South Africa

South Africa became a member of IIASA in 2007 through its member organization, the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Map of South Africa

Map of South Africa

Since South Africa’s membership of IIASA began in 2007, a range of research collaborations and capacity building activities have been developed by IIASA and over twenty South African research partners. The most notable activity is the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program that has developed system analytical research skills among over 80 doctoral students from 30 countries including 35 students from South Africa.

Joint research studies have explored how South Africa can make the transition to a low-carbon economy; smart ways to increase crop yields in South Africa; and the impact of different education policies on South Africa’s future population. These activities are complemented by scientific exchange with over 120 researchers either visiting South Africa from IIASA or visiting IIASA from South Africa.

However, significant potential remains to enhance the mutually beneficial relationship between IIASA and South Africa through establishing new collaborations, new partnerships, and increasing capacity building activities. This IIASA Info Sheet provides a summary of this expanding relationship since 2008.

Opportunities for South African Researchers and South African Nationals at IIASA

Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)

The YSSP at IIASA offers fellowships for PhD students to undertake a summer project on a topic related to the IIASA research agenda. Applications for 2019 are now being accepted until 11 Jan 2019.                   

Postdoctoral Opportunities

The Postdoctoral Program at IIASA offers fully funded research positions of up to two years to study topics related to the IIASA research agenda.                                                                           

Employment   Opportunities

Currently IIASA employs approximately 170 scientific staff and 100 support staff. Preference for job applications is given to qualified applicants who are nationals of IIASA member countries.                      

Latest research news:

07 August 2019
Observation-driven research to inform better groundwater management policies

Groundwater maintains vital ecosystems and strongly influences water and energy budgets. Although at least 400 million people in sub-Saharan Africa depend on this valuable resource for their domestic water needs, the processes that sustain it and their sensitivity to climatic variability, are poorly understood. IIASA contributed to a study that looked into climate impacts on groundwater in light of changing climatic patterns in Africa.  More

18 March 2019
Wittgenstein Centre Data Explorer Version 2.0

Data on the educational attainment of the population of some 200 countries (and regions) are now available in the Version 2.0 of the Human Capital Data Explorer.  More

16 November 2018
Overcoming challenges to sustainable renewable energy in South Africa

Options Winter 2018/19: A study by IIASA researcher and former Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program participant, Elvis Nkoana looked into factors preventing the successful implementation of sustainable renewable energy into South Africa’s national energy mix.  More

17 June 2018
South Africa – A model for systems analysis development?

Options Summer 2018: In 2015, South Africa stepped up its commitment to systems analysis by creating the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre–SASAC. Led by a consortium of four universities–the universities of the Western Cape, Limpopo, theWitwatersrand, and Stellenbosch–SASAC aims to strengthen systems analysis activities by supporting Honours students, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers.  More

29 October 2017
Lighting the world through open source electricity

Options Winter 2017/18: Identifying the most cost-effective electrification options.  More

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Last edited: 03 October 2018


The National Research Foundation (NRF)

Dorsamy (Gansen) Pillay

Deputy CEO: RISA, Research and Innovation Support and Advancement, National Research Foundation (NRF)

The National Research Foundation (NRF)

Aldo Stroebel

Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships, National Research Foundation (NRF)

Infosheet on IIASA activities with South Africa

Further information

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313