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Research Associate in Listening Behaviours

University of Cambridge - Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £32,816 to £40,322
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 31st July 2020
Closes: 16th August 2020
Job Ref: ZE23620

Applications are invited for a research position in the group of Professor Manohar Bance, Professor of Otology and Skull Base Surgery in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

The research position investigates how people behaviorally pay attention to auditory sound sources. In particular, we are interested in behavioral cues that indicate which sound source, if there is a choice of many, that a particular person is trying to pay attention to. This involves measuring head and eye movements, and merging them with other cues to develop algorithms or to predict which of many sound sources should be emphasized for the listener. The work has direct application to individuals with hearing loss, and the eventual aim is to include this into cochlear implants and hearing assistive devices. There are also research and commercial applications in areas such listening in complex sound environments.

This study is in partnership with an industry partner, Audiotelligence, who have developed sound source separation software, and the work will help them to develop the human interface to use this intelligently. The candidate will work with sensors that measure eye and head movements, design the 3D soundscapes playback system, measure subject responses and analyze the emerging data.

The candidate could come from a variety of backgrounds, as the work involves behavioural testing, acoustics, and Virtual Reality audiovisual programming. Because of COVID, we may have to employ headphones-based sound spatialization rather than loudspeaker-based one to try to perform some the experiments. Supervision in this area will be provided by collaborators  from Imperial College London (Dr. Lorenzo Picinali). Applicants might come from behavioural, neurosciences, acoustics, gaming or computer simulation/immersive experiences backgrounds. Knowledge of use of sensors and measuring their outputs (e.g. accelerometers and gyroscopes to monitor head movements) would be an asset. Candidates with knowledge of programming for Virtual Reality, ideally in Unity (but other similar development platforms can be considered), would be at advantage. Experience with integrating hardware and software components and interfaces (e.g. eye tracker, game controllers, tracking systems) is also essential. A PhD in areas related with computing, hearing sciences, digital signal processing, music technology and/or acoustics is essential.

The successful candidate will conduct research in the Cambridge Hearing Research Group, working with
psychoacousticians, electrophysiologists, and hearing loss researchers, with collaborators from Imperial College, London.

The successful candidate will hold a PhD in a relevant specialist subject area, such as psychoacoustics, auditory modelling, or electrophysiology.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit:

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Please quote reference ZE23620 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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