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Hearing Industry RFP on Neurodegeneration in Humans

This message, announcing an RFP that will provide $300k to support research into understanding auditory neurodegeneration and its impact on sound perception in humans, is posted on behalf of the Hearing Industry Research Consortium's current Chair, Joel Beilin:

During the last five years, our understanding of the pathophysiology of hearing loss in animal models has been substantially enhanced, and challenged, by the discovery of auditory neuronal damage, which does not always manifest in the shift of cochlear thresholds  (e.g., Kujawa & Liberman, 2009; Lin et al., 2011; Furman et al., 2013).The Hearing Industry Research Consortium wishes to support pre-competitive research that advances understanding of  auditory neurodegeneration and its impact on sound perception.

Eligible proposals will aim to enhance our understanding of clinical aspects of peripheral neurodegeneration — or “hidden hearing loss”—and its potential consequences on auditory perception and speech communication in humans.

This includes investigations of (a) measures to characterize (peripheral) neurodegeneration in humans, or (b) outcome measures for assessing the consequences of varying levels of peripheral neurodegeneration on auditory perception and/or hearing-aid benefit. Proposals should not be concerned with the development of new features for hearing aid systems. 

The funding pool for this RFP is 300,000 US Dollars, and the time period for execution of projects under this RFP is 2-3 years from 1st January 2015. Proposals for 2-year projects are preferred. It is envisaged that one or two project proposals will be funded.

Detailed descriptions of the application procedure, the guidelines for research under this scheme, and the proposed research area can be downloaded (http://hearingirc.com/downloads/current_rfp.doc) and also found on the IRC website (http://hearingirc.com/#requests). An application pdf form can also be found at the IRC website. Deadline for submission is August 15, 2014.

Questions can be sent to any of the IRC members listed on the website or using the Contact Form on the website.

The Hearing Industry Research Consortium (IRC) is made up of the heads of research from the top hearing aid manufacturers in the world, which include GN ReSound, Oticon, Phonak, Siemens, Starkey Hearing Technologies and Widex. The IRC was created to have a non-competitive, mutually agreed upon research agenda benefiting the hearing aid industry, its customers and end users. For more information about the Hearing Industry Research Consortium, visit www.hearingirc.com.