Research Scholar (Postdoctoral Level, Water Program)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Vienna, , AT


As part of the Belmont Forum-funded Food-water-energy for Urban Sustainable Environments (FUSE) project, the Water Program at IIASA is offering a position for a full-time post-doc level Research Scholar in Water Resource Economics and Hydro-Economic Modeling. The successful candidate will work on further developing and implementing the in-house hydro-economic modeling framework (ECHO) and applying it in the framework of the FUSE project. This includes the development of interfaces for integrating ECHO and the in-house hydrological and water resources model, Community Water Model (CWatM), and the development and application of modules for land use and energy sectors within ECHO. The development of these linkages will help to consistently evaluate the effects of implementing innovative FEW solutions, including new infrastructure, policies, or small-scale interventions, needed to address water scarcity.

The overarching objective of the FUSE project is to help create implementable solutions to meet the urban Food-Water-Energy (FWE) challenge with a development path that is sustainable and adapted to local needs. The project adopts a systems approach to human-biophysical-engineered interactions by constructing multi-agent urban-FWE system models for different regions around the world to capture connections and feedback among users, producers, distribution mechanisms, and resources. Under narratives of future changes in climate, demographics, land use, and economic development, together with a wide range of actors in those regions, the project aims to develop and evaluate policy interventions and innovative governance forms to identify implementable sustainability options. This will include engagement with local stakeholders to construct user-inspired and user-oriented future narratives and proposed potential solutions. Simulated policy-evaluation results will be used as the basis for discussion with stakeholders of the benefits of those solutions. Lastly, means to overcome impediments to sustainability and resource equity will, with the help of stakeholders, be identified. The FUSE modeling framework aims to be flexible, transferable, and broadly applicable to the urban-FWE challenge worldwide.


  • Assist with the development of the hydro-economic modeling framework (ECHO) at different spatial and temporal resolutions, in order to enhance its usability for different research and policy questions 
  • Assist with the development of interfaces for integrating ECHO and CWatM
  • Assist with the development of modules for land use and energy sectors and their linkages to the core ECHO modeling framework
  • Compile databases of and assess the cost and effectiveness of innovative FEW solutions 
  • Implement scenarios in ECHO modeling framework and conduct policy analysis in the framework of FUSE project
  • Publish relevant results of own research using ECHO modeling framework in peer-reviewed journals and participate in scientific conferences and workshops.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • PhD degree in natural resources and environmental economics, water resources economics and management or a related field 
  • Strong interest and background in integrative systems analysis and development of tools to support water management decisions
  • Experience with applied economic models in GAMS, either at sector level or in the general equilibrium framework
  • Proven analytical skills and ease in manipulating large datasets and complex modeling systems
  • Programming knowledge and proficiency (e.g., Python, R, Fortran, C/C++, or Java)
  • Experience with geographic information systems (ArcGIS, or QGIS)
  • Proven experience publishing scientific work in high-impact refereed international scientific journals
  • Demonstrated ability to work well both independently and as part of a multicultural team
  • Excellent English skills (written and oral) are required.

Appointment Terms:

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, Austria. The successful candidate will initially be offered a one-year employment contract. Following a satisfactory evaluation of the first year’s work, the appointment period can be extended further. The FUSE project will run for three years from 2018 to 2021.

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.


To apply, please email a cover letter (please include the names and contact details of three work-related reference givers), a detailed Curriculum Vitae, and two recent examples of research work to: 

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

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

Preference will be given to eligible internal applicants.