10 August 2017

Research Assistant (part-time 20 hours per week) - Risk and Resilience (RISK) Program

Vacancy 21/2017 - IIASA's program on Risk and Resilience (RISK) is offering a position as a Research Assistant in risk management and adaptation


The Risk and Resilience (RISK) Program at IIASA aims to better understand the risks to economic, ecological, and social systems arising from global change and to help transform the ways in which societies manage them. Society needs to make effective responses to the risks associated with global change. To that end, scientists must understand the systemic and dynamic linkages of environmental, social, and economic risks and how these are impacted by different policy measures. This will enable risk management and governance systems to improve in order to facilitate long-term sustainable development. Systems analysis, risk modeling, and transformative governance are fundamental to the mission of Risk and Resilience (RISK). The Program examines environmental and socioeconomic risks and policy options across multiple spatial and temporal scales to provide an analytical foundation for improved management and governance of natural disasters, address climate change, and ease the technological and ecological transitions to sustainability.

The position:

The RISK Program is offering a position for a part-time Research Assistant to work on the FARM project, funded by the Austrian Climate Research Program. The FARM project investigates agricultural drought risk management both in a broad European context and more specifically, in Austria.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the understanding of farmers’ risk and risk management perceptions with a focus on drought risk
  • Face-to-face interviews with Austrian farmers
  • Assist with the design and implementation of focus groups and workshops with Austrian stakeholders
  • Literature review and desktop research on agricultural drought insurance systems.
  • Assist in preparing background materials and publications
  • Contribute to dissemination of knowledge and results
  • Assist in publishing relevant results in peer-reviewed journals and participates in scientific conferences and workshops;
  • Support in other project-related matters.

Required Skills and Responsibilities:

  • Excellent social and communication skills as relevant to stakeholder interaction
  • Undergraduate degree in political sciences, geography, economics, sociology or other relevant discipline
  • Experience with qualitative data collection methods and strong analytical skills
  • Proficiency with standard data editing software (e.g. MS office)
  • Intercultural sensitivity and ability to work within a team
  • Fluency in German and English (written and verbal)
  • Knowledge of the agricultural sector in Austria is a strong advantage.

Appointment Terms:

The successful candidate is expected to begin his/her assignment by October 2017, and will be offered a one-year, part-time 50% employment contract (20 hours per week). We seek a motivated research assistant who is able to work in an interdisciplinary and multicultural environment. Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, near Vienna in Austria. It is flexible in terms of the degree of supervision, depending on the candidate’s skill sets and needs. The position is designed to appeal to recent MA graduates for getting to know an international research setting. It may also be adapted to fit the requirements of a current PhD program. 

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 female and male 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 outlining your motiviation, curriculum vitae or résumé,  and the names and addresses (including title, affiliation, e-mail address, and telephone number) of two work-related references to:  

Ms. Alia Harrison, Recruitment Coordinator, Human Resources Department,
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria

Deadline for receipt of applications: 10 September 2017. Review of applications will begin immediately.

For further information about this position, please contact:

About Laxenburg (near Vienna)

IIASA is located in a former 18th century imperial palace of the Habsburg Monarchy in Laxenburg, Austria about 15 km from Vienna. The facility has been gratefully provided by the host country Austria to the International Scientific Community. According to Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living survey, Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the eighth year running in 2017. The survey covers 231 cities worldwide and is based on 39 criteria such as political and social, economic, educational, and environmental factors. Vienna has all the facilities of a modern, progressive city, in the heart of Europe. 

While famous for its concert venues, opera houses, theaters, and museums, Vienna also provides opportunities for great outdoor activities on nearby Lake Neusiedl, the Vienna Woods, and the Alps.

Vienna has a wealth of different research and international governmental institutions, permitting extensive dialogue at local and international level between scientists and policymakers.

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

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Last edited: 10 August 2017


Alia Harrison

Recruitment Coordinator

Human Resources

T +43(0) 2236 807 286

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313