PhD Studentships

Fully Funded PhD Studentships: Audio for Hearables (apply by Wed 22 Jan 2020)

Hearables—in-ear headphones with built-in microphones and signal processing capability—offer new opportunities to reproduce audio content in a way that adapts and responds to the listening context, e.g. background noise and personal preferences. The InHEAR project (Intelligent Hearables with Environment-Aware Rendering) will develop new algorithms to maximise the listener's experience regardless of their listening context. The project is a collaboration between the University of Surrey, Bang & Olufsen and Aalborg University. The sucessful applicants will have a genuine opportunity to influence future generations of B&O products as well as to produce world-leading publishable and patentable research.

PhD 1: Algorithms for Context-Aware Rendering

This PhD will be based in the Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR) and will focus on the user experience, rendering and manipulation of sounds to the benefit of the end user. You will begin by building a test and development environment for object-based audio rendering for earphones, and will then design and execute a series of experiments to determine how best to manipulate the audio objects based on information about the listening context. Experience in programming for audio (e.g., C++, Python, Matlab) is essential, as is experience in perceptual test design and statistical analysis. Scientific contributions will be disseminated at appropriate international conferences and meetings with the scientific research community.

PhD 2: Sound Analysis for Context-Aware Rendering

This PhD, in machine listening, is based in CVSSP and focuses on the characterisation of the listening environment using signals from the in-ear microphones. We are interested to extract actionable information for adapting the user's auditory display, building on expertise developed within the Centre, e.g., in binaural localisation, sound classification and audio tracking. Therefore, experience in programming (e.g., C++, Python, Matlab) is essential, and experience in acoustical signal processing or machine learning with applications to audio is highly desirable. Opportunities to advance the state-of-the-art for the selected use-cases will be identified and exploited. Scientific contributions will be disseminated at appropriate international conferences and meetings with the scientific research community.

Person Specification

You will have a strong interest in audio and demonstrate a high level of academic achievement in relevant subject areas and a clear aptitude for research. We will need to be happy that you have the necessary background subject knowledge and the necessary research skills to begin your doctoral training.

You will ideally have an MSc/MEng in a relevant discipline and will definitely have a 1st or 2:1 science/engineering-based Bachelors degree (or equivalent). You will be able to demonstrate excellent mathematical, analytical and computer programming skills. Advantage will be given to applicants with evidence of experience in one or more of: mathematics, programming, acoustics, psychoacoustics, signal processing, statistical analysis. You will have excellent research skills evidenced by a significant Bachelors/Masters research project, involving experimental research, appropriate use of the literature and/or computer-based simulations, and a formal dissertation-style report.

Funding Notes

Each studentship is for 42 months full-time study commencing between January and April 2020. In addition to covering UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of £15k/year, you will have access to a generous travel budget (to support attendance at academic conferences, for example) and support to undertake research at Bang & Olufsen's headquarters in Denmark.

How to Apply

Applications should be made through the relevant PhD course page...

Applications for April 2020 will be processed straight away with a view to an earlier start if possible. If in doubt, please contact us.
Please use your research statement to explain how your skills meet the person specification outlined above.


For enquiries about PhD 1, please contact Dr Philip Coleman.

For enquiries about PhD 2, please contact Dr Philip Jackson.