Project DeStress is recruiting!

Two fabulous opportunities have arisen to join the research team at Project DeStress, at Heriot-Watt University with Dr Sarah Payne. One is for a post doctoral acoustician the other is to become a doctorate research student. Further information about each is described below and full details can be found at the relevant links. I look forward to reading over the strong applications and research proposals and welcoming new members to the team.

  1. Postdoctoral Research Associate – Environmental Acoustics and Soundscapes

Deadline: 2nd May 2018

Location: Heriot-Watt University, UK

Salary: £31,604 – £38,833 (Grade 7)

Contract: Fixed Term, 8 months with a possible extension to 10 months

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) to work with Dr Sarah Payne, in The Urban Institute, at Heriot-Watt University, for a period of eight months in the first instance, with the potential for a 2 month extension. The successful appointee will be involved in the delivery of Project DeStress, an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project. The project aims to develop a Visual Soundscape Simulator to assist in Designing and Engineering Soundscapes To enable Restorative Environments for Sustainable Societies (DeStress).

The Postdoctoral appointee will be responsible for surveying the physical and acoustic conditions of a small number of UK quiet and calm urban areas and recreating them as audio-visual virtual environment simulations. This will be combined with public surveys on the perception of the soundscapes, and mapping soundscapes and user experiences of quiet and calm areas. Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant acoustics area, such as environmental acoustics, soundscapes, and audio engineering; experience in audio simulation; and experience in making high quality external audio recordings.

The PDRA will be based in the Health and Wellbeing in the Built Environment research team, with connections to the Acoustics and Noise Control group, and will liaise with the Project Partners.

For informal questions regarding the scholarship, please contact Dr Sarah Payne.


  1. PhD: Understanding and measuring soundscapes to create salutogenic environments

Deadline: 30th April 2018

Location: Heriot-Watt University, UK

Scholarship: Fee waiver (No maintenance grant).

Salutogenic environments support people’s health and wellbeing, thus salutogenic soundscapes (sounds we perceive in a place) are a vital ingredient to those environments. The PhD will be associated with, and extend on, an EPSRC funded project called DeStress, Designing and Engineering Soundscapes To enable Restorative Environments for Sustainable Societies. Project DeStress will have identified publically accepted quiet and calm areas in three UK urban cities. These quiet and calm areas can be examined further in this project to gain a greater understanding of what makes these positive environments for people to visit, pass through, and cognitively/emotionally restore. This PhD will also explore which soundscape assessment methods and ‘health and wellbeing’ indicators are the most appropriate to consistently utilise when evaluating public urban places. The urban places we are particularly interested in exploring are those that provide opportunities for cognitive and emotional restoration or those that encourage active behaviours such as walking and cycling. Please note, this PhD scholarship covers tuition fees and the applicant will need to cover their own living expenses.

For informal questions regarding the research position, please contact Dr Sarah Payne.