Research Assistant in Social, Educational or Environmental Sciences

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Vienna, , AT


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 analyzing risks and uncertainties, and designing risk governance                processes, to improve policy outcomes on global change issues.

The project: Overcoming today’s global grand challenges, such as climate change, requires a paradigm shift with new ways of thinking and working, commitment and attitudes, which are based on the normative guidelines of sustainability and thus make sustainable development possible. In general, high-quality education is seen as an essential prerequisite and driver for solving these societal challenges. Due to the urgency of finding a viable solution for dealing with climate change, climate change education and the associated acquisition of so-called “future competencies” therefore play a particularly important role. The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary team in developing and testing innovative methods for the establishment of research-education cooperation on climate change and sustainability in Austria. The work will be conducted as part of the research project makingAchange.


The successful applicant will support the makingAchange project under the supervision of a senior IIASA researcher. Specific tasks of the successful applicant include but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating the development and testing of a standardized training concept in order to ensure efficient peer learning to provide training for 12 to 18-year-old school students in Austria
  • Coordinating the development and testing of a standardized training concept in order to ensure efficient peer learning to provide training for university students in Austria
  • Conduct a stock-take of existing peer-to-peer learning activities, methods and tools in Austria
  • Coordination of the peer-to-peer work package under the supervision of a senior IIASA researcher. This comprises coordinating activities within the project consortium but also with the external environment, particularly educational institutions in Austria
  • Contribute to publications in relevant journals/books and other media (e.g., press, internet)
  • Present research results in national and international fora.


The successful applicant should have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (or equivalent) in social sciences, educational sciences, political sciences, environmental sciences, economics, geography or other relevant fields. A good understanding and overview of the basic literature on climate change, experience in project coordination and an understanding of the Austrian educational system is essential. Finally, native German as well as strong English language communication and writing skills are necessary, and proficiency in other languages will be considered an asset.

appointment terms

This position is classified as ”Scientific”. The successful candidate will be offered a part-time (30 hours per week) position with an initial
contract of one year and the possibility for extension thereafter.  Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, near Vienna in Austria.

IIASA salaries are exempt from taxation in the host country of Austria but subject to the principle of
income aggregation. For further information on benefits offered, please visit working at IIASA.

We encourage 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 from countries where IIASA has a National Member Organization (NMO).