10 January 2019

Research Scholar, Ecosystems Services and Management Program (ESM)

Vacancy 02/2019 - The ESM Program is recruiting a remote sensing specialist who will work within the Program for an interdisciplinary research project


The Ecosystems Services and Management Program (ESM) program at IIASA conducts research on ecosystem management for the provision of services related to fiber, food, water and energy, in connection to economic, societal and environmental changes. The Program is renowned for its expertise in long-term global agricultural changes and food systems, and builds its competence by means of a pluridisciplinary team where quantitative analysis plays a strong role with a wide spectrum of models; from detailed process based biophysical models to global economic models.

The ESM Program is coordinating RESTORE+, a five-year project funded by the International Climate Initiative which started in April 2017. The project brings together 10 partner institutions from across the globe to explore restoration and utilization options of tropical degraded and/or marginal land in order to ease pressure on deforestation as well as mitigating climate change. The proposed methodology includes multi-objective modeling, crowdsourcing approaches, and both optical and radar-based remote sensing techniques. Additionally, the consortium directly collaborates with relevant stakeholders in key tropical countries for the development of participatory and evidence-based land use policy making.

The Position:

As a remote sensing specialist, you will work within the ESM Program to conduct tasks related to generating maps as key deliverables of the project as well as input data for the project’s modeling activities. You will collaborate with project partners in Indonesia to ensure that field information, local knowledge, crowdsourced insights, and existing efforts are in synergy with the planned tasks. You will also be involved in drafting remote sensing related technical reports and potential papers for peer-reviewed publications of the project.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Generate updates on Indonesia Land Cover (LC) map for the years of 2015-2018
  • Collaborate with research partners at the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) to build automated Google Earth Engine based algorithms based on ICRAF’s previous works to generate earlier LC maps
  • Link automated LC map generation process with planned crowdsourcing campaigns of the project
  • Link analyses on optical based remote sensing products with radar based remote sensing products to generate detailed degradation maps
  • Contribute to publications on remote sensing related topics of the RESTORE+ project
  • Contribute to the development of proof of concept for an automated LC map generation based on open source datasets and technologies.

Skills and Requirements:

  • PhD or equivalent experience and/or qualification in remote sensing
  • Experienced in research topics related to Indonesia’s land use sector
  • Experienced user of Google Earth Engine
  • Demonstrated research experience in optical-based remote sensing techniques
  • Excellent organizational skills and the capacity to deliver on allocated tasks and respond in a timely manner to deadlines;
  • Ability to draft reports that analyze and summarize scientific information and policy applications;
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and oral) in English; knowledge of other relevant languages (such as Bahasa Indonesia) is an asset: 
  • Good interpersonal skills and readiness to work within a diverse team environment.

Appointment Terms:

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg (near Vienna), Austria.  

The successful candidate will be offered a full-time (40 hours per week) position with an initial employment contract of one year with the possibility for extension thereafter. Applicants should be available to take up the position without delay.

IIASA offers a competitive compensation and benefits package (home leave, moving 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, resume, plus names, addresses (including e-mail), and telephone numbers of three work-related references to:

Deadline for receipt of applications 25 January 2019.

For further information about this position, please contact:



About Laxenburg (near Vienna)

In 2018, Vienna ranked as the city with the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey and the Economist. Vienna is a beautiful, historical yet modern city, located in the heart of Europe, close to the Alps and to major cities like Munich, Zurich, Prague, and Budapest. Being famous for its concert venues, opera houses, theaters, museums, and coffee shops, Vienna also provides opportunities for great outdoor activities, such as sailing on Lake Neusiedl, ice skating, biking and hiking in the Viennese woods and the nearby Alps. Moreover, the city has a wide range of excellent restaurants, bars, wineries, cinemas, clubs, libraries, galleries, and art collections. The Vienna area is also an exceptional and highly international research environment.

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

Internal reference # 190005

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Last edited: 10 January 2019


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