Vacancy: Research assistant -- geospatial engineer / data scientist

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 research assistant to join the research group and assist with research in the geospatial & data science domain – 3D city models / BIM, data integration (focusing on crowdsourced and dynamic geospatial data) and use cases, under the umbrella of digital twins.

The successful applicant will be engaged on novel research lines in the context of digital twins, namely: integration of nascent data sources, initiating new means of benchmarking and quality assessment of data and workflows, and developing new use cases pertaining to building/urban/geospatial data infrastructure in the frame of smart cities. Positioned at the intersection of academia, industry, international organisations and government, the nature of the work is computational and practical. It will include implementing software tools, drafting standards (e.g. advancing CityJSON), and producing data. For example, the researcher will be involved in coding translation mechanisms between datasets stored in different formats and spanning different scales, crunching big / dynamic / crowdsourced / geospatial data and developing software to make use of them, and visualisation. A portion of the project will involve data collection, e.g. imagery and point clouds.

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

Candidates should have a computational affinity and a degree in computer science, geographical information science, geomatics, mechanical engineering, or another relevant field of study, with a demonstrated track record (in terms of working experience and/or publications/impact and/or other forms of output such as development of tools).

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

Scope and responsibilities

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Conducting research activities.
  • Development of software tools and related solutions.
  • Collaboration with other researchers and coordination.
  • Exploring new research directions and experimenting with new datasets and technologies.
  • Assisting the PI in various activities in the research group and project such as supervision/mentorship of students, management, 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 degree 🎓 in a related discipline from a reputable university. Current students are eligible to apply as well, provided that they are in the final stage of their studies and that their degree will be completed before the start of the appointment.
  • An ability to conduct research semi-independently.
  • A publication record is not required, but candidates with demonstrated impact, writing skills, and a strong affinity to publish are welcome to emphasise these in their application.
  • Proficiency in one or more of the following areas: GIS, computer science, game engines, Geomatics, 3D city modelling, computer vision / AI / ML, 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. We will prioritise applicants who can demonstrate these qualities through a Github profile or similar evidence.
  • 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.

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 be welcome to explore and learn new tools and technologies, and expand your current skillset.
  • 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 and growing topic.
  • Visibility and exposure of your work.
  • Potential contact with industrial and governmental partners, both locally and internationally.
  • A diverse, inclusive, friendly, and flexible working environment.
  • Exploring new ideas and an opportunity to experiment with the state of the art.
  • The remuneration will be determined according to the university’s salary range depending on the degree and experience.

Please note that this is not a PhD position. This is a full-time research job.


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


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. It is also considered as the world’s best place to be during the ongoing pandemic.

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. Working at our Lab presents a rare opportunity in Singapore and Southeast Asia to be involved in 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.

Our Lab is located at SDE4, the first newly-built net-zero energy building in Singapore, and the first university building in the world to be WELL Certified Gold.

Our department is consistently ranked among the best in the world.

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


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.

Please apply by email (please write “Application for the research assistant position on digital twins” in the subject), including the following materials:

  • CV
  • Short cover letter (about one page) briefly indicating:
    • (i) your computational skills and relevant experience so far and how would they translate to benefit this project, and your learning goals and aspirations;
    • (ii) outlook on the topic, project, some of our work/publications; and
    • (iii) how do you intend to contribute to our growing research group and enhance its activities beyond this project.
    • The letter should also include the expected availability / preferred starting date. Keep it short and simple, please. One paragraph for each of these points is sufficient.
  • Optional: publications are not required to apply for this position, but if you have published a paper that mirrors your background and research so far, and one that you are particularly proud of, you are welcome to include it. A link to the article is sufficient, no need to include a PDF in your email. Alternatively, you are welcome to include your thesis.
  • 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. Candidates who can demonstrate software development and computational skills will be preferred.

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.

Applications will be considered as they are received and the position will remain open until filled.

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.