Vacancy: Postdoctoral research fellow on data quality/integrity in 3D GIS/smart cities/digital twins

Singapore skyline by [Mike Enerio]( on [Unsplash](
Singapore skyline by Mike Enerio on Unsplash.
It is not possible to apply anymore to this position, as we have received a sufficient number of applications. Thanks to all the applicants for their interest. For new vacancies please follow our opportunities page.

Job and project description

The Urban Analytics Lab at the National University of Singapore (NUS) is seeking a talented and highly motivated postdoctoral research fellow to join our research group to work on the topic of data quality and integrity in 3D city models and digital twins.

The successful applicant will focus on establishing and improving quality procedures for 3D city models and digital twins, researching sources and the impact of errors, initiating new means of benchmarking data and workflows, and understanding the reliability and integrity of modern solutions pertaining to geospatial data infrastructure in the context of smart cities. The work will include implementing tools and drafting standards.

Candidates should have a computational affinity and a PhD degree in geographical information science, computer science, geomatics, or another relevant field of study, with a successful track record (in terms of publications/impact and/or other forms of output).

The research fellow will be supervised by the principal investigator Dr Filip Biljecki, NUS School of Design and Environment.

The Lab will provide a motivating, conducive, and flexible environment to explore the research fellow’s interests and build skills required for future career steps.

Scope and responsibilities

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Conducting and leading research activities.
  • Exploring new research directions and experimenting with new datasets and technologies.
  • Assisting the PI in various activities in the research group such as supervision of students and assisting with funding applications.
  • Preparation of publications and managing other forms of research output such as software and data.

Required qualifications

You should demonstrate that you possess:

  • A PhD degree 🎓 in a related discipline from a reputable university. Current PhD candidates are eligible to apply as well, provided that they are in the final stage of their studies and that their PhD degree will be completed before the start of the appointment.
  • An ability to conduct research independently.
  • A solid publication record with demonstrated impact, excellent writing skills, and a strong affinity to publish.
  • Prior experience in one of the following areas: GIS, Geomatics, 3D city modelling, computer science, urban planning, and/or urban simulations.
  • Good communication skills in English, and an ability to present research in both academic and non-academic venues.
  • Experience with programming. Having built software used by others and/or scientific software experience is a plus.
  • An ability to supervise others (e.g. students).
  • Curiosity and passion to explore new concepts, methods and technologies, and capability of identifying and quickly learning the most suitable tools for the research on the go.
  • A positive and proactive stance on open science, preferably with demonstrated activities such as using and developing open-source software, releasing data as open data, and promoting reproducible research.

Further reading about the topic

The topic pertains to the decades old topic of spatial data quality; there are numerous research papers published, and it is intertwined with knowledge on quality assurance/integrity/benchmarking in other disciplines. However, the main research gap is that much of the research is confined to 2D spatial data and it falls short with the recent trends of the proliferation of 3D city models / digital twins, increasing integration of different datasets, and growing number of actors / users of geospatial data infrastructures.

The goal is to establish a new research line that caters to these trends and it considers the big picture of the quality and integrity of data and solutions in the era of digital twins and ubiquitousness of geoinformation in smart cities. For the work done so far in this topic by the Lab and the PI, check out the Lab’s list of publications and his previous work before establishing the Lab at NUS. We are looking to further such projects, but additional reading includes many publications by other research groups. While not entirely related, you might also want to check out the outcome of the international collaborative project GeoBIM benchmark 2019, in which we participated.

Our offer

  • You will be working on compelling research activities at the forefront of geographical information science and urban data science in a new research group that is gaining a strong momentum in Singapore and overseas.
  • You will advance your research and transferable skills required for the next stage of your career.
  • You will work in a research and educational environment where you may not only contribute to your own development, but also to others, e.g. by supervising master theses that may arise as part of the research.
  • Opportunity to make impactful contributions in the field, on a globally relevant topic.
  • Visibility and exposure of your work.
  • A diverse, inclusive, and flexible working environment.
  • Exploring new ideas and an opportunity to experiment with the state of the art.
  • You will live in a beautiful, clean and efficient city with great food and summer all year round ☀️, low taxes, unparalleled infrastructure and safety, and in a fully English speaking environment.
  • The remuneration will be determined according to the university’s salary range depending on the degree and experience.

Duration and start

The appointment is for one year, with a probation period of 3 months. The contract can be extended subject to performance.

The start of the appointment is planned in approx. Q2 2021.


National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is ranked consistently as one of the world’s top universities. It aspires to be a vital community of academics, researchers, staff, students and alumni working together in a spirit of innovation and enterprise for a better world.

Singapore is a cosmopolitan English-speaking city-state bridging the East and the West. It is considered as the #1 most competitive country and the safest country in the world, successfully attracting talents from all parts of the globe by offering first-class living and working experience in the heart of Southeast Asia, and a very clean, efficient and low-tax environment.

Urban Analytics Lab

The NUS Urban Analytics Lab is an interdepartmental multidisciplinary research group established in 2019 focusing on urban analytics, geographic data science, and 3D city modelling at the NUS School of Design and Environment. Our mission is to leverage on spatially enabled data for urban applications, catalyse the development of 3D geoinformation in the context of smart cities, make sense of big geospatial data and digital twins in the built environment, and cater to disciplines such as architecture, urban planning, and real estate to make informed decisions using 3D city models and urban analytics. The group is the first one in Singapore encompassing the entire 3D GIS ecosystem under the same roof: from standardisation and generation of 3D city models all the way to their utilisation and visualisation, while continuously exploring new frontiers in the field.

The principal investigator of the Lab was awarded the prestigious presidential young professorship in 2020, supporting the longterm development of the research group.


Please apply by email (please write “Application for the postdoc position on quality” in the subject), including the following materials:

  • CV
  • Cover letter (up to 2 pages) briefly indicating (i) your outlook on the state of the art of the topic and your idea and research plans how would you improve it; and (ii) how do you intend to contribute to our growing research group and enhance its activities. The letter should also include the expected availability / preferred starting date.
  • A copy of at least one first-authored paper published in a reputable journal that mirrors your background and research so far. A link to the article is sufficient, no need to include a PDF in your email.
  • Names and contact information for three referees.
  • Other materials that indicate possessing the required qualifications, e.g. link to a public Github repository you have developed, talks, and portfolio.

In accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), please provide consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal data, using the NUS Personal Data Consent for Job Applicants form.

The deadline to apply is 15 December 2020. The vacancy will be closed earlier if a suitable candidate is identified before the deadline. Applications will be considered as of 1 October 2020. It is not possible to apply anymore to this position, as we have received a sufficient number of applications. Thanks to all the applicants for their interest. For new vacancies please follow our opportunities page

For general information about academic jobs at NUS, please visit NUS Academic Appointments.

We appreciate your understanding that only applicants shortlisted for the interview will be notified. Shortlisted candidates will later be asked to provide the full documentation, e.g. copy of diploma, letters of recommendation; these do not have to be submitted at this stage.


For more information feel free to contact Dr Filip Biljecki.