Postdoctoral Researcher in Designing Virtual Reality Environments for Green Travel Experiments job with UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI | 312824 – Times Higher Education

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The Digital Geography Lab is an interdisciplinary research group at the Faculty of Science, focused on spatial big data analytics on a human scale to support the planning of fair and sustainable societies. Most of the Lab’s research uses people’s mobility and accessibility as a tool to understand the interactions between people, and people and their environment. As a postdoctoral researcher, you will benefit from the stimulating research environment of the University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geosciences and Geography, and the research lab that emphasises scientific rigor, creative and critical thinking, and mutual support and respect.
GREENTRAVEL (Greener Travel Environments for Everyone – from measured wellbeing impacts to Big Data analytics) is an ERC funded project that will operate within the Digital Geography Lab for 5 years, from the year 2023 onwards. The project team of five researchers will aim at producing further knowledge on the associations between green travel environments and wellbeing. Furthermore, they will inspect how equitably good travel environments are available for urban populations during the daily trips. The project will apply a broad variety of advanced methods including spatial big data analytics, experimentation in Virtual Reality and computer vision to produce knowledge that can advance the quality and sustainability of urban environments for all. The work is carried out in several cities. It starts from the Helsinki region and later expands to several other European cities including London and Berlin.
Faculty of Science invites applications for a
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER IN DESIGNING VIRTUAL REALITY ENVIRONMENTS FOR GREEN TRAVEL EXPERIMENTS starting from February 2023, or as agreed, for a two-year fixed-term employment contract.
Position description
The postdoctoral researcher focuses on designing realistic virtual reality (VR) environments with varying greenery features and seasons, to be used for controlled experiments of greenery exposure during travel. These experimentations will be a group effort of the GREENTRAVEL project team and the postdoctoral researcher will have a key role in developing the realistic VR environments with varying levels of urban greenery and other nature elements, and studying their usability in controlled scientific experimentations. The postdoctoral researcher will participate in the actual experimentations in various study cities. Depending on their expertise and interest, the postdoctoral researcher may also contribute to the other parts of the project. E.g. skills in computer vision allow participation in creating human perspective indicators of urban greenery to be used for broader spatial analyses. Overall, the postdoctoral researcher is welcomed to take part in the Lab activities at large, and they may teach and supervise students in the Geography Master’s Programme.
Requirements and eligibility criteria
We seek for a postdoctoral researcher with advanced technical skills and scientific curiosity. The postdoctoral researcher is expected to have the ability to conduct independent scientific research and technical development collaboratively in a multidisciplinary research environment. The
postdoctoral researcher should have a doctoral degree in computer science or engineering, or a related field. We look for an advanced and proven expertise in designing realistic and adjustable Virtual Reality environments, for example using game engines. Experience with scientific experimentation using VR environments is considered a merit. Furthermore, we value expertise in other methods relevant for the GREENTRAVEL project, including statistics, computer vision, spatial big data mining and spatial modelling. We value good scientific and interpersonal communication skills, and the ability to produce scientific text efficiently. Language skills in the project languages (English, Finnish, German and Spanish) are considered a merit.
The candidates’ doctoral degree must have been granted by the awarding institution prior to the date for the job interviews. Furthermore, the doctoral degree is expected to have been granted no more than five years prior to application (2017 or later). The five-year limit may be exceeded for particularly compelling reasons (for instance parental leave or military service) and is subject to negotiation.
The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Salary and benefits
The starting salary of the postdoctoral researcher will be ca. 3600-3800 euros/month, depending on the appointees’ qualifications and experience. Furthermore, the University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.
How to apply?
Please submit your application as a single pdf file, which includes the following documents in English:
External applicants, please submit your application to the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply Now button.
Applicants who have a helsinki.fi username and a valid employment/grant/visitor contract at the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the Employee login button.
We will start processing the applications on the November 7th, 2022. The position will be filled once a suitable candidate is found. Deadline for the applications is November 20th, 2022.
More information?
For questions project and position related questions, please contact
For experiences on the Digital Geography Lab as a work place, feel free to contact any of the lab members: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/digital-geography-lab/people-contact.
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