Apply for a Deakin-Coventry Cotutelle Scholarship Now!

Feedback and underperformance in higher education

Submit your EOI by 5pm Monday 29 April 2024

Deakin Project SupervisorProfessor David Boud
Additional SupervisionDr Sian Alsop (Coventry)
Deakin FacultyFaculty of Arts and Education
Deakin CentreCRADLE
LocationMelbourne and Coventry University (United Kingdom)

Scholarship Details

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 of 4 years.

The PhD Student is anticipated to spend at least 6 months of the total period of the program at Coventry University, with the remainder of the program based at Deakin University.

Research Topic


Feedback processes are a key driver of learning and attainment in higher education, but there is a suggestion that feedback mostly benefits self-regulating and highly performing students. A recent review identified that students’ prior level of achievement influences their engagement with feedback leading them to take up feedback opportunities differently. Who is able to elicit feedback and seek teacher support varies through any number of student characteristics and local circumstances.

Feedback information may be worded differently for lower rather than higher scoring papers. Significant questions remain around the intersections of feedback and performance. How and with what sort of inputs and processes students engage (or not engage) is poorly understood, especially for those who have low outcomes.

Making better sense of feedback practices from the student perspective will support the design of feedback systems that engage students and develop their evaluative judgment. Applicants should propose a specific focus within the research scope outlined here depending on their own interests.

Project Aim

Successful PhD candidates will investigate the intersections of feedback and performance. Specifically, we seek to contribute knowledge to how students who receive low outcomes choose to engage, or not, with feedback inputs and processes. There is an opportunity, through the application process, for applicants to propose their specific focus for the PhD within the outlined scope of research.

Applications close 5pm, Monday April 29, 2024.

Please be aware that screening for this scholarship will commence immediately and the scholarship may be awarded prior to the closing date.


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

  • Stipend of $34,400 per annum tax exempt (2024 rate).
  • Relocation allowance of $500-$1,500 (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 Fee Waiver for up to 4 years.


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,
  • be enrolling full-time or part-time, and
  • 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

  1. Email Professor David Boud to discuss the project.
  2. Submit your Expression of Interest form (EOI) directly to the Faculty of Arts and Education.
  3. If successful, lodge a formal HDR application to Deakin.

The successful applicant will also be required to lodge a separate PhD application to Coventry University via the Coventry University application page.

Further Information

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