The Hearing Industry Research Consortium (IRC) has announced its most recent grant proposal recipients. The team of Theo Goverts, PhD, and Steve Colburn, PhD, along with Virginia Best, PhD, was selected to receive $150,000 each for research, which will advance the understanding of the perception of dynamic spatial listening scenarios.

Formed in 2012, the IRC is made up of the heads of research from the top hearing aid manufacturers in the world with the purpose of creating research that will benefit the hearing aid industry and audiology community as a whole. 

 Steve Colburn, PhD
Theo Goverts, PhD

Goverts is head of the Audiological Center and a medical physicist audiologist at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and Colburn is the director of the Hearing Research Center and professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University. Their research will take a detailed look at speech recognition in realistic dynamic listening scenarios. 

“We are very excited by the opportunities provided by this grant to address questions related to spatial hearing in complicated listening situations,” says Goverts. “We hope that our work will help audiologists to better treat people with hearing problems.”

Virginia Best, PhD

 Best currently works as a research scientist with the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) in Sydney, Australia, and as a research assistant professor at the Hearing Research Center, Boston University. Her research will examine a dynamic speech comprehension task for assessing real-world listening ability and hearing aid benefit.

“We are delighted that the IRC has decided to support this work. The grant will enable us to develop a new test that measures how well people can follow dynamic conversations in noisy places,” says Best. “Using this test, we will also gather new knowledge about how hearing loss and hearing aids affect this critical part of everyday communication.”

The IRC says it received 24 outstanding grant proposals from around the world for this most recent RFP. 

“We are very pleased to have received quite a large number of excellent proposals from renowned universities all around the world and we want to thank every applicant for his or her contribution,” says Stefan Launer, PhD, the 2013 Chair of the IRC. “We have selected proposals that present a mixture between innovative approaches to basic science and direct clinical applicability. We wish the two selected research teams great success with their projects, and we very much look forward to seeing the results being openly and publicly presented and discussed. Hopefully, this initiative will stimulate further research in this exciting field.”