PhD scholarship in Spatial Hearing-in-Noise Test as a Diagnostic Tool for Measuring Hearing Performance and Hearing Device Benefit

DTU Health Tech

Are you interested in combining engineering and audiology to help create better healthcare for individuals with hearing impairment? The Hearing Systems Section at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), together with the Ear, Nose, and Throat and Audiology Department at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, seeks a qualified candidate for a 3-year PhD position. The project focuses on the evaluation of a spatialized hearing-in-noise test as a diagnostic tool for measuring performance and hearing device benefit. It has been argued that, through the use of virtual sound environments, we can provide better assessments of hearing ability and hearing device benefit since the measurements obtained in these environments more accurately reflect the real world than traditional measures of hearing do. However, the estimates of performance and hearing aid benefit with these novel, more ecologically valid tests and traditional tests are typically well- correlated, and consequently, the clinical value of such tests remains unclear. The real value of new, more ecologically valid tests lies in their potential ability to assess aspects of hearing that are not captured with traditional diagnostic methods. Building such evidence is the primary aim of the current project.

As a PhD student you will be joining a cross-disciplinary research team in the Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre (CHBC), which is a center at Rigshospitalet dedicated to combining daily treatment of hearing and balance with world-class research via collaborations with the medico-technical world and the Hearing Systems Section at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). At DTU, you will also be linked with the Hearing Systems section of DTU Health Tech and part of an internationally leading research environment covering a range of hearing-related topics, including auditory signal processing and perception, computational auditory modelling, audiology, acoustics, and hearing aid and cochlear implant signal processing. CHBC and DTU Hearing Systems house outstanding facilities for hearing research in this direction, including a 64-channel loudspeaker array in an anechoic chamber at DTU and a 41-channel loudspeaker array embedded into an acoustically shielded clinical room at CHBC, as well as fully equipped psychoacoustic and communication labs at both DTU and CHBC for running more traditional diagnostic tests.

Responsibilities and tasks
You will work with virtual sound environments to develop a clinical protocol for assessing hearing performance and hearing device benefit in a more ecologically valid hearing-in-noise test. You will be responsible for conducting prospective cohort studies with individuals with hearing impairment at Rigshospitalet, including interfacing with clinicians to define relevant protocols, coordinating patient recruitment, administering both novel and traditional diagnostic tests, analysing the results, and communicating the outcomes scientifically. You will explore aspects related to test reliability, as well as explore the relationship between the more ecologically valid hearing-in-noise test with patient-reported outcomes, localization accuracy, and spatial analysis abilities.   

Qualifications
Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. The candidate should be very well-versed in acoustics, hearing, and/or audiology and have practical experience with designing experiments and conducting research. The ideal candidate should be well-versed in Matlab, or otherwise have a willingness and determination to learn. The candidate should be curious about hearing healthcare and be passionate about bridging engineering and audiology. Experience within virtual sound environments, hearing-in-noise testing, or clinical research is a plus. The candidate should enjoy working in a cross-disciplinary research field, be able to work independently, and communicate research in English. An ability to communicate in Danish is advantageous, but not a requirement.


Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Assistant Professor Abigail Anne Kressner, Professor Torsten Dau, and Clinical Professor Per Cayé-Thomasen.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation, and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The workplace is CHBC at Rigshospitalet and DTU’s Lyngby Campus.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Abigail Anne Kressner, aakress@dtu.dk.  

You can read more about Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre at CHBC and about DTU Health Technology at www.healthtech.dtu.dk/english.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than the 15 August 2022 (Danish time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out 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 (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 140 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.