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PROF Colette McKay




    • Professor Colette McKay leads the translational hearing research at The Bionics Institute of Australia. She holds honorary appointments at the University of Melbourne Department of Medical Bionics and Department of Otolaryngology. She obtained her PhD in Physics in 1979 followed by the Diploma in Audiology in 1980. Until 2005 she contributed to the development of the cochlear implant at the Department of Otolaryngology. Her work in that period led to two prestigious principal research fellowships. In 2005 she took up a chair position at Aston University in Birmingham UK where she developed a new hearing research programme and the new UK undergraduate course in audiology. From 2007 to 2013 she led the Audiology and Deafness Research Group at the University of Manchester, where she retains an honorary appointment. In 2013 she returned to Australia with a veski Senior Innovation Fellowship. Her current research focus includes objective programming of cochlear implants for infants, the development of fNIRS as an imaging tool to evaluate cross modal plasticity in deafness, and the application of signal processing to new deep brain stimulation devices.   


    Member of

    • British Society of Audiology. Member 2008 -
    • Association for Research in Otolaryngology. Member 2000 -
    • Audiological Society of Australia. Clinical Certification 1986 -


    Selected publications


    Additional Grant Information

    • • NH&MRC project grant (1997-1999) Application 970398 - Title: “Speech perception by cochlear implantees: perceptual and related psychophysical studies”
      Budget: $187,044

      • NH&MRC project grant (1997-1999) Application 970597 - Title: “Auditory Hallucination, the phonological loop and coping strategies” - Budget: $231,153

      • Australian Academy of Science (1997) - Scientific Exchange Scheme with Royal Society (London) - Budget: $7850

      • The Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Senior/Principal Research Fellowship (1998-2002) - Title: “Fundamental processes affecting the performance of profoundly deaf patients with cochlear implants” - Budget: $795,000

      • The Lever Hulme Trust (UK) project grant (2000-2002) - Title: “Perceptual fusion and segregation of electrical stimulation by cochlear implant users” - Budget: £94,630

      • Melbourne Research Grant Scheme (2002) - Title: “Perceptual ability of children with auditory neuropathy” - Budget: $28,000

      • Melbourne Research Grant Scheme (2003) - Title: “Improved temporal perception by cochlear implantees” - Budget: $25,200

      • The Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund (2002-2004) - Title: “A study of the interaction of pitch and loudness in electrical stimulation to improve spectral shape perception among cochlear implantees” - Budget: $74,301

      • NH&MRC project grant (2002-2004) Application 208927 Title “Improved perception of temporal information in electrical signals for profoundly deaf users of cochlear implants” - Budget: $170,000

      • The Deafness Foundation (Victoria) Project Grant (2004) - Title: “Perceptual characterisation of children with congenital sensorineural hearing loss”
      Budget $12,110

      • NH&MRC Principal Research Fellowship (2003-20



    Education and training

    • GradDipAud, University of Melbourne 1980
    • PhD, University of Melbourne 1979
    • BSc(Hons), University of Melbourne 1974

    Awards and honors

    • Thomas Simm Littler award, The British Society of Audiology, 2009
    • NHMRC Fellowship, 2003
    • Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, 2002
    • Dunlop Rubber Australia Ltd. Research Scholarship, The University of Melbourne, 1974
    • Professor Kernot Research Scholarship, The University of Melbourne, 1974
    • Dixson Research Scholarship, The University of Melbourne, 1974
    • John Tyndall Scholarship, The University of Melbourne, 1974



    Available for supervision

    • Y

    Supervision Statement

    • I supervise research projects towards PhD, Masters in Audiology, Masters in Biomedical Science and Science Honours projects. Please see the project web site at the Bionics Institute for details of suggested project areas.