PhD scholarship in Audio-Visual Deep Learning for Cognitive Hearing Technology

Monday 20 Jun 22

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Are you interested in combining deep learning and cognitive neuroscience to help create new hearing technology?

The Centre for Auditory Neuroscience at DTU Health Tech would like to invite applications for a 3-year PhD position in audio-visual AI for cognitive hearing technology. The project focuses on developing deep learning methods that combine audio, video and eye-tracking data from user sensors. The goal is to be able to predict who or what a listener is focusing attention on in real-life communication situations. This can eventually be used to steer audio speech separation systems so that a hearing instrument can ‘zoom-in’ on the sounds that the user wants to listen to. The project also involves collecting brain data (EEG) to analyse and decode the users’ intentions in audio-visual scenes.  

As a PhD student you will be joining an international research team in the newly established Center for Auditory Neuroscience supported by the William Demant Foundation. Here, you will join an international research team working on understanding how sound is processed by the brain and how we can create neurotechnology for future hearing instruments. At DTU, you will also be linked with the Hearing Systems section of DTU Health Tech and part of an internationally leading research environment covering a range of hearing-related topics, including auditory signal processing and perception, computational auditory modelling, audiology, acoustics, and hearing-aid signal processing. Our section houses outstanding facilities for audio-visual research, including a multi-speaker anechoic virtual reality facility, a communication lab, sound-shielded listening environments, and a neurophysiology lab.

Responsibilities and tasks
The primary responsibility will be to develop deep neural networks to process audio and video data. The main task is to develop algorithms that decode sounds and images to understand user’s focus in natural communication situations. You will also be involved in collection of the data (audio, video, eyetracking, EEG) at the DTU communication laboratories. You may also be involved in collection and analysis of brain data (EEG) for auditory attention decoding.   

You must hold a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or equivalent within computer science, AI, biomedical engineering, physics, acoustics, applied mathematics, or similar. The candidate should be very well-versed in deep learning and have practical experience within neural networks, ideally within audio and/or video applications. You should have experience in defining and training neural networks by use of a computational framework for GPU programming (such as PyTorch). You are curious about neuroscience and the interface between cognitive science and machine learning and interested in machine perception of sounds and images. Experience within applications such as object recognition, first-person video, active learning, real-time algorithms, or speech separation is a plus. The candidate should enjoy working in a cross-disciplinary research field, be able to work independently, and communicate research in English.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Jens Hjortkjær (PI)

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation, and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The workplace is DTU Lyngby Campus

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Jens Hjortkjær,

You can read more about DTU Health Tech at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 15 August 2022 (Danish time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 140 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.