Students and Young Scientist Summer Program

The Arctic Futures Initiative welcomes students to enquire about potential collaboration opportunities at IIASA. Please see guidance for applicants below.

Most of the opportunities for PhD students and young scientists are through the IIASA’s Young Scientist Summer Program (YSSP). Each summer from the beginning of June to the end of August, some 50 selected students and young scientists gather to IIASA for an experience of a lifetime. The participants advance their research in an interdisciplinary and international atmosphere, building connections for career and social life.

The YSSP candidates and students are kindly asked to contact the AFI and the IIASA Program/s well in advance to discuss the topic, contents and research plan for the proposal.

YSSP participants are expected to be resident at IIASA for the entire 3-month period. Up to five days of leave may be approved by supervisors for participation in conferences and/or for personal reasons. Participants also agree to a timely submission of their research reports.

The YSSP application period opens on 1 October each year and closes in January of the following year. Only complete applications received before the deadline will be accepted.

More detailed information about the YSSP and on submitting an application are available at IIASA's YSSP web pages.

Research Assistant 2016 - 2017

Tahnee Prior (Canada)
Trudeau Scholar

Doctoral Candidate

Balsillie School of International Affairs

Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo +1-647-892-8758

YSSP 2018

Ekaterina Antsygina (Russia/Canada)
Research Assistant
Queen's University, Faculty of Law Canada

, S-72

Merrit Harlan (USA)
Research Assistant
University Of Massachusetts Amherst

, S-97

YSSP 2017

            Maisa Nevalainen (Finland)
             Master of Science             
            University of Helsinki
            Department of Environmental Sciences

            , S-72

YSSP 2016

           Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek (Finland)
           Researcher, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland
           IASC Fellow, +358(0)404844400


Guidance for applicants

A vast and rapid transformation of the Arctic and surrounding areas is taking place. Climate, environmental, and socioeconomic drivers may interact and amplify, making decision making in a rapidly changing Arctic difficult and uncertain. Changes may increase existing pressures in the Arctic, while others may bring new opportunities. The objective of the IIASA Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI) is a holistic assessment of the Arctic, involving stakeholders in dialogue already from the planning stage, through implementation to final aims. The mission of AFI is to obtain holistic socio-economic-technical-environmental understanding of the plausible Arctic futures within the complex global system: research, policy, business and societyin partnership. 

IIASA programs have expertise on complex systems analysis, scenarios, modeling, integrative and participatory techniques. Ideally, the AFI-related YSSP and postdoc proposals touch and increase the expertise of IIASA programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA); Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases (AIR); Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM); Energy (ENE); Evolution and Ecology (EEP); Risk and Resilience (RISK); Transitions to New Technologies (TNT); Water (WAT); World Population (POP).

Some examples for topics to AFI-related proposals:

- Economic development of Arctic sectors and regions in relation to global economic and energy resource developments, climate change

- Scenarios for economic and resources development of the sectors and regions in the Arctic

- Cost-effective multiple-policy objective emissions reduction for the benefit of the Arctic in relation to technical and societal developments

- Pan-Arctic fisheries and stakeholders

- Energy resources: availability and exploitation, integrated assessment modeling

- Challenges of Arctic governance, models for stewardship and regulatory framework

- Values, cultures, beliefs and behavior of actors: governments, institutions, businesses, media, citizens. 

- Human populations in the Arctic as an agent of change, a special emphasis on wellbeing of Indigenous peoples.

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Last edited: 16 May 2019


Anni Reissell

Guest Research Scholar

Exploratory and Special Projects

T +43(0) 2236 807 678


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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313