Frequently asked questions


Where can I apply?
Applications are done online and the form can be found on the YSSP website.
Applications are running from October until mid-January.  

How should I frame my research objectives?

You should look through the IIASA program webpages to get an idea what research is done at IIASA. To ensure reasonable supervision, your research should fit within the themes/expertise already ongoing at IIASA. It is a good idea to contact IIASA scientists directly to discuss your project. You may first want to start with the YSSP representative in each program.

Can I apply if I am not coming from an NMO country?
Yes, we accept applications from all countries. Funding then needs to be covered through own sources. For exceptional cases IIASA provides special funding as well. Students coming from developing countries will receive funding through the IIASA Annual Fund. 

Can I apply even if I am not yet enrolled in a PhD Program?
Unfortunately no. The program is primarily designed for students in the latter stages of their PhD.

Can I apply if I already hold a PhD degree?
In that case we advise you to apply for our Post Doc Program instead.

What are the dates of the program?
The program usually runs from 1 June until 31 August. Depending on weekends and holidays, the exact days may vary.

Do I have to be present at IIASA during the whole the 3 months?
Yes. The YSSP is a full time activity. However, up to FIVE leave days (working days) are granted and a subject to approval by your IIASA supervisor. 


What should I expect in terms of supervision during the YSSP?

Each YSSP participant will have a primary supervisor and often one or more co-supervisors.  The model is one of a mentored independent research project. You should be prepared to work independently and also open to feedback and guidance from your IIASA supervisor.


Can I bring visitors?
Yes, you can. Requests for extra beds will be handled and charged directly by the dorm management.  

Can I bring my family?
Yes, you can. Please note that the stipend does not include family benefits. Travel and accommodation for them will need to be covered on own costs. Our housing department can help finding adequate accommodation as well. The spouses who have the best time during the summer are those who are able to entertain themselves easily (shopping, going to museums, sightseeing in Vienna). Otherwise, if they don't speak German and don't have a scheduled activity (school, work, etc), the time could become pretty tedious. Spouses and family are welcome at YSSP activities, and this can be a good way for them to get interaction with English-speaking people. Please note the visa requirements for Accompanying family members from non EU residents (see point "FINANCES AND VISA" below).

Can I leave for a conference?
Yes, you can use your leave days for these incidents (subject to approval by your IIASA supervisor). 

Can I leave for travel?
Yes, you can use your leave days for these incidents (subject to approval by your IIASA supervisor).


How much is the stipend and who is paying?
Most of IIASA's National Member Organizations (NMOs) provide special grants to enable young scientists (either their own nationals or foreign students studying in their country) to  participate in the YSSP. The stipend varies slightly among NMOs, but usually it is EUR 1310 per month plus airfare. If you are not citizen of or resident in an NMO country you must find alternative funds (either from your home institution or other sources) to finance participation.  IIASA will finance up to 3 candidates from developing countries which are not members of IIASA (IIASA’s annual fund; Petr Aven Fellowship for exceptional scientists from Russia). 

Participation costs
IIASA does not charge a tuition fee. In general, participants are expected to cover all expenses associated with their stay (3 months rent; meals; local transportation; expenses for any accompanying dependents; and health insurance) from their NMO grant or their other funding source. 

Do I need to submit an extra application for the stipend?
Please wait until you hear from us about the selection outcome. IIASA will explore individual funding options for all successful candidates including special grants and be in direct touch with you.   

Do I need to contact my NMO?
Yes, once you receive the official letter of invitation (upon successful selection) from IIASA, please get in touch with the relevant NMO secretary (via contact details stated on that letter).  

What can I expect in terms of cost of living?
Vienna is an expensive place to live. If you have a choice between bringing something from home or buying it in Vienna, bring it with you. In comparison with the US, only beer is cheaper in Austria. Based on our experience students usually require a total sum of around €5,000 - €5,500 on average to cover all the living and travel expenses related to their YSSP participation over the whole summer.

Visa requirements

Please note that as a non EU ( EU/EWR/Swiss)  resident, you will need to apply for a D-visa. This D-visa will allow you to travel to Austria and to reside here during the YSSP period and will also allow you to travel to other Schengen countries. Accompanying family members will have to apply for C-tourist-visas and will only be able to stay in Austria for up to a maximum of 90 days. Participants from the EU and Switzerland will need to apply for an "Aufenthaltsbescheinigung". IIASA will initiate contact with the relevant embassy in your country. Do not get active until you hear from IIASA about further steps. 


What about accommodation?
A limited number of single rooms has been reserved at a dormitory in Vienna's 11th district.  Of course, you can also organize your own accommodation, if preferred. More information on the available accommodation options can be found here

How do I get to the dorm from the Airport? How do I get to IIASA from the dorm?
Information can be found here (scroll down page).


Can I open a bank account during my stay in Austria?
Yes, we have several options at IIASA which allow you to open and close an account in order to avoid fees at cash machines. 

What kind of weather can I expect?
Austria is in the temperate zone; you can expect quite a warm summer with chances of rain and sometimes a bit of wind. Please bring lots of T-shirts, a sweater, a warmer jacket (for excursions into the mountains), sandals and good shoes, and something dressy for formal social events. Also, don’t forget to bring you swim suit – we have a pool here!

Fitness in Laxenburg
Discover sports activities in Laxenburg.

What is the dress code at IIASA?
T-shirts, jeans and shorts are common working attire for the YSSP'ers. However, please respect the fact that IIASA is a scientific institute, hosting very often high profile conferences.
One dressy outfit is fine (not least because of the Awards Ceremony Dinner & Dance at the end of the summer).

What about public transportation - what costs can I expect?
Vienna has an excellent public-transportation system with reliable, clean and convenient service. The Viennese public transport system is made up of trains, trams, busses and an S and U-Bahn network. 

For those traveling frequently throughout Vienna and from Vienna to Laxenburg we recommend a monthly pass of around 90 EUR entitling you to use all public transport systems in Vienna as well as the bus to Laxenburg. You can change from underground to tram or bus without having to buy another ticket.

Monthly tickets can be purchased at staffed ticket offices (underground stations), Vienna train stations, or directly from the bus driver on the busses no. 215, 700, and 200.

Single tickets for Vienna are 2.40 EUR to 2.50 EUR (purchased inside bus/tram or at ticket office/vending machines); Subway and train map Vienna; ÖBB - Austrian Railways (for those of you under 26 check out the "Vorteilscard"); Wiener Linien - Vienna Transportation; Virtual Vienna; Tiscover Austria.

Opening hours of supermarkets and shops are Monday-Friday from 8:00 to 7:00/7:30 pm hrs, Saturdays until 6:00 pm. Shops are usually closed on Sundays. There are two stores of the supermarket chain "Billa" which are open 365 days from 6am - 9pm - Locations: Trainstation Praterstern & Franz Josefs Bahnhof (Julius Tandler Platz)

Prepaid telephone cards (no contracts)
for mobile phones (sim card and re-chargeable cards): Cards are also available at supermarkets "Hofer" and under

Tick vaccinations
Certain wooded areas in Austria, including the park behind the Institute and the Vienna Woods around Laxenburg and the city, are the habitat of the tick. Some of these ticks are infected and their bite can cause early-summer meningitis (ESME). Vaccine is available and IIASA has arranged for all participants and their families to receive the first shot during the first week of the program. The second shot will be administered a couple of weeks later (Costs: EUR 20 each). You may want to check with your general physician or local health authority if they can administer the first shot before leaving for Austria. You should inquire about the "ESME" vaccination. For detailed tick information click here.

Medical insurance
Please note that you are required to have medical insurance for the duration of your stay. In case you have no insurance coverage in your home country, you must take part in IIASA's private medical scheme. More information is provided upon acceptance to the program.

Medical services
Click here for local medical facilities in and around Laxenburg.

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Last edited: 17 October 2019


Tanja Huber

YSSP Coordinator & Team Leader

Young Scientists Summer Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 344

Aleksandra Cofala

Postdoc Coordinator & YSSP Administrative Assistant

Young Scientists Summer Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 436

YSSP flyer

"What I wish I had known before coming to IIASA"

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