Research Assistant (part-time): Center for Earth Observation and Citizen Science

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


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


The Ecosystems Services and Management Program (ESM) program at IIASA conducts research on ecosystem management for the provision of services related to fiber, food, water and energy, in connection to economic, societal and environmental changes. The Program is renowned for its expertise in long-term global agricultural changes and food systems, and builds its competence by means of a pluridisciplinary team where quantitative analysis plays a strong role with a wide spectrum of models; from detailed process based biophysical models to global economic models.

The ESM Program is one partner in the two-year NatureMap project, funded by Norway's International Climate and Forests Initiative beginning in January 2019. The project brings together five partner institutions from across the globe to develop new integrated, prioritized maps for biodiversity, carbon, and other key ecosystem values with the most up to date and accurate data and state of the art methods for spatial prioritization. 

The Center for Earth Observation & Citizen Science (EOCS) group uses earth observation and citizen science to conduct research and provide innovative, cost effective and high quality data, tools and services to help society achieve the sustainable development goals.

The Copernicus Global Land Cover maps at a 100m resolution (C-GLOPS) project aims to develop annual global land cover maps with a 100m resolution consistent over time, and has been tracking land cover changes since 2015.

The Position:

We are looking for a candidate with experience in land cover classification using very high resolution images, familiarity using interfaces to classify land cover, e.g. LACO-Wiki or Geo-Wiki. 

Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Collect land cover change data for Africa, and then at a global scale, to check the  quality of crowdsourced data
  • Reclassify the locations where experts have disagreed
  • Test the Geo-Wiki web app for the campaign
  • Help to prepare guidelines for classification
  • Promote a crowdsourcing campaign (by email, social media etc.)
  • Communicate with the participants by responding to their questions during the campaign
  • Post interesting classification examples on social media during the campaign
  • Communicate with the participants about the prizes at the end of the campaign
  • Send a questionnaire to the participants at the end of the campaign. 

Skills and Requirements:

  • Completed Bachelor's degree and an interest in nature conservation, habitat and land cover mapping
  • Experience in land cover classification using very high resolution images, familiarity using interfaces to classify land cover, e.g. LACO-Wiki or Geo-Wiki
  • Excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Good knowledge of the Microsoft Office package
  • Capacity to work under pressure and meet deadlines in demanding conditions
  • Good command of English.

Appointment Terms:

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg (near Vienna), Austria.  

The successful candidate will be offered a part-time (60%/24 hours per week) fixed-term employment contract until the end of 2019. Applicants should be available to take up the position without delay.

The salary offered will be based on qualifications and experience. IIASA salaries are exempt from taxation in the host country of Austria (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.


To apply, please quote reference 09/2019 and email a cover letter, resume, plus names, addresses (including e-mail), and telephone numbers of two work-related references to:

  • Harrison, Alia. Recruitment CoordinatorHuman Resources. +43(0) 2236 807 286.

Deadline for receipt of applications: Monday 25 February 2019.

For further information about this position, please contact: 

  • Lesiv, Myroslava. Research ScholarEcosystems Services and Management. +43(0) 2236 807 358.

About Laxenburg (near Vienna)

In 2018, Vienna ranked as the city with the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey and the Economist. Vienna is a beautiful, historical yet modern city, located in the heart of Europe, close to the Alps and to major cities like Munich, Zurich, Prague, and Budapest. Being famous for its concert venues, opera houses, theaters, museums, and coffee shops, Vienna also provides opportunities for great outdoor activities, such as sailing on Lake Neusiedl, ice skating, biking and hiking in the Viennese woods and the nearby Alps. Moreover, the city has a wide range of excellent restaurants, bars, wineries, cinemas, clubs, libraries, galleries, and art collections. The Vienna area is also an exceptional and highly international research environment.

For general information about our Institute and its research activities, please visit our IIASA Web site.

Internal reference # 190040