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Research Fellow in Immersive Audio

Surrey, United Kingdom
£36,024 to £41,732 per annum depending on experience
Closing date
15 Jan 2024

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Sound & Video Recording

Location: Guildford
Salary: £36,024 to £41,732 per annum depending on experience
Fixed Term to 28th February 2027
Post Type: Full Time
Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Monday 15 January 2024
Interview Date: To be confirmed
Reference: 064823

Applications are invited for two Research Fellows to be based in the Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR, ) and to work on the EPSRC project CIAT (“Challenges in Immersive Audio Technologies”) conducted in collaboration with King’s College London, and the University of Southampton.

There are 6 positions available, two at each institution. Candidates are encouraged to apply for multiple posts if they feel that their experience is well aligned with the positions.

The proposed start date for the posts is the 1st March 2024, but it can be deferred, if required. The posts will be offered on a full-time fixed-term contract for 36 months or until 28th February 2027 (whichever comes sooner).

About Us

The IoSR was founded in 1998, and it has become known internationally as a leading centre for research in psychoacoustic engineering, with world-class facilities and with significant funding from research councils (in particular EPSRC and the European Commission) and from industry. We have extensive industry connections, with ongoing research projects in collaboration with Electronic Arts, Bang & Olufsen, BBC R&D, Meta (Facebook) Reality Labs, L-Acoustics, Sonos, the National Gallery, among many others. Additionally, the IoSR was a founding partner in the EPSRC-funded Digital Music Research Network (DMRN) and Spatial Audio Creative Engineering Network (SpACE-Net).

Our work combines elements of digital signal processing, acoustics, psychoacoustics (theoretical and experimental), psychology, sound synthesis, software engineering, statistical analysis and user-interface design. Our world-class facilities include industry-specification sound-recording studios and edit suites, and an ITU-R BS.1116 standard critical listening room equipped with a 22.2-channel reproduction system.

The IoSR is also home to the Tonmeister degree in Music and Sound Recording, which produced a stream of highly successful graduates, including two Oscar winners, ten Grammy winners, and twelve BAFTA winners.

About the role

Immersive technologies will transform not only how we communicate and experience entertainment, but also our experience of the physical world, from shops to museums, cars to classrooms. Despite significant progress in the computer vision community, long-standing fundamental challenges adversely impact on audio technologies, preventing immersion into realistic acoustic scenes in which the audience feels transported to an alternate reality. 

Specifically, state-of-the-art immersive audio technologies (a) suffer from computational requirements preventing real-time creation of shared, interactive immersive audio experiences, and (b) are limited in their ability to efficiently deliver shared, high-quality auditory experiences to multiple listeners. CIAT’s vision is to transform the state of the art by developing a principled, scalable and reconfigurable framework for capturing and reproducing only perceptually relevant information.

Successful candidates will gain extensive opportunities for: 

  1. collaboration and networking between the three partner institutions and with external academic collaborators, stakeholders, and industry partners, including Stanford CCRMA (US), BBC (UK), SONOS (UK), National Gallery (UK); 
  2. travel, including international conferences and workshops, as well as research visits at the partner institutions and Stanford CCRMA; 
  3. access to state-of-the-art research facilities and resources, e.g., the IoSR-hosted reference listening room, and the ISVR-hosted anechoic chamber.

At Surrey we are recruiting in two areas:

  • (A) Immersive Audio Reproduction, which will involve developing novel psychoacoustic-based technologies for 3D sound reproduction.
  • (B) Perceptual Evaluations, which will involve exploring human auditory perception and designing and executing subjective listening evaluations. 

About you

The successful applicants will have a range of skills, including some of the following;

  • Strong, independent research skills.
  • A PhD, or close to completion, in engineering, computer science or related area.
  • Strong background in (A) signal processing and/or (B) acoustics.
  • Experience with (A) developing new immersive audio reproduction methods and/or with (B) designing and executing formal listening experiments. 

Informal enquiries may be made to the Surrey project lead, Dr Enzo De Sena 

To apply

Please attached your CV and complete the application form tailoring your answers to the specific evidence required.

Interviews week commencing 22nd January 2024

Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£34,980) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate.  Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased.

Further details:    Job Description    

For more information and to apply online, please download the further details and click on the 'apply online' button above.

In return we offer a generous pension, relocation assistance where appropriate , flexible working options including job share and blended home/campus working locations (dependent on work duties), access to world-class leisure facilities on campus, a range of travel schemes and supportive family friendly benefits including an excellent on-site nursery.

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.

The University of Surrey is committed to providing an inclusive environment that offers equal opportunities for all.  We place great value on diversity and are seeking to increase the diversity within our community.  Therefore we particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups, such as people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities.

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