Postdoctoral Research Associate in Spatial Audio and Accessibility

University of York Department of Electronic Engineering

United Kingdom

Postdoctoral Research Associate (Spatial Audio & Accessibility)

Department:Electronic Engineering
Based at:University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work:Full-time
Contract status:Fixed term
Salary:33,309 - 40,927 per year
Interview Date:8th February 2022
Posted Date:17/12/2021
Apply by;23/01/2022
Job Reference:10215

Role Description


The AudioLab ( at the Department of Electronic Engineering, University of York is looking for a talented post-doctoral research associate to join the Enhancing Audio Description II project.

The project seeks to explore the potential of sound design practices and spatial audio to provide accessible film and television experiences for visually impaired audiences. The project builds on the first Enhancing Audio Description (EAD) Project, which proposed a new paradigm in accessible experiences for visually impaired individuals. Rather than a reliance on spoken description, as in traditional Audio Description, EAD utilises new accessibility features that include: the addition of sound effects, the spatialisation of dialogue and sounding objects, and first-person narration, to provide accessible experiences that are seamlessly integrated into the soundtrack of a film or television programme. This project explores further how these features can transition from one-off bespoke projects, to fully integrated tools in the production workflows for television and film.

The exploration of these methods will be conducted with an end-user centred approach, in which visually impaired audiences are consulted from the design process up to delivery. Furthermore, the project explores the creation of guidelines that will allow the incorporation of these methods to professional broadcasting pipelines and film workflows, by collaborating with a Project Advisory Panel representative of the different roles in film and television as well as end users.


The position is of 2.5 years duration. The candidate is required to have strong background knowledge in spatial audio, listening test design and implementation and good coding skills. They will conduct a programme of research to fulfil deliverables on the Enhancing Audio Description II project, including development of production and post-production tools and conducting listening studies to evaluate project outputs. They will disseminate research at international conferences, symposia and consortium meetings as well as create articles for high impact journals. The project requires the candidate to be present at York to conduct experimental work, but desk research can be carried out remotely if needed.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • A first degree in Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering, Music Technology or related discipline and a PhD in Spatial Audio or related field.
  • Strong knowledge of spatial audio and associated research techniques and methodologies, including binaural and object based audio.
  • Experience in listening test design, implementation and analysis.
  • An effective communicator with a track record of conference and journal publication.
  • A strong desire to work in the field of accessibility.

Condition of Employment

This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Consequently, all applicants will be asked to declare both unspent and spent convictions on their application form. 

Appointment of the successful candidate will be conditional on a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Interview: 8th February 2022

For informal enquiries: please contact Dr. Gavin Kearney at or contact Dr. Mariana Lopez at

The University strives to be diverse and inclusive  – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University. 

We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork 

In your application, please refer to


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