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Research Fellow: User Behaviour in VR Systems

UCL - Electronic & Electrical Engineering

As part of our work within the SpheryStream project, the UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Information and Communication Engineering Group, invites applications for one (1) postdoctoral research position in User Behaviour in VR Systems. 

A major challenge for the next decade is to design virtual and augmented reality systems (VR at large) for real-world use cases such as healthcare, entertainment, e-education, and high-risk missions. This requires VR systems that operate at scale, in a personalized manner, remaining bandwidth-tolerant whilst meeting quality and latency criteria. This can be accomplished only by a fundamental revolution of the coding/streaming/rendering chain that has to put the interactive user at the heart of the system rather than at the end of the chain. This new paradigm shift towards user-centric streaming has opened many new challenges, among which the understanding of user behaviour within VR content. 

We are looking for a talented postdoctoral researcher to join our team and help us fulfil the project’s goals, producing quality research. The work will involve working on machine learning strategies to analyse/predict users behaviour in 360-degree content, with the possibility of extending the research to volumetric videos and to quality of experience analysis and optimization of the whole delivery chain. The successful candidate will participate in the design, validation, evaluation and performance analysis of user-centric solutions for the delivery of omnidirectional content. 

The postholder will also be expected to lead the drafting and submitting of papers to high quality peer reviewed conferences and high-profile journals as well as presenting the research at international conferences and project meetings. Additional duties include contributing to the preparation and drafting of research bis and proposals. 

The work will be carried out within the EPSRC-SFI funded project, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin (prof. Alojsa Smolic), BBC Research Manchester (Graham Thomas), CWI (Prof. Pablo Caesar), Adobe USA (Dr. Vishy Swaminthan), and Ozyegin University (Prof. Ali Begen). The work will result in scientific publications in top-level venues in multimedia and machine learning conferences and journals. 

The posts are available from 1st January 2021 – 31st December 2021 in the first instance. Further funding to support the posts may be available. The candidate will work under the supervision of Dr. Laura Toni at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL. Further details on the project can be found here: 

Applicants should hold a PhD degree (or be about to submit ) in Engineering / Computer Science. A strong (first or upper second class) undergraduate degree in Electronic Engineering or Computer Science is also required. 

A strong background in VR systems is required in addition to laboratory skills and communication experimental design skills. Applicants should have experience of working in a research environment as well as strong programming skills. A good knowledge of machine learning would be desirable. 

If the successful candidate has not yet been awarded their PhD, appointment will be made as a Research Assistant (Grade 6B). Payment at Grade 7 will be backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis including corrections, once the PhD has been awarded. The salary scale for Research Assistant (Grade 6B), point 24-26 is £31,542 - £33,257 per annum. 

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘Apply’ button above. 

Interested applicants are encouraged to make informal enquiries about the post to Dr Laura Toni at .

Any queries regrading the application process can be sent to Vicky Coombes at

UCL Taking Action for Equality 

Our department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award, in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality.

Location: London
Salary: £36,028 to £43,533 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance (Grade 7)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 21st October 2020
Closes: 3rd December 2020
Job Ref: 1872557
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