PhD Studentship (3 years) Optimization of a Speech-In-Noise test for
Auditory Fitness for Duty
College of Health & Life Sciences - Studentships
Location: Aston University Main Campus
Basis: Full Time
Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Tuesday 31 January 2023
Release Date: Wednesday 31 August 2022
Applications are invited for a three-year Postgraduate studentship, supported
by the College of Health and Life Sciences, to be undertaken within the
Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group
(https: // www. aston.ac.uk/research/hls/cognition-and-neuroscience-research-
group) at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established
experimental group working on optimizing a speech recognition in noise test
that is developed to assess the auditory fitness for duty of personnel with
excessive occupational noise exposure. The studentship is offered in
collaboration with Amplivox Ltd.
The position is available to start from April 2023.
This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home fees rate, plus a
maintenance allowance of £15,609 in the academic year 2021/2, or £16,062 in
2022/3 (subject to eligibility).
This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home fees rate plus a
maintenance allowance of £16,062 in 2022/3.
Overseas applicants may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the
difference between the ‘Home' and the ‘Overseas' tuition fees. Currently the
difference between ‘Home' and the ‘Overseas' tuition fees is £14,054 in
2022/3. As part of the application, you will be required to confirm that you
have applied for, or secured, this additional funding.
Background to the Project
Auditory fitness for duty (AFFD) is defined as the possession of hearing
abilities sufficient for safe and effective job performance. The challenges
that hearing loss poses for personnel in the military or police forces could
detrimentally impair the efficiency of communication and the completion of
Audiometry may not provide enough face validity in the current AFFD assessment
to reflect the listeners' routine work environments or their listening
challenges. The Audiology Department at Aston University collaborates with the
UK's largest audiometry manufacturer Amplivox to adapt a speech-based test for
AFFD assessment. We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student to take on
this research. The primary tasks include to parameterize and optimize the
procedures of the current version of the speech test, and design new test
conditions with high face validity.
Applicants should have a degree in audiology, hearing science, psychology,
audio engineering, auditory neuroscience, or a related discipline. Programming
experience in Matlab, Python, or similar programming languages is preferred.
The project will use psychophysical approaches as primary method. Prior
experience of psychoacoustic experimentation, speech perception test, or
audiological test is highly preferred.
The successful applicant should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a
Masters degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average,
and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent
qualification from an overseas institution) in audiology, hearing science,
psychology, audio engineering, auditory neuroscience, or a related discipline.
Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of computer
programming in Matlab, Python, or similar programming languages, statistical
analysis, scientific writing, and good communication skills.
For formal enquiries about this project contact Dr. Mengchao Zhang by email at
Submitting an application
As part of the application, you will need to supply:
A copy of your current CV
Copies of your academic qualifications for your Bachelor degree, and
Masters degree (if studied); this should include both certificates and
transcripts, and must be translated in to English
A research proposal statement
Two academic references
Proof of your English Language proficiency
Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting
documents can be found here.
Please select “Research Neurosciences” from the application form options.
The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal” statement.
An original proposal is not required as the initial scope of the project has
been defined, candidates should take this opportunity to detail how their
knowledge and experience will benefit the project and should also be
accompanied by a brief review of relevant research literature.
Please include the supervisor's name, project title and project reference
in your Personal Statement.
If you require further information about the application process, please
contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at email@example.com.
Aston University is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications
from all sections of the community. It promotes equality and diversity in all
aspects of its work. We are committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN
Charter https:// www. ecu.ac.uk/equality-charter-marks/athena-swan/, recognised
by a silver award, and we are a Disability Confident Employer Level 2. We
strive to have robust inclusivity strategies in place, including race and
sexual orientation, to encourage colleagues to have the confidence and freedom
to be themselves in the workplace. For more information, visit:
https: // www2.aston.ac.uk/about/inclusive-aston
As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all
disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.
If you require the job details document or an application form in an
alternative format please contact the recruitment team at