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 My UMCG  

PhD position ‘personalized hearing aid amplification to ameliorate tinnitus’

Work locationGroningen
Apply no later than07 June 2017

Working environment

This is a PhD position at the Otorhinolaryngology Department of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). The UMCG is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands. More than 12.500 employees provide patient care, are involved in medical education and perform cutting-edge scientific research focused around the theme of ‘Healthy and Active Ageing’. Research at the UMCG is characterized by close interactions between fundamental and patient oriented clinical research.

The Otorhinolaryngology Department and our research program "Healthy Ageing and Communication" aim at a better understanding of hearing disorders with the goal to contribute to their relief. This research program combines fundamental research on hearing with cross-disciplinary approaches to explore interactions between hearing and other factors, such as cognitive processing, ageing, and signal processing in hearing aids and cochlear implants.

As a PhD student you will collaborate with group members from diverse backgrounds, such as engineering, medical sciences, acoustics, psycholinguistics, psychology, and artificial intelligence. You will work toward a dissertation, and present your research in at least three contributions to high-impact international journals. Your research will be embedded in the EU-funded European Training Network project "ESIT: European School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research". Participation in this network includes internships at the Sivantos hearing aid company in Erlangen (D) and at the Regensburg University (D) .

Job description

Project description
Your project is based on the hypothesis that the maladaptive reorganization, e.g. following hearing loss, of the auditory cortex is related to the perception of subjective tinnitus. As a consequence, restoring hearing by hearing aids may ameliorate tinnitus. The objective of your project is to use hearing aids of different auditory stimulation protocols for the treatment of tinnitus. The specific objectives are: (1) Develop a reliable test for identifying the tinnitus pitch. Since the hearing provision strategies that will be explored in this project depend on the tinnitus pitch, this will be necessary step. (2) Test three approaches for hearing aid fitting in patients with tinnitus. (3) Relate treatment success to individual patient characteristics. The project will be supervised by Prof. Pim van Dijk and Dr.ir. Emile de Kleine, and will be carried out in collaboration with partners (Sivantos in Germany and the Regensburg University in Germany).

What do we need

Required qualifications:

  • Master degree in audiology, biomedical engineering, physics, signal processing, psychology, neuroscience or a related field
  • Programming experience, especially with Matlab, or other related programming tools
  • Inquisitive, critical, and independent research attitude
  • Excellent communication skills and a team player mentality
  • Interest in working in an international environment and in interacting with patients
  • Preferred: Proficiency or willingness to learn Dutch
  • In line with the requirements of EU ETN projects, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 year period immediately prior to the start date

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. You may be required to build up sufficient protection against Hepatitis B before you can be appointed. Vaccination is provided by the UMCG if necessary.

What do we offer

The duration of the contract is three years to be concluded with a PhD examination. It concerns a full time appointment (36 h/week). After one year, the performance of the candidate will be evaluated to decide whether there is sufficient progress to expect a successful completion of the PhD thesis.

Your salary is € 2.244,- gross per month in the first year, and up to a maximum of € 2.743,- gross per month in the last (third) year (scale PhD). In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and a development budget. The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement of Medical Centers (CAO-UMC).

The UMCG is committed to offer equal opportunities. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered in case of equal qualifications.

More information
For more information about this vacancy you may contact Prof. dr. P. van Dijk (emailaddress) or Dr. ir. E. de Kleine (emailaddress), phone +31-50-3612550.
(please do not use e mail adresses for applications)

Applying for a job
Please use the digital application form at the bottom of this page. Only applications submitted here will be processed, please do not send them to the supervisors.
The application package will have:

  • A copy of your CV
  • The names and contact information of two references (one of them preferably your advisor from Master’s or another research project)
  • A short motivation letter
  • An example of a previously written report or journal article

You can apply until 7 June 2017.
Immediately after sending the digital application form you will receive an email confirmation with further information.