PhD scholarship in the Influence of Vision on Spatial Hearing of Hearing-Impaired and Aided Hearing-Impaired Listeners DTU Electrical Engineering Denmark

PhD scholarship in the Influence of Vision on Spatial Hearing of Hearing-Impaired and Aided Hearing-Impaired Listeners


DTU Electrical Eng




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The Hearing Systems group at DTU Elektro seeks a qualified candidate for a vacant 3-year PhD position in collaboration with hearing-aid manufacturer GN Resound A/S. Hearing Systems is part of the department of Electrical Engineering. 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 the interaction of vision on the spatial hearing of hearing-impaired and aided hearing-impaired listeners. The motivating hypothesis is the study of Burr and Alais (2004), which demonstrated that visual and audio cues are combined "optimally", with cues weighted by the inverse of localization variance. Many previous studies have demonstrated that HI listeners exhibit poorer acuity in auditory localization tasks and HA processing further deteriorates performance (e.g., Van den Bogaert et al., 2006). Thus, we hypothesize that visual cues will be more dominant for HI listeners (i.e., they exhibit a larger visual bias compared to NH listeners). Further, HI listeners will exhibit a larger bias when using HAs than without. However, NH listeners will not exhibit larger bias unless they have become accustomed to consequences of HA processing on auditory localization. 

Responsibilities and tasks 

The PhD candidate will design perceptual experiments to test this hypothesis for spatial localization (i.e., direction of arrival) using loudspeaker arrays and VR goggles to present simple psychophysical stimuli.

Depending on the results, follow-up studies could investigate the effects of more complex hearing-aid signal processing, more complex acoustic and visual stimuli, the complexity of the visual/acoustic environment (i.e., the presence of distractors/maskers), and other measures of spatial hearing.   

The ideal candidate should have some knowledge of experimental design, VR simulation, and programming in MATLAB.


Candidates should hold 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 degree 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.   


The assessment of the applicants will be made by Ewen MacDonald, Torsten Dau and Tobias Piechowiak. 

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 work may be carried out at the Ballerup headquarters of GN Resound.

Further information 

Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Ewen MacDonald, tel.: +45 4525 3954

You can read more about DTU Elektro on and the Hearing Systems group at   


Please submit your online application no later than 15 October 2017. Applications must be submitted as one pdf filecontaining 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.

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