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Learning to hear with plasticity across multiple timescales

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D Goodman
    Dr P Chadderton
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

(4 year MRes + PhD studentship)

This project is one of 11 studentships on offer in the Imperial College EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health

Supervisors: Dan Goodman (Electrical & Electronic Engineering), Paul Chadderton (Bioengineering), Claudia Clopath (Bioengineering)

Humans have a remarkable ability to understand speech in noisy environments such as a crowded pub. Despite advances in speech recognition, the question of how we do this remains largely unsolved.

This project aims at understanding how the brain adapts and learns to cope with these difficult listening situations, with the goal of developing better technology for speech processing. It will involve (1) developing mathematical and computational models of hearing and neural adaptation and plasticity, (2) experimental testing (including training in animal electrophysiology and human psychoacoustics), and (3) technology development for speech recognition, hearing aids and cochlear implants.

The CDT programme is not a standard PhD programme. Throughout the 4 years, there is considerable emphasis upon multidisciplinary and transferable skills, through centre activities beyond the individual research project. The programme cannot be taken without the first (MRes Neurotechnology) year, as it is an integral part of the overall programme.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) a first or upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent) in an engineering or physical science subject. Students with a biological and medical sciences background may be considered, but candidates must have sufficient quantitative skills to thrive in the programme. You should be looking for a challenging, multi-disciplinary PhD at the interface of neuroscience and engineering.

The candidate should be willing to learn experimental techniques (animal electrophysiology and/or human psychophysics), but is not required to have any previous experience.

To apply online, visit

If you have questions or would like further information about the project, we encourage you to contact the supervisors directly before making your formal application.

Funding Notes

Studentships pay UK/EU tuition fees, stipend and a generous consumables and travel fund for the duration of the programme (one year of MRes and 3 years of PhD).

Places are open to UK and EU applicants only.

How good is research at Imperial College London in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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