AOHL Summer Studentship 2017

We are pleased to welcome Alia, an undergraduate Audiology student, to the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. She is currently carrying out a hearing loss research project as part of a 2-month placement with us. Her research is funded by an Action on Hearing Loss Summer Studentship award. Here, she discusses her experiences of her visit to the centre and the project that she is working on.

"Over the past few weeks, I have been working on a research project alongside Dr Eithne Heffernan exploring social isolation in adults with hearing loss. This is timely, as social isolation is an issue of increasing national importance in the UK.

The social aspect of hearing loss has been something that I had a prior interest in; which began whilst working with patients in Audiology departments as part of my training for my degree. Furthermore, in recent audiology conferences, hearing loss and social isolation has recently been highlighted as a key area for research, therefore it is a great opportunity to be able to explore this issue.

Our project involved devising an online survey to test our ‘Social Isolation Measure’. If our questionnaire is found to be of good quality, there is potential for it to be used in routine clinical practise in the future.

My placement at the NIHR Nottingham BRC has given me a deeper insight into research, and I have been given the opportunity to carry out several aspects of the project. I have had access to new software and expertise from my supervisors.

Alongside the project, whilst at the NIHR Nottingham BRC, I have attended seminars from leading researchers in the field. I have also met with research fellows here who are working on other aspects of hearing research, including tinnitus and objective measures. This made me aware of the various areas of research that they are involved in, as well as what the future applications to audiological medicine their findings would have.

Overall, this opportunity has significantly broadened my understanding around Audiology as a whole, and has been a great platform for my future career. It has been an invaluable experience to gain an insight into the research behind this continuously developing field."

Alia Habib

20th July 2017

This project is part of the work of the Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss theme, led by Dr Mel Ferguson.

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