PhD studentship The association between tinnitus and hyperacusis in adults

Closing date: 11 February 2018
Department: Clinical Hearing Sciences
Salary: £15,000 per annum

Supervisor 1: Prof David Baguley [david.baguley@nottingham.ac.uk]

Supervisor 2: Dr Derek Hoare [derek.hoare@nottingham.ac.uk]

Supervisor 3: Dr Magdalena Sereda [magdalena.sereda@nottingham.ac.uk]

Supervisor 4: Prof Kevin Munro [kevin.j.munro@manchester.ac.uk]

Funding status: NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. Tax-free stipend of £15,000 per annum. All fees paid for Home/EU students.

Application deadline: 11 February 2018

Project title: The association between tinnitus and hyperacusis in adults

Project description:
Both tinnitus (the perception of sound that is not present in the external environment) and hyperacusis (decreased sound tolerance) can have significant adverse effects on a person’s quality of life. The experience of tinnitus is often associated with emotional, sleep, or concentration difficulties. For the person experiencing hyperacusis, everyday sounds can be unpleasant, frightening, or painful, and cause anxiety and distress. Many people experience both tinnitus and hyperacusis with one being more of a problem than the other. For example, 40% of people whose main problem is tinnitus also report problems with sound tolerance.  This has led researchers to propose that there might be some common substrate. However, little is known about people who experience both tinnitus and hyperacusis, whether there are general defining characteristics or risk factors for developing both symptoms, or what consequences having both symptoms have for assessment and clinical management.

This project will involve a broad review of basic research evidence and hypotheses on the generation and maintenance of tinnitus and hyperacusis. From this, the student will collect a large sample of primary data to either (1) test a candidate model of hyperacusis and tinnitus generation, or (2) develop a testable model of comorbid tinnitus and hyperacusis. Confirming or disproving associations between tinnitus and hyperacusis will shed light on the physiological mechanisms associated with each, and inform evidence-based assessment and clinical management.

The successful applicant will join a vibrant research group which spans the Hearing and Oncology domains and will benefit from strong supervisory and peer support.

Subject area:
Audiology, tinnitus, hyperacusis, diagnostics

Funding notes:
You should have or expect to obtain a first class or upper 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent), or an MSc/MA, in psychology, audiology or other relevant scientific discipline. Research experience in nursing, psychology or audiology will be of particular advantage. You will have excellent communication and team-working skills, be self-driven and highly motivated. You should also be eligible to apply for relevant research clearances that will be required, including a check with the Disclosure and Barring Service.

References:
Applications should include a CV and covering letter including the names, postal addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of two referees including at least one academic referee. Your application should be sent to derek.hoare@nottingham.ac.uk

Additional enquiries:
Informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof David Baguley tel: +44 (0) 115 823 2635 or email: david.baguley@nottingham.ac.uk