Research Grants in Hearing and Balance: 2020 Recipients

Research Grants in Hearing and Balance: 2020 Recipients

May 26, 2020 Academy News
By Ryan McCreery

Through the generous funding provided by the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF), the Academy awards grants to support new investigators and students in their research endeavors.  

The AAAF funds the grants program. Contributions from The American Institute of Balance, founded by Dr. Richard Gans, support in part the Vestibular Student Investigator Grant.

The 2020 application cycle began in fall 2019 with the call for proposals and a January 2020 submission deadline. The Academy’s Research Initiatives Committee evaluates proposals with a scoring rubric before making final selections and award notifications. Projects are to start in June 2020 with a one-year period. 

New Investigator Research Grant ($10,000)

Title: Biomarkers of Speech Perception in Adult Cochlear Implant Recipients

Investigator:  Sharon Miller, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of North Texas

Mentor: Erin Shafer, PhD, University of North Texas

Purpose: To identify an objective biomarker of speech perception in adult cochlear implant recipients that is sensitive to individual differences in performance.


Student Investigator Research Grant ($5,000)

Title: Tinnitus and Decreased Subcortical and Cortical Inhibition

Investigator:  Kenneth V. Morse, AuD, PhD Student, Syracuse University

Mentor: Kathy Vander Werff, PhD, Syracuse University

Purpose: To objectively determine whether there is evidence of compromised subcortical and cortical inhibition in people with tinnitus and to describe the potential effects of variables related to tinnitus, such as noise exposure, hearing loss, and age, on subcortical and cortical inhibition in an effort to determine whether it is tinnitus, another characteristic, or a combination thereof that influences subcortical and/or cortical inhibition.


Student Investigator Vestibular Research Grant ($5,000)

Title: Statistical Detection of Cervical Vestibular-Evoked Myogenic Potentials

Investigator:  Daniel Romero, AuD, PhD Student, James Madison University

Mentor: Erin Piker, AuD, PhD, James Madison University

Purpose: To characterize the behavior of an objective statistical detection method called Fsp for detection of cVEMPs.


Student Summer Vestibular Fellowship ($2,500)


Title: Characterizing Adolescent Central Auditory Processing of Speech-in-Noise

Student:  Danielle N. Bubniak, Audiology Doctoral Student, Syracuse University

Advisors: Kathy Vander Werff, PhD, and Karen Doherty, PhD, Syracuse University

Project Description: My proposed summer research fellowship project will be working on a cross-sectional study of adolescent and adult SiN processing, utilizing objective and behavioral measures of peripheral and central auditory function across age groups including adolescents (13-19 years), young-adults (20-40), and middle-aged adults (40-60). 


Learn more about the 2021 cycle and call for applications opening fall 2020.

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