05 April 2019

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For more information please contact Prof. dr. Tom Francart, tel.: +32 16 37 98 40, mail: or Prof. dr. Jan Wouters, tel.: +32 16 33 04 75, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than July 01, 2019 via the online application tool
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Apply before 01 June 2019

This Ph.D. project aims to improve hearing of people who use a cochlear implant, either by itself, or together with a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear.

With a cochlear implant a deaf adult or child can hear sounds and even have a normal conversation. A cochlear implant stimulates the auditory nerve directly by generating electrical pulses on an array of electrodes inserted in the cochlea during surgery.

The main research topics at ExpORL, Dept. Neurosciences are:

* Speech and music processing for cochlear implants
* Noise reduction for improved speech reception with hearing instruments in adverse and noisy listening environments
* Binaural hearing: signal processing schemes and evaluation procedures for bilateral acoustical and/or electrical hearing instruments
* New electrical stimulation for optimal neural excitation in cochlear implants
* Temporal neural processing in the auditory system
* New auditory measurement methods based on auditory brain evoked potentials for improved diagnostics and hearing instruments
In these studies we focus on the chain of auditory modelling, signal processing, simulation, psychophysical tests, electro-physiological measurements, imaging, lab-implementation, and evaluation with normal hearing subjects and users of hearing aids and cochlear implants. Intensive research has led to fundamental knowledge about hearing with hearing instruments. Based on these studies, new signal processing strategies have been developed that are now used worldwide in the most recent cochlear implant systems and hearing aids. Furthermore, diagnostic and evaluation strategies have been developed that are clinically applied.

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This Ph.D. project aims to improve hearing of people who use a cochlear implant, either by itself, or together with a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear.

The work will include

  • Development of signal processing to convert sound into electrical stimulation
  • Hands-on measurement of signals and building of test setups
  • Evaluation of new signal processing with cochlear implant recipients

Typical day-to-day tasks include developing signal processing (Matlab, ...), designing test protocols, conducting tests with cochlear implant recipients, and reading and writing scientific publications.




  • A degree in electrical or biomedical engineering, physics, or similar
  • A background in signal processing
  • An interest in auditory perception
  • An inquisitive and creative mind, good problem solving skills
  • Very good English proficiency
  • Dutch speaker (preferably), or willing to quickly learn Dutch
  • Knowledge of human neurophysiology and psychology of hearing is a benefit


  • Exciting auditory research
  • A Ph.D. title after 4 years of research
  • A thorough scientific education, the possibility to become a world-class researcher
  • Membership of a world-renowned lab, as part of a motivated interdisciplinary team (35 researchers)
  • Membership of KU Leuven, one of the largest research universities of Europe
  • The possibility to take part in international conferences and collaborations
  • A competitive salary