for evaluating speech production and other associated speech signal processing areas, particularly, human phonation and voice disorders. Vocal fold vibration is a highly complicated, compact three-dimensional vibration. The observation and measurement of vocal fold vibrations using equipment such as electroglottographs (EGGs), video laryngoscopes , and high-speed video devices have been successfully applied for studying the motion of the vocal cord tissues. However, these methods cannot directly express the vocal cord motion characteristics and they must be applied to the throat, causing discomfort to patients. Certain external monitoring devices such as microphones have also been employed for acquiring acoustic signals, however, the recorded acoustic signals are easily disturbed by the surrounding background noise, which can degrade the signal quality considerably.

The electromagnetic (EM) radar sensor in tandem with biosignal processing techniques and state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms  has been a promising alternative for various applications associated with phonation and can reliably address above mentioned research challenges due to its non-contact nature and the radiation that emits are far below the international standard.

In the Coventry University-led PhD project, we aim to develop a novel bio-signal processing techniques  that can reliably record mechanical vibrations signal from vocal cords for long-term monitoring. Based on harmonic noise removal, novel filtering methods, and quantitative testing, innovative radar sensing technique will be developed, lab-tested, and initially validated on human subjects. The proposed methodology will improve the biocompatibility, accuracy, and reliability of the measurement towards good user experience.


Tuition fees and stipend/bursary of £17,668/year.


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. 

Entry requirements

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:  



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).

Desirable specifications
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years;
  • Previous experience of wearable sensor development, digital signal processing or data engineering;
  • Knowledge of cardiology, respiratory system and statistical analysis;
  • Knowledge of related software (Matlab, Python, SPSS, etc.);
  • Ability to think innovatively and critically analyse data and results;
  • Good written and oral communication skills;
  • A record of presenting papers at conferences and of publishing peer reviewed research papers (desired);
  • Ability to meet deadlines, sometimes under pressure;
  • Ability to work independently and also as part of a local and international multidisciplinary team;
  • Willingness to take on roles to enhance research team activities and profile.

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.

For more information, please contact Dr Syed Aziz Shah

Apply to Deakin University Apply to Coventry University
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020