PhD scholarship in Auditory Training Strategies to Improve Speech Intelligibility in Hearing-Impaired Listeners

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Ph.d. project
Greater Copenhagen
Øresund region

Frist 1. oktober 2017

The Hearing Systems group at DTU Electrical Engineering seeks a qualified candidate for a vacant 3-year PhD position in collaboration with hearing-aid manufacturer Sivantos GmbH. Our research is concerned with speech communication, auditory signal processing and perception, audiology, behavioral and objective measures of the auditory function, environmental acoustics, and hearing-instrument signal processing. The goal of this research is to understand the functioning of the human auditory system and to provide insights that are useful for technical applications such as speech recognition systems, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and hearing diagnostics tools.

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate different auditory-training paradigms to improve speech-intelligibility in hearing-impaired (HI) listeners. Although in Denmark 53% of HI listeners own a hearing aid, 20% of the users do not use them regularly, and only 58% report a positive opinion in noisy environments. Hence, improving speech intelligibility in noise is a crucial challenge that needs to be addressed. Recent studies have shown how auditory training can be a powerful framework to develop auditory perceptual skills and cognitive functions. However, auditory training as a systematic intervention to improve speech intelligibility in noise has not been fully explored yet. Hence, the aim of this project is to clarify what type of auditory training could be most effective for improving speech intelligibility in HI listeners.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD candidate will design different auditory-training experiments and assess their effect in HI listeners via behavioral, cortical and subcortical electrophysiological measures. The outcome measures should be performed at regular sessions throughout the training period to clarify the time course of plastic changes along the auditory system. The ideal candidate should have some knowledge of experimental design and programming in MATLAB. As the experiments will involve Danish speech material and communication with Danish hearing-aid users, basic knowledge of the Danish language and everyday communication in Danish would be an advantage for this project.

Qualifications
Candidates should have a MSc in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the MSc in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
PhD scholarships are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general PhD programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Torsten Dau, Sébastien Santurette, Federica Bianchi (DTU Electrical Engineering), and Maja Serman (Sivantos GmbH).

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in Northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The main workplace will be DTU Lyngby Campus. Some of the experimental work may be carried out at the public audiology clinics in the Copenhagen area.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Torsten Dau, tel.: +45 4525 3977

.

You can read more about DTU Elektro on www.elektro.dtu.dk and the Hearing Systems group at www.hea.elektro.dtu.dk.

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 1 October 2017. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their MSc, but cannot begin before having received it.

All qualified candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Electrical Engineering is the central department at the DTU in electrical, biomedical engineering and acoustic technology. It is our goal to ensure an engineering training and research, which matches that of other leading universities around the world. The department is organized into sections each covering important areas of electrical, biomedical engineering and acoustic technologies. Including PhD students we have a total of 275 staff members.DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.


Application deadline 01 October 2017

Ph.d. project
Greater Copenhagen
Øresund region
Electro & Telecom Engineering
Natural Sciences
Technology
Education
Executive Leadership
IT - Software
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