Research Assistant (part-time 20 hours per week) - the IIASA Risk and Resilience (RISK) 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: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Vacancy 28/2019 - The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary team to identify roles, opportunities, and pathways for cities to foster circular economy, and to become more resilient and livable under climate change across different urbanization contexts in China and Europe.


The mission of the IIASA RISK Program is to contribute to transforming the way societies manage risks to economic, ecological, and social systems while confronting the global trends that are amplifying these risks. The program examines environmental and socio-economic interactions across multiple scales, providing the analytical foundation for improved management and governance of natural disasters, climate change, and technological and ecological transitions. Our specialty is applying advanced methods for assessing and analysing risks and uncertainties, and designing risk governance processes, to improve policy outcomes on global change issues, such as extreme events, socio-economic development and environmental degradation.

The Project:

The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary team across the IIASA Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases (AIR), Applied Systems Analysis (ASA) and RISK programs to identify roles, opportunities, and pathways for cities to foster circular economy to significantly reduce energy, water and material resource use, and related environmental impacts, to build resilience to ever-increasing uncertainties from globalization and climate changes, and to become more liveable for growing populations in different urbanization contexts in China and Europe. The work will be conducted as part of the EU- and China-funded project RECREATE "Resource nexus for transformation to circular, resilient, and liveable cities in the context of climate change". The work will involve network analysis and simulation of urban metabolisms in four case study cities, elicitation of stakeholder and governance perspectives, and development of a resilience indicator and recommendations towards more livable urban systems.


The incumbent will mainly support the data collection and stakeholder engagement work in Vienna of the RECREATE project under the supervision of a senior scientist. Specific tasks of the incumbent will include but not be limited to:

  • Establish and maintain contacts with relevant stakeholders in Vienna
  • Support collecting and collating relevant data and information of Vienna
  • Contribute to literature review of relevant studies
  • Support the stakeholder value elicitation exercise in Vienna with project partners from China
  • Assist in the development, translation, and facilitation of a stakeholder social simulation game
  • Assist in publishing relevant results in peer-reviewed journals/books and participates in scientific conferences and workshops
  • Contribute to dissemination of knowledge and results
  • Support outreach activities for the project
  • Support in other project-related matters.

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree (or equivalent) in economics, social or political sciences, statistics, geography, environmental science, or other relevant fields
  • Strong English language communication and writing skills are necessary and fluency in German (written and spoken) is also required. Proficiency in other languages will be considered an asset
  • Knowledge of the literature and practice on circular economy, resilience, and/or stakeholder engagement processes is desirable
  • Intercultural sensitivity and the ability to work within an international team
  • Proficiency with standard data editing software (e.g. MS office).

Appointment Terms:

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

The successful candidate will be offered a 50% part-time (20 hours per week) position with an initial employment contract of one year and possibility for extension thereafter and should be available to take up the position as soon as possible.

We seek a motivated research assistant who is able to work in an interdisciplinary and multicultural environment. The role is flexible in terms of the degree of supervision that will be given (dependent upon the successful candidate’s skill set and needs). The position is designed to appeal to recent MA graduates wishing to gain experience in an international research setting. It may also be adapted to fit the requirements of a PhD program.

IIASA offers a competitive compensation and benefits package (home leave, moving 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.


To apply, please quote the vacancy reference number (28/2019) and email the documents listed below to 

  • Cover letter 
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé
  • Names and addresses (including title, affiliation, e-mail, and telephone number) of two work-related reference givers

Please do not include your photograph.

Review of applications will be begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled.