30 August 2017

Press Officer and Science Writer

Vacancy 23/2017 - The IIASA Communications Department seeks an experienced  Press Officer and Science Writer to help share IIASA science with a wide audience around the world. 

Job Summary:

To enhance IIASA’s profile in the media and general public; improve the public understanding of IIASA research and systems analysis; and develop and implement communication strategies that both facilitate and support the communication efforts of scientists. 

Main Tasks and Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Communications Manager, the Press Officer and Science Writer will:

  • Develop and execute communication plans with communications colleagues and/or research teams at the project, program or institute level;
  • Develop and deliver IIASA’s media strategy with the objective of increasing positive media coverage about IIASA in local, national, and international media;
  • Manage IIASA’s Press Office, work proactively to the international news agenda, rapidly respond to press enquiries, organize press events, initiate new press contacts and manage a database of press contacts, all to cultivate excellent working relationships with the media;
  • Develop ideas, write and pitch about IIASA research with a high degree of scientific accuracy and in a clear, understandable style, for outlets including the IIASA website, Options magazine, blog, and press releases;
  • Lead social media activities for the institute, including managing various channels, researching new outlets, coordinating posting within communications team, and supporting scientists and staff to cultivate an IIASA network of social media users;
  • Work as part of the communications team, helping with, events, editing and other projects and performs other tasks as necessary to benefit the department as needed;
  • Cultivate excellent working relationships with IIASA scientists, and encourage and support them to disseminate their work.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Scientific Bachelor’s degree or comparable experience.
  • Excellent science writing skills and proven ability to present complex science information to a non-specialist audience.
  • At least five years’ experience as a science journalist or press officer.
  • Demonstrated understanding of media relations.
  • Proven ability in successfully implementing communications activities across a wide range of channels.
  • Good editing skills and attention to detail.
  • Native English speaker; German or other IIASA NMO languages advantageous.
  • Proven excellent computer skills, with proficiency in MS Office, experience with website. content management systems, and social media channels.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a member of a team and to maintain professional and productive relationships with scientists and staff from diverse nationalities.  

Appointment Terms:

The successful candidate will be expected to take up the position in November 2017 (or as soon as possible thereafter) and will initially be offered a fixed-term contract for one year, with the possibility of extension thereafter.

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 send a cover letter and CV (Word or PDF) plus names and contact details of two work-related references via email. To complete your application, please also provide a written example of your work, specifically a feature article covering a scientific matter, written for the general public, no longer than 600 words (longer texts will not be considered) to: 

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

Deadline for receipt of applications: 30 September 2017

For information about this position and IIASA's Communications Department, 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.

Internal reference# 170268

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Last edited: 31 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