PhD position on multi-sensory cues for spatial awareness in VR/XR

PhD position on multi-sensory cues for spatial awareness in VR/XR

Published Deadline Location
20 Jun 23 Aug Enschede

Job description

You will explore the following research questions using advanced VR/XR setups and experiments with human volunteers: 1) How can we model visual, vestibular, proprioceptive, auditory, and olfactory cue integration in the context of spatial awareness? 2) How can we enhance estimations by scaling sensory cues? 3) How can we integrate less common cues such as vibrations under the feet, wind, haptic flow on the body, olfactory cues, thermal landmarks, etc. into the model? 4) How can we improve estimations by adding artificial cues?

You will work with researchers and advanced experimental facilities of the Human Media Interaction (HMI) group of the University of Twente in Enschede and the Human Machine Teaming department of The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) in Soesterberg, both in The Netherlands. An example of such an advanced experimental facility is the telepresence system in Soesterberg that was developed for the XPRIZE Avatar competition. Furthermore, the Interaction Lab in Enschede has an impressive range of state-of-the-art equipment, provides a low-entry place where students and researchers collaborate, informing each other also on longer time spans after projects end.

This PhD position is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Defence. Because you will work in the domain of safety and security, a security screening is part of the procedure and a “certificate of no objection, level B” is mandatory.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You have completed your master education in Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Human Movement Sciences, Interaction Technology, or a related area.
  • You have experience with experimental research with human volunteers.
  • You have worked with statistical tools or tools to model human behavior.
  • You are familiar with adapting or making a digital intervention or tool.
  • You are proficient in English.
  • You are willing to travel to Enschede and Soesterberg.
  • You are enthusiastic to contribute to the education of the research group in Enschede.

Conditions of employment

  • As a PhD candidate at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment.
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues.
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU).
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.770,- (first year) to € 3.539,- (fourth year).
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme.
  • Minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus.
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision.
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff.


HMI is a multidisciplinary group in which computer science meets design and social science to investigate and evaluate novel forms of human-computer interaction. We investigate systems with the human in the loop (sense, think, act). We design and develop content and interactions to understand humans and learn how to build better interactions. The group has a very friendly, collaborative and welcoming atmosphere, centring wellbeing and work-life balance.

TNO connects people and knowledge to create sustainable innovations that increase the competitiveness of Dutch industry and the well-being of the Dutch society. TNO location Soesterberg develops strategic knowledge, technologies, and capabilities to protect what is dear to us and ensure people can live together in freedom and safety.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before 23 August 2024 and include:
  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, motivations to apply for this position.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references.
  • An IELTS-test, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT), or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE). Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet. TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact prof. Jan van Erp,


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1827


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 23 Aug 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).