Postdoctoral Level Research Scholar (Water Program)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Vienna, Austria
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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As part of the European Climate Prediction (EUCP) system, the IIASA Water Program (WAT)  is offering a position for a post-doc level research scholar in European scale water resources modeling.

The successful candidate will work on developing the in-house open source hydrological and water resources model, Community Water Model (CWatM), and designing the state-of-the-art sectoral and cross-sectoral indicators to assess future hydro-meteorological risks (e.g., flood, drought, water scarcity).

A key focus is on helping the advancement of climate and non-climatic (i.e., human activities) attributions of hydro-meteorological events and impacts at various spatial scales, using the CWatM. This involves working with other specialists such as economists, ecologists, hydrologists, modelers, stakeholders and social scientists to explore how linkages can be developed. The successful candidate will need to have experience with existing hydrologic global models and a broad knowledge of scenarios modeling and climate change assessments. 


The overarching objective of the EUCP system is to develop an innovative European regional ensemble climate prediction system based on a new generation of improved and typically higher-resolution climate models, covering timescales from seasons to decades initialized with observations, and designed to support practical and strategic climate adaptation and mitigation decision-taking on local, national and global scales.

The EUCP will link current observed climate conditions, near future predictions and more distant future projections out to 40 years ahead. Such a climate prediction system and framework are currently lacking. It will provide an authoritative framework to assess the impacts and risks of variations in climatic conditions across, but not limited to, Europe from regional to local scale suitable for use in a range of sectoral applications as a solid basis for investment decisions, spatial planning, and policy and adaptation options. The evolving experience with tailoring climate information to better serve user needs will be continuously integrated into the EUCP system. This represents a step change in how we make use of, for instance, future Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments.


  • Take the lead in software management of CWaTM, e.g. hosting the source code on GitHub, versioning control and building up test suites
  • Maintain and develop the CWaTM website, forum, documentation and a wiki platform, supporting the dialog between users
  • Work on visualization and plotting scripts to display results from CWaTM
  • Develop the Community Water Model (CWatM) at different spatial and temporal resolutions
  • Assist with the development of modules for non-climatic factors (e.g., agriculture, human water use, reservoir regulation) and incorporating policy and management options into CWatM
  • Assist with the development of methods for scaling and incorporating policy and management options into macro-scale hydrologic models
  • Produce and publish (in peer reviewed journals) CWatM modules and hydro-meteorological impact assessments across different sectors.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • PhD in hydroinformatics, hydrology, climate, environmental science, engineering, informatics or a related field 
  • Programming knowledge and proficiency (e.g., mainly Python, but also Fortran, C/C++, GAMS) 
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems (e.g., ArcGIS, or QGIS)
  • Experience with the concepts of subversioning, git, GitHub, Jupyter Notebook and similar state of the art software development tools
  • Proven analytical skills and ease in manipulating large data sets and complex modeling systems
  • Experience with both river basin scale and continental scale spatial hydrologic models
  • Strong interest and background in integrative systems analysis and development of tools to support policy development
  • Excellent English skills (written and oral)  
  • Proven experience publishing scientific work in refereed international scientific journals
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a multicultural team
  • Some experience with stakeholder engagement.

Appointment Terms:

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, Austria. The successful candidate will initially be offered a one-year contract with the possibility of extension thereafter. The EUCP project will run for 4 years (2018-2021) in total, having started in January 2018. 

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 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.