PhD scholarship and PostDoc positions

DTU Electrical Eng
Thursday 28 Jun 18

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The Hearing Systems Group at DTU Electrical Engineering seeks qualified candidates for vacant PhD and PostDoc positions in context of the collaborative synergy project UHEAL: Uncovering Hidden Hearing Loss funded by the Novo Nordisk foundation.

UHEAL is an international research collaboration between DTU Electrical Engineering, Harvard Medical School (USA), and the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR). The goal of the UHEAL project is to develop objective physiological and psychophysical tests for the diagnosis of noise-induced inner ear synaptopathy in humans by combining cellular physiology, clinical and experimental audiology, and non-invasive MR imaging.

Candidates are invited to apply for a specific project from the list below.

PhD project (3 years): Behavioural and electrophysiological correlates of synaptopathy.
The purpose of this project is to identify and test critical outcome measures of synaptopathy in a cohort of human listeners. Today, there is a lack of knowledge about how damage to inner ear synapses and associated perceptual consequences can be detected in human listeners. To identify potential diagnostic measures of synaptopathy, the project will combine clinical electrophysiology with psychoacoustical measures, and/or measures of speech-in-noise processing assessed through scalp-EEG. The measures will be compared with correlates of synapthopathy identified in other parts of the UHEAL project. The aim is to identify hearing screening methods that allow early detection of synaptopathy in human listeners.

PostDoc project (2 years): Modelling synaptopathy.
The purpose of this project is to develop a computational model of synaptopathy for mice and humans. So far, computational models of the human periphery could not be evaluated due to lack of data, which makes it challenging to link the effects of synaptopathy to electrophysiological responses. This project will develop functional auditory models that integrates different outcome measures identified in different parts of the UHEAL project (histological, physiological, structural, behavioral). The computational model will then provide an objective tool to describe physiological changes associated with synaptopathy and predict relevant electrophysiological and perceptual outcome measures in human listsners.

PostDoc project (3 years): Functional measures of synaptopathy.
The purpose of this project is to identify critical functional measures of synaptopathy in human listeners. Depending on the candidate, the project may focus more on peripheral and/or central measures of synaptopathy and its perceptual consequences. Experimental outcome measures include scalp EEG as well as behavioural measures of speech processing and auditory function in human listeners. The candidate will interact with other parts of the UHEAL project to develop ways to integrate different measures of function in the normal and impaired auditory system.

You will become a member of an excellent and highly cross-disciplinary international team of researchers whose goal is to understand the implications of cochlear synaptopathy. Together the UHEAL team combines a range of techniques to understand the consequences of inner ear damages throughout the auditory system, including cellular physiology, neuroimaging, electrophysiology, and perception.

You will be part of the Hearing Systems Group at DTU 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.

You can read more about the UHEAL project on www.hea.elektro.dtu.dk/research/Uncovering-Hidden-Hearing-Loss.  

Responsibilities and tasks
The task of the candidates is to advance the field through research and interaction with other researchers in the UHEAL team. The candidates will perform audiological screening, develop experimental protocols, collect and analyse behavioral and neurophysiological data and/or data simulations.

Applicants should be well-versed in scientific programming environment (MATLAB, Octave, SciPy), should have knowledge of auditory signal processing (electrophysiological and/or audio) and experimental design.

Applicants for PostDoc positions will be involved in supervision of BSc, MSc, and PhD students, knowledge dissemination and publishing in internationally recognized scientific journals.

Qualifications
Applicants for the PhD scholarship should hold an MSc or corresponding qualification in engineering, physics, neuroscience, computer science, audiology or a related field. The ideal candidate should have knowledge of auditory physiology and/or electrophysiology for audiological applications. Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their MSc, but cannot begin before having received it.

PostDoc candidates should hold a PhD or corresponding qualification in engineering, physics, neuroscience, computer science or a related field. The applicant should have a strong documented background in either auditory neurophysiology, auditory modelling, and/or electrophysiology. The ideal candidate should have knowledge of cochlear synaptopathy in animal and/or human models.

Approval and Enrolment
PhD scholarships are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general PhD 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.  

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Bastian Epp, Jens Hjortkjær, and Torsten Dau, DTU Electrical Engineering.

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 terms of employment
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.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Torsten Dau, tel.: +45 4525 3977, tdau@elektro.dtu.dk

You can read more about DTU Electrical Engineering on www.elektro.dtu.dk and the Hearing Systems group at www.hea.elektro.dtu.dk.   

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 1 August 2018 (local 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 in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file

In the field “Please indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for”, please indicate which position you are applying for (title from the above list of projects).

The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc/PhD diploma
  • For PhD candidates: Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
  • For postdoctoral candidates: List of publications

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 in electrical and biomedical engineering. It is our goal to ensure research and engineering training at the highest international level. The department is organized into 8 groups each covering important areas of electrical and biomedical engineering. Including PhD students we have more than 275 staff members. You can read more about us on www.elektro.dtu.dk.  

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 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.