PhD scholarship in acoustics: The impact of positive soundscapes in indoor built environments

Heriot-Watt University

School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Contract Type
Funded PhD Project

Closing Date
17 April 2023

More info

About the Project

Project Ref: JWS2023-LG

Acoustics research at Heriot-Watt University aims at integrating engineering and perceptual approaches to reduce noise in the built environment and improve quality of life. This is in line with the soundscape approach, which relies both on physical characteristics and qualitative perception of the aural environment. Soundscape research includes the promotion of positive sounds (e.g. water, birdsongs, bells and wind in trees) and combines engineering and social science methodologies, in view of developing solutions aimed at improving well-being and comfort. An example of research recently carried out at Heriot-Watt University is given by the acoustical and perceptual assessment of water sounds and their use for road traffic noise masking and irrelevant speech masking.

A PhD scholarship is available to further develop soundscape research at Heriot-Watt University. The proposed project will focus on the impact of positive sounds in indoor environments (e.g. receptions and lobbies, offices and restaurants), when these are used for promoting relaxation and psychological restoration, as well as for masking indoor noise (e.g. providing privacy between nearby spaces). The project will be mainly concerned with acoustical design, cognitive performance and assessing restorative experiences. It will include a combination of experimental work, auditory tests and theoretical modelling.


This scholarship is available to Home and Overseas students. The successful candidate will be based on campus in Edinburgh.

To be eligible, applicants should have a first-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent experience. Scholarships will be awarded by competitive merit, taking into account the academic ability of the applicant.

We recognise that not every talented researcher will have had the same opportunities to advance their careers. We therefore will account for any particular circumstances that applicants disclose (e.g. parental leave, caring duties, part-time jobs to support studies, disabilities etc.) to ensure an inclusive and fair recruitment process.

How to apply

To apply you must complete our online application form.

Please select PhD Construction as the programme and include the full project title, reference number (JWS2023-LG) and supervisor name on your application form. You will also need to provide a CV, a supporting statement (1-5 A4 pages) outlining your suitability and how you would approach the project, a copy of your degree certificate(s) and relevant transcripts and an academic reference.

You must also provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue or if you have not already completed a degree that was taught in English within the last 2 years). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0 or a TOEFL certificate with a minimum score of 90 points.

Please address informal questions to Dr Laurent Galbrun ()

If you have any general queries about the applications process, please contact 


The closing date for applications is 17th April 2023 and applicants must be available to start in September 2023.

Posted on 23rd March 2023 in Job Opportunities in Acoustics