18 September 2017

Research Assistant (part-time 30 hours per week) - Risk and Resilience (RISK) Program

Vacancy 25/2017 - The Risk and Resilience (RISK) program is offering a part-time position for a Research Assistant in macroeconomic and fiscal modeling of natural disaster and climate risk.


The mission of the Risk and Resilience (RISK) Program at IIASA 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 expertise is applying advanced methods for assessing and analyzing risks and uncertainties, and designing risk governance processes, to improve policy outcomes on global change issues, such as extreme events, renewable energy investments, economic development and environmental degradation.

The position:

The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary team analysing a range of aspects regarding catastrophic disaster and climate risk. They will support two newly funded projects on fiscal implications of climate extreme risks and sustainable development (RESPECT and MACRO), and provide technical input to model development and policy analysis. Applicants must be prepared to process and manage datasets, become proficient with catastrophic and climate risk and economic models, and conduct analysis. The incumbent will be expected to handle multiple tasks when necessary, and participate actively in the projects. 

Main Tasks and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the respective project leaders, the successful candidate will be  expected to perform tasks such as:

  • Contribute to the development of macroeconomic and fiscal modelling tools for assessing disaster risk in industrialized and developing countries.
  • Assist in data collection and analysis, conducting simulation of catastrophic disaster risk to public finance.
  • Assist in project management activities.
  • Contribute to publishing (single and co-authored papers) in high impact journals and present research results in international conferences.


The successful applicant should have a master’s degree or equivalent in economics, statistics or other relevant fields. Proficiency with one or more modeling languages such as MATLAB, GAMS, R is needed. Knowledge of macroeconomic theory, catastrophic and climate risk assessment and/or quantitative policy assessment is also desired. Strong English language skills are essential, proficiency in other languages is welcome.

Appointment Terms:

The position will be based at IIASA in Laxenburg, on a 75% part-time basis (30 hours per week). An initial contract of one year will be offered initially with the possibility for extension thereafter. The position may require some travel. 

IIASA offers a competitive compensation and benefits package (moving and settlement allowances, educational grants for children of school age, and five weeks’ annual vacation). The salary offered will be dependent upon educational background and demonstrated work experience. 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.


Please do not send or include a photograph. 

Please apply electronically by e-mailing a cover letter outlining your motivation for applying, a curriculum vitae or résumé (please do not send or include a photograph) 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

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

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.

Internal reference# 170278

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Last edited: 18 September 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