All students

PhD in Auditory Cognition (Griffiths Lab, Newcastle University Medical School)

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,285 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

28 September 2020 for 3 years.

Application closing date

29 July 2020.


1. Please see for an overview of the group, our work, and recent papers and preprints.

2. The student will contribute to the development and application of tests that assess the ability of subjects to group together and retain sounds that have a complex structure, like speech, and separate these from a noisy background. Unlike speech, the sounds are not associated with meaning, and their detection can be measured precisely in patients that speak different languages and have different language skills. These tests allow us to measure an important process that is more closely related to speech-in-noise analysis than simple hearing tests. The first tests we have used predict how well people hear speech in noise independently of simple hearing tests. We aim to develop further tests for the hearing clinic to predict how well people will manage in the real world: real world listening tests. The initial development is carried out on normal hearing listeners.

3. The student will also learn EEG techniques and apply these to understanding the brain mechanisms for auditory processing. This work is an end in itself and part of a wider programme involving other members of the group based at UCL (3T and 7T fMRI) and USA (invasive neurosurgical studies). We have frequent interaction with other elements of the programme in which the student will have the opportunity to participate.


Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor TD Griffiths

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in Physiology, Psychology, or Biomedical Sciences. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous. We have had a number of physical sciences graduates successfully transition to Neuroscience in our lab and would be pleased to consider pre-application enquiries (which would be essential).

This award is available to UK/EU and international applicants.

To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

• insert the programme code 8300F* in the programme of study section
• select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Biosciences' as the programme of study
• insert the studentship code BI030 in the studentship/partnership reference field
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code BI030 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
• attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.

* The online application system will only allow one application using the programme code 8300F. If you are applying for TWO or more projects using that code then you will need to email our Postgraduate Admissions Service ( with the following information:

your application number (from the first project application that you submitted online)
the second studentship code and its corresponding title
a two page covering letter for the second project

Our Postgraduate Admissions Service will then forward this information to the relevant selector in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.


For further details, please contact:

Professor TD Griffiths
Newcastle University Biosciences Institute

Eligible Courses