07 June 2018

Postdoctoral Level Research Scholar (Full-Time) - Water Program

Vacancy 08/2018 - Postdoctoral Level Research Scholar in European Scale Hydrological and Water Resources Modeling for the European Climate Prediction (EUCP) system

As part of the European Climate Prediction (EUCP) system, the Water Program (WAT) at IIASA is offering a position for a post-doc level research scholar in European scale water resources modeling. The successful candidate will assist with the development of the in-house open source hydrological and water resources model, Community Water Model (CWatM), and designing the state-of-the-art sectoral and cross-sectoral indicators to assess future hydro-meteorological risks (e.g., flood, drought, water scarcity) at various spatial scales relevant to end users in support of monitoring SDGs 6 and 13 for the near term (~1-40 years). A key focus is on helping the advancement of climate and non-climatic (i.e., human activities) attribution of hydro-meteorological events and impacts at various spatial scales, using the CWatM. When designing relevant indicators, a special emphasis will be put on usability (agile approach) of the EUCP service products with and by end users (public sector, private sector, science and the general public). In addition, the successful candidate will employ the CWatM to assess the water quantity including groundwater and quality, and evaluate the impacts of climate and socio-economic change, and related policies and management options. This involves working with other specialists such as economists, ecologists, hydrologists, modelers, stakeholders and social scientists to explore how linkages can be developed. Experience is needed in existing hydrologic global models and a broad knowledge in scenarios modeling and climate change assessments.


The overarching objective of the EUCP system is to develop an innovative European regional ensemble climate prediction system based on a new generation of improved and typically higher-resolution climate models, covering timescales from seasons to decades initialized with observations, and designed to support practical and strategic climate adaptation and mitigation decision-taking on local, national and global scales. EUCP will link current observed climate conditions, near future predictions and more distant future projections out to 40 years ahead. Such a climate prediction system and framework is currently lacking. It will provide an authoritative framework to assess the impacts and risks of variations in climatic conditions across, but not limited to, Europe from regional to local scale suitable for use in a range of sectoral applications as a solid basis for investment decisions, spatial planning, and policy and adaptation options. The evolving experience with tailoring climate information to better serve user needs will be continuously integrated into the EUCP system. This represents a step change in how we make use of, for instance, future Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments.


  • Assist with the development of the Community Water Model (CWatM) at different spatial and temporal resolutions (primarily in Europe)
  • Develop water quantity module including groundwater flows (e.g., MODFLOW) and water allocation module within CWatM
  • Assist with the development of modules for non-climatic factors (e.g., agriculture, human water use, reservoir regulation) and incorporating policy and management options into CWatM
  • Develop relevant indicators of hydro-meteorological events and impacts at various spatial scales including both climate change impacts and socio-economic development 
  • Assist  with the development of methods for scaling and incorporating policy and management options into macro-scale hydrologic models
  • Participate in international/regional stakeholder and capacity development workshops 
  • Produce and publish papers (in peer reviewed journals) of CWatM modules and hydro-meteorological impact assessments across different sectors.

    Skills and Qualifications:

  • PhD degree in hydrology, climate, environmental science, engineering or a related field
  • Proven analytical skills and ease in manipulating large data sets and complex modeling systems
  • Experience with both river basin scale and continental scale spatial hydrologic models
  • Strong interest and background in integrative systems analysis and development of tools to support policy development
  • Excellent English skills (written and verbal) 
  • Proven experience publishing scientific work in high-impact refereed international scientific journals
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work both independently as well as part of a multi-disciplinary and multicultural team  
  • Programming knowledge and proficiency (e.g., PCRaster, Python, Fortran, C/C++, or Java) 
  • Experience with geographic information systems (ArcGIS, or QGIS).
  • Some experience with stakeholder engagement.

Appointment Terms:

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, Austria. The successful candidate will initially be offered a one-year contract with the possibility of extension thereafter. The EUCP project will run for 4 years (2018-2021) in total, having started in January 2018. 

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, résumé, two recent examples of research work, plus names and contact details (including email) of three work-related reference givers to: 

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

Preference will be given to eligible internal applicants. 

For information about this position, please contact Peter Burek (contact details above) or:

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 ranks highest for quality of living for the 9th year in a row in 2018. The survey covers 450 cities worldwide and is based on 39 criteria such as political, 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: 16 August 2018


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