Researcher in Multiuser Extended Realities

Deadline: 01.01.2024

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

With about 17,500 students, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest higher education institutions in Norway. A broad range of academic programmes are offered at Bachelor, Master and PhD levels, spread out on five campuses Førde, Sogndal, Bergen, Stord og Haugesund.

Our ambition is to build stronger and more solid academic and research environments that will interact nationally and internationally. The aim is to become a recognized actor on the international higher education arena. Increased international cooperation and engagement in externally funded projects will work towards this goal.

The Faculty of Engineering and Science has approximately 370 employees and approximately 3,260 students. The faculty has a broad educational offer at both bachelor's and master's level in engineering and science, as well as PhD education in computer technology. The Mohns Center for Innovation and Regional Development researches innovation and offers master's education in innovation and entrepreneurship. The diving education offers a one-year vocational school education.

The main part of the faculty's activities are in Haugesund, Bergen, Sogndal and Førde, but we also offer decentralized education in Florø, Kristiansund and Stord.

The faculty's activities are internationally based and take place in close collaboration with regional companies, clusters, health trusts and the public sector, including other institutions in the university and college sector. This applies to research, development, innovation and not least education with student projects at all levels.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) has a vacancy for a researcher position in Multiuser Extended Realities (12 months).

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) has a vacancy for a researcher position in multiuser eXtended Realities (XR, incorporating Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality Environments) and serious games.

We are looking for a highly motivated and talented researcher to be part of the Research group within "Collaboration Interaction and Graphics", belonging to the larger group Software Engineering. The position is associated with the research project B-Prepared (Building PREPAREDness with Collaborative Knowledge Platform, Gamification and Serious Game in Virtual Reality), which is funded by the European Union's Horizon Europe Research, Security: Enhanced citizen preparedness in the event of a disaster or crisis-related emergency program, under grant agreement No 101121134. 

The vision of this innovation project is to develop a collaboration and co-creation ecosystem for enhancing citizen preparedness for disasters and crises via serious gaming, gamified e-learning, and knowledge sharing.

The position involves 12 months full-time work from April 2024. It is possible to perform this part-time until September 2026.

Starting Date: from 1st of April 2024.

Workplace will be campus Bergen.

About the B-Prepared project:

Serious games and multiuser graphical environments promise support for education and training in emergency preparedness. Recent disaster events showed clearly that even the best alert systems and top first responder organizations can not prevent fatalities and serious damage on properties without having prepared the citizens to act and react during disaster situations and crises, understand alerts, and follow instructions.

The project B-Prepared (Building PREPAREDness with Collaborative Knowledge Platform, Gamification and Serious Game in Virtual Reality) works towards developing a cost-effective solution for building a culture of disaster preparedness with a multi-actor approach in realistic historical scenarios. It builds on a freely accessible massive collaborative knowledge base and data hub, demonstrating its usefulness via three demonstrator applications:

- a cooperative multiplayer VR serious game, simulating real disaster scenarios for the safest near-real experience,

- an interactive gamified mobile app with age-appropriate content and

- a Learning Management System to measure preparedness levels effectively and comparably.

Within the project, a special emphasis is given to design and test these multiuser games utilizing different computer technologies and engage children and younger adults in learning emergency preparedness. 

Qualification requirements:

The candidate will work in close collaboration with three other senior researchers and a PhD student in our research team. The HVL team is responsible for a work package aiming to define a large-scale hackathon after several tests and needs to contribute to two other technical work packages, the "Concept, design, and technical specification", and the "Development, testing, integration, and refinement" work packages.

The main duty of the candidate is to contribute to designing games supporting learning, developing testing and evaluation methodologies for different user categories, and examine uptake and sustainability. Her/his main responsibility lies in defining a large-scale hackathon, based on results from closed beta, and open beta tests (the evaluation part).

Therefore, the candidate for this position must hold and document experiences in the following background knowledge:

- Evaluating multiuser XR applications

- Experience in utilizing XR for emergency work, education, and training

- Human-Computer Interaction (focus on design and evaluation methodologies) 

- Technical competence necessary to design and develop serious games and mobile applications

- Experience in learning management systems

- Software applications focusing on integration, tests, and evaluations involving end-users. 

A good and relevant publication record is also of value for this position. It is advantageous if the candidate has a large contact network in the research and/or practice areas. S/he will collaborate with several universities and organizations to further develop and demonstrate the usefulness of the B-Prepared solution. Therefore, a particular focus is on the participants' social skills and interest in communicating and taking part in and organizing workshops for students. The applicant will contribute to supervising MSC students.

Additional qualification requirements:

- PhD-degree or have submitted your doctoral dissertation for evaluation in the field related to Computer Science in Computer Graphics, Human-Computer Interaction, Interactive Systems, or other relevant areas

- Experience from practice or with technologies related to emergency preparedness

- Good proficiency in English

- Excellent communication skills

- Confidence in working independently

- Ability and willingness to work in inter- and transdisciplinary teams

Research environment

The Computer Science research environment at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has a strong focus on use-inspired and applied research and on ICT as an enabling technology. The research environment has cooperation with many national and international research groups and with national and regional industry partners.

The research programme the research fellows will belong to includes the research themes of software engineering, engineering computing, sensor networks and measurement technologies, grid computing and physics data analysis, machine learning, and interactive and collaborative systems. The prospective research fellows will work in the research group Collaboration, Interaction and Graphics in close cooperation with our current PhD students and researchers from Software Engineering.

Application procedure:

Please use the link “Apply for this job” (“Søk stillingen”).

The applicants are responsible for ensuring that all the documentation is submitted before the closing date. 

Applicant whose education is from another country than Norway, need to also attach a certified translation of the diploma and transcript of grades to English or a Scandinavian language, if the original is not in any of these languages. It is required that the applicant enclose a review from NOKUT whether the education (bachelor and master’s degree) is of a scope and level that corresponds to the level of a Norwegian master’s degree. Please see www.nokut.no/en for more information about NOKUT’s general recognition. This may take some time and we recommend you to apply as soon as you know you will apply for this position. If no answer within the application deadline, please enclose documentation from NOKUT that they have received your application.

Applications cannot be sent by e-mail or to individuals at the college.

We offer:

Good occupational pension, insurance and loan schemes from The Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund• Exciting academic environment with the possibility of competence enhancement and development• Opportunities for training within the working hours 

The position of researcher is paid according to the Government's salary regulation, in position code researcher 1109.

There is a compulsory 2 % deduction to the pension fund (see here for more information). The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at any time.

General information:

The appointment will be made in accordance with the regulations for State employees Law in Norway ("Lov om statens ansatte)". Organizational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities associated with the position must be expected.

State employment shall reflect the multiplicity of the population at large to the highest possible degree. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has therefore adopted a personnel policy objective to ensure that we achieve a balanced age and gender composition and the recruitment of persons of various ethnic backgrounds.

Information about the applicant may be made public even though the applicant has requested not to be named in the list of applicants. The applicant will be notified if his/her request is not respected. Short-listed applicants will be called in for an interview. Employed on condition that you are granted a work and residence permit (must be considered individually).

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is subjected to the regulation for export control system. The regulation will be applied in the processing of the applications.


1) Project leader from HVL, Professor Ilona Heldal, Phone: +47 55 58 75 24, email: Ilona.Heldal@hvl.no

2) Deputy Head of the Department Pål Ellingsen, Phone: +47 55 58 76 02, e-mail: Pal.Ellingsen@hvl.no

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