Senior Research Scholar/Senior Project Officer

Vienna, , AT

Vacancy 01/2016 (Re-advertisement – previous applicants need not reapply) – IIASA is seeking a Senior Research Scholar/Senior Project Officer to coordinate a collaborative research effort across several IIASA research programs to examine the water-energy-land nexus.  


The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international scientific institute that conducts policy-oriented research into problems that are too large or too complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline. IIASA in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have launched a new project, Integrated Solutions for Water, Energy, and Land (IS-WEL). This new project aims to evaluate the trade-offs and synergies in the management of energy, water, and land resources and to identify integrated and sustainable solutions that ensure and enhance future human welfare while avoiding environmental degradation. This project will entail the development of an integrated decision support framework to be co-developed by IIASA researchers with expertise in energy, land use, water, and ecosystems. The framework will be globally-comprehensive, yet sufficiently spatially-resolved to provide insights at the sub-basin scale. Two basin-level case studies will be conducted in developing regions faced by multiple energy and land use challenges, rapid demographic and economic changes, and hardest hit by projected climate variability and change.  Capacity building and stakeholder engagement will be key components of the case studies.  IS-WEL is a three-year project through 2018, but is part of a larger nexus research activity at IIASA that will continue indefinitely.

The participating programs will be Energy (ENE), Transitions to New Technologies (TNT), Ecosystem Services & Management (ESM); and Water (WAT). 

The successful candidate will coordinate the scientific work across four IIASA programs to ensure that programs collaborate in developing integrative assessment tools and that these tools address questions relevant to the GEF, UNIDO, regional stakeholders, and the policy and science communities.  In addition, the candidate will be responsible for supervising the coordination of regional stakeholder meetings and developing innovative methods for engaging stakeholders and incorporating their feedback into the scientific process.


The  Senior Research Scholar/Senior Project Officer will work closely with other IIASA staff to support the collaborative project, including:

  • Overseeing and coordinating the internal research effort and collaboration among IIASA and external partners;
  • Managing the organization and coordination of meetings of the internal working groups, advisory board, and regional stakeholders;
  • Providing substantive input into research development and direction;
  • Maintaining oversight of the financial and scheduled progress of the project and intervening to assist project teams as appropriate;
  • Ensuring all project related monitoring, evaluation and progress reporting obligations are met;
  • Coordinating and participating in activities promoting the research, such as scientific conferences and outreach events;
  • Supporting research teams in all aspects of report writing, including synthesizing and editing research findings and technical data;
  • Strengthening and facilitating collaboration among IIASA research programs;
  • Editing reports, facilitating the review process, and assisting with report publication and dissemination;
  • Maintaining dialogue and engagement with stakeholders;
  • Facilitating project planning and management, including development of project management tools, as needed;
  • Helping to develop and disseminate policy briefs.


  • Advanced degree (PhD or equivalent) in the natural sciences, social sciences, public policy or formal sciences with demonstrated ability to synthesize scientific information;
  • Proven experience of large, complex program management; including planning, implementation, evaluation, supervision, and budgeting;
  • Proven experience in stakeholder engagement and capacity building in developing regions;
  • Five to ten years of relevant modeling experience with systems analysis and the application of systems research to global problems related to water, energy, and/or land use;
  • Excellent communication skills in English, including the ability to draft/edit a variety of reports and communicate project findings to policy and science communities;
  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work in an international team with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.

Appointment Terms:

The successful candidate will be offered an initial fixed-term contract for one year, beginning as soon as possible in 2016, with the possibility of extension thereafter.

IIASA offers a competitive compensation and benefits package (moving and settlement allowances, educational grants for children of school age, and five weeks’ annual vacation). IIASA salaries are exempt from taxation in the host country of Austria but subject to the principle of income aggregation.

IIASA is committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, tolerance and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply. In the case that candidates are equally qualified, preference will be given to applicants who are nationals of IIASA member countries.


Previously unsuccessful applicants for this post need not apply.

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, plus names, addresses (including e-mail), and telephone numbers of three work-related reference givers, as well as copies of two recent publications/papers (articles, research papers, model documentation, proposals, minutes of meetings, etc.) to: 

Ms. Alia Harrison, Human Resources Department,
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
E-mail: [email protected]


In naming referees in your application, you are requested to give only those who can immediately be approached. 

Successful shortlisted candidates may be notified of their interview times by telephone and/or e-mail and it is therefore essential you include both of these in your application.

Review of applications will continue until the post has been filled.