Closing date: 30 October 2023

Key Information

Funding providers: Swansea University's Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science

Subject areas: Audiology, Psychoacoustics   

Project start date: 

  • January 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-December)

Project supervisors:

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Health Science

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

The Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science is pleased to offer a fully-funded scholarship for a full-time doctoral student.

The scholarship includes tuition fees and a stipend – reviewed annually at the UKRI standard rate – and a £1,000 annual training allowance to support immersive training experiences, conference attendance, engagement with industry and international collaborative opportunities.  

The scholarship is offered for a maximum period of three years; students are expected to submit their theses within this timescale.  

Hearing loss is common in the UK, with one in five of the population living with some form of hearing impairment. Hearing aids (HAs) provide a partial solution to the problem, but the performance of the HA when the wearer is in a noisy environment is often lower than expected, because of a poor signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).  

One of the best strategies used for improving the SNR is a directional microphone (DM), which provides reduced sensitivity for sounds from behind and to the side of the listener. Modern developments have resulted in two HAs being able to communicate with each other and improve this directional sensitivity (referred to as binaural beamforming, BB). In laboratory settings BB reveals significant benefit in speech intelligibility in noise, but this is not reflected in the patient reported outcomesWhy is there a discrepancy between these two measures on BB performance and how may this inform device/software design? Through simulation (headphones) and more realistic means (loudspeakers), measures of spatial hearing performance of HA users, using different DM settings, will be investigated. This gives Improved intelligence on barriers to BB benefits and target improved performance of HAs users in complex listening environments. 

Informal scholarship enquiries from applicants to prospective supervisors – prior to the application deadline – are warmly encouraged; please direct these to the relevant member/s of faculty staff 


Candidates must hold an Upper Second Class (2.1) honours degree. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements (see country specific qualifications). Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency.  

Alternatively, applicants with a UK first class honours degree (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) not holding a master’s degree, will be considered on an individual basis. 

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations. 

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £18,622.

Additional research expenses will also be available. 

How to Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Health Science / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / January

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2024
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS430 - Spatial Hearing’

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

We encourage you to complete the following to support our commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination and celebrating diversity at Swansea University: 

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via email):

  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of EDI form submission (optional)

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Dr Barry Bardsley (

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.