Ear Institute MD(Res)

Research areas:

  • Cell biology of hearing and balance loss: understanding the mechanism of sensory hair cell death; repair of the sensory epithelia; hair cell regeneration; stem cell-based approaches for screening and therapy..
  • Cellular physiology of hair cells: mechanisms of transduction; biophysics of afferent synapses; physiological characterisation of auditory neurons; electrophysiology
  • Clinical audiology: evaluating current approaches for hearing impairment, tinnitus, cochlear implants, balance disorders and new diagnostic tools
  • Cochlear homeostasis: epithelial barrier functions; roles of gap junctions; fluid and ion homeostasis
  • Cognitive neuroscience: brain mechanisms of sound localisation; coding complex sounds in auditory cortex; molecular physiological basis of synaptic and neural activity
  • Molecular genetics of hearing and deafness: identifying susceptibility genes for age-related hearing loss
  • Psychophysics and speech perception: spectral and temporal processing, pitch perception, binaural hearing, development of speech perception and music perception
  • Testing auditory function: otoacoustic emissions to identify susceptibility to hearing loss; development of sensitive audiological test procedures for diagnostic clinical use.

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IRIS department: The Ear Institute

Entry requirements

MD(Res) applicants must have obtained the MBBS degree (or equivalent) and be eligible for registration with the UK General Medical Council.

English level expected: Standard


Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.


  • UK/EU Full-time: £4,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £2,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £20,900
  • Overseas Part-time: £10,450


There may be funding opportunities through individual research grants from various sources.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website


Recent graduates have gone on to work in research institutions across the world, in higher education, in schools, the NHS (Moorfields Eye Hospital) and other disciplines.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • John Hopkins University, Postdoctoral fellow, 2012
  • University of Western Ontario, Postdoctoral fellow, 2011
  • UCL Ear Institute, Lecturer, 2011
  • NHS, Consultant Otolaryngologist and Head & Neck Surgeon, 2011
  • NHS, Core Surgical Trainee, 2009


Research students who study at the Ear Institute are exposed to a unique and truly multi-disciplinary environment in a world-class institution. Academic employers across the world recognise the growing strength of the Institute and the employability of students is enhanced by this. In addition, the engagement with leading manufacturers and suppliers of audiological devices provides excellent employment opportunities for students.


The Ear Institute (EI) is highly engaged with external groups including charities, investors and companies. Students will gain from the EI’s commitment to enterprise activities by being exposed to such groups and supported in entrepreneurial and commercial endeavours.

Next steps


Ms Cathy Thornewill

T: +44 (0)20 7679 8908


Ear Institute

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Prospectus subject

Ear Institute

Faculty overview

Brain Sciences


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