We are interested in working with individuals with and without hearing loss who would like to participate in research. All of our research participants are compensated for their time and offered counseling about their auditory abilities as part of their involvement in our studies.

Northwestern University Hearing Aid Lab Studies

We are seeking research participants for the following studies:

We are seeking adults aged 50 or older with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s Dementia and hearing loss, along with one of their communication partners (such as a family member), to participate in a hearing aid research study. We hope to better understand how cognition impacts our ability to benefit from different kinds of hearing aid processing. In part of the study, participants will wear the hearing aids at home. Most of the testing will take place on either the Evanston or Chicago campus and requires a few visits over a 2-month period. There will also be some remote visits using telehealth or video conferencing software. Listeners will be compensated for their time.

The focus of this study is to understand how well adults with hearing loss perceive speech processed through different types of hearing aids. Our overall goal is to determine the best hearing aid settings for each person, based on their auditory abilities. We are interested in recruiting volunteers who have sensorineural hearing loss in at least one ear. You do not need to already have hearing aids to participate. Compensation for participation is made at $15/hour, for testing either in our laboratories or with equipment delivered to you at home.
More information about participating in a study:

Our research studies wouldn’t be possible without our participants who have been so generous with their time (and ears!). Because our research focuses on how aging, cognition, and hearing loss all interact, we work with adults of all ages, and with normal hearing up to severe hearing loss.

Newspaper ads, flyers, and social media postings are the most common way people first hear about us. We are lucky that some of our participants enjoy the process so much that they share their experience with friends and family.  We may also contact you if you’ve entered your name in a research registry, where people interested in research participation sign up to be contacted when they meet the criteria for studies.

Besides a general interest in research, people are drawn to our studies because they are interested in a specific topic. Other times a participant may have a desire to find out more about their own hearing abilities. We are a research lab and do not sell hearing aids, but our research staff includes licensed audiologists who can counsel a participant about their test results, recommend next steps for clinical care, and provide appropriate referrals.

The first step when someone is interested in a study is to contact us, either via phone or email. We will review the study criteria to see if the person is eligible for the study. In many cases, we may schedule a screening appointment to confirm eligibility.

After reviewing and signing the consent form, we will take a detailed hearing health history, complete a hearing test, and perform a cognitive screening. Some studies may have additional screening requirements. Most studies involve a listening task. For example, a participant might wear earphones or hearing aids while listening to speech in noise.

Our studies are based in Evanston or Northwestern’s medical campus in Chicago. We are currently conducting studies remotely or with limited in-person testing, while following all CDC, state and university health guidelines.

Our current studies can be found here. We are also happy to discuss our studies, either via phone or email.

For more information on these studies or other research opportunities, please contact us at 847-467-0897 or email us at halab@northwestern.edu.

For information on clinical hearing services, you may contact the Northwestern University Center for Audiology, Speech, Language and Learning at 847-491-3165.