Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location Bionics Institute, Department of Medical Bionics
App. deadline 30/08/2017
  • Please enquire for further details
Eligibility Open to international applicants

Cognitive Neuroscience of Hearing

The Bionics Institute invites applications from highly motivated individuals to complete a PhD in the field of cognitive neuroscience of hearing. The PhD scholarship is funded by Oticon Foundation, and is a collaboration between the Bionics Institute (Melbourne), Oticon Medical, and Eriksholm Research Institute (Denmark). The candidate will be based at the Bionics Institute in Melbourne, will be enrolled at The University of Melbourne, and will have the opportunities of a 6-month secondment at University Hospital of Lille (France) and industrial experience and networking though interaction with Oticon Medical and other collaborators. The Bionics Institute ( ) offers a unique, vibrant, and multidisciplinary research environment, in which experience and skills can be attained across research areas related to improved technology for hearing, vision (bionic eyes), and neurological disorders (e.g. deep brain stimulation for movement disorders).

Listening effort, and its mental and physical consequences, contributes significantly to reduced quality of life for people with hearing impairment. The perceived benefit of a hearing instrument is dependent not only on how well it can provide access to sound, but on how effectively it can reduce the effort of listening. This project uses a brain imaging method called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to study the mechanisms of listening effort in hearing impaired people, and to develop a novel objective measure of listening effort that can be used to objectively assess the effectiveness of improved hearing instrument technology. The PhD candidate will work with hearing impaired people who use bone-anchored hearing aids and cochlear implants, and will acquire skills in fNIRS data collection and analysis techniques, and behavioural speech understanding and listening effort assessments. He/she will be part of a vibrant and active hearing research group at the Bionics Institute, and have a unique opportunity to acquire multidisciplinary skills and experience.


To be considered, applicants must:

  • Have completed tertiary study equivalent to a 4-year Australian degree with the minimum result of first class Honours or equivalent;
  • Experience using signal processing software such as Matlab
  • Plan to undertake a fulltime PhD

More information about the project and how to apply

Please email an expression of interest including details of relevant experience, along with your CV and academic transcripts to Professor Colette McKay (, or email Professor McKay if you would like more information before applying. Your application should reach us before August 31st 2017.

How the scholarship will be awarded:

Applications will be assessed on the basis of academic merit and demonstrated research potential. Short-listed applicants will participate in a selection interview.


The scholarship will be awarded for a maximum of 3 years (or 3.5 years if an extension is approved). The scholarship will commence before March 31st 2018 and cannot be deferred to a following year.


Payment of a living stipend of AUD$26,916 per year will commence once the student is enrolled and has commenced. It is anticipated that the selected student will obtain a tuition-fee-remission scholarship from the University of Melbourne.

Further Information on how to apply

Please refer to our website ( The “Students and Careers” tab will provide you with all the critical information you need to know or alternatively contact Amelia Cavanagh, HR Manager on + (61 3) 9667 7537,

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Prof Colette McKay