Quantifying deficiencies in children’s speech sound identification in noisy classrooms: Diagnostic test development and evaluation

Quantifying deficiencies in children’s speech sound identification in noisy classrooms: Diagnostic test development and evaluation

Programs Available


Reference Number


Opening Date

15 Sep 2019 12am AEST 

Closing Date

20 Feb 2020 11pm AEDT 

Scholarship available to



An opportunity exists for a funded PhD investigating deficits in children’s ability to perceive speech sounds in acoustically challenging listening situations, like many classrooms.

The PhD will involve the evaluation of a prototype of a Test of Speech Sound Perception in Noise (ToSSPiN). Research will involve prototype testing, collection of normative and test-retest reliability data, refinement of the test and collection and analysis of clinical data.

The dissertation will be co-supervised by Dr Sharon Cameron and Professor Harvey Dillon, who are currently preparing a prototype of the proposed test. The test will be designed to enable diagnosis of an auditory processing disorder (APD) to occur without false detection of children whose listening difficulties are caused primarily by cognitive or language deficits. Thus, relating results on the test to existing tests of children’s abilities in language, cognitive abilities and hearing is a vital part of the PhD research.

In addition to the scholarship, $12,000 p.a. top-up funding is provided for three years, as part of a Macquarie Co-Funded Fellowship (MCFF) being undertaken by Dr Cameron and Professor Harvey Dillon. The Fellowship, which aims to improve the assessment, management and remediation of listening difficulties in children with auditory processing deficits, includes the design and development of the ToSSPiN which will be evaluated by the PhD research. The industry partner is Sonova Holding AG - a leading hearing care solution provider.

As top-up funding for the PhD student is provided from an industry-funded grant, it is imperative that the research be conducted in a timely manner.


This scholarship is available to eligible domestic candidates to undertake a direct entry 3-year PhD program.

To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants are expected to have a record of excellent academic performance and additional relevant research experience and/or peer-reviewed research activity at a minimum level of a first-class Honours research degree or Master of Research, in line with the University’s scholarship rating guidelines. Refer to the Rating Scholarship Applicants section for more information about these guidelines.

Scholarship Components

The scholarship is comprised of the Tuition Fee Offset and a Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (MQRES) Living Allowance/Stipend.

The stipend component of the scholarship is currently valued at AUD $28,092 per annum (2020 rate, tax exempt). The scholarship has been approved for a maximum of 3 years.

Contact Details

Name: Dr Sharon Cameron
Email: sharon.cameron@mq.edu.au
Phone: 9850 6739; 0412 999 887

How to Apply

For information on how to apply, select the "How to Apply" button below.

Please note, at the start of your application you should select the scholarship type of "HDR Project/Supervisor Specific Scholarship"

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