Ausschreibung IIASA research assistant

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Research Assistant (part-time 30 hours per week)

Vacancy 31/2017 – The Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases (AIR) Program is looking to recruit a PhD candidate to model the emissions of greenhouse gases from the global nitrogen cycle. The candidate will have the opportunity to work with a supervisor from IIASA while pursuing their PhD.


The Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases (AIR) Program at IIASA pioneers the understanding of cost-effective policy intervention options that simultaneously reduce air quality and climate impacts of anthropogenic emissions while delivering other development benefits.

Within the GELUC project (Greenhouse Gas Effects of global Land-Use Competition) the AIR program explores spatially explicit strategies for reducing emissions of nitrogen compounds (especially nitrous oxide) and their implications on the nitrogen and carbon cycles. GELUC is funded by Austria’s National Science Foundation and carried out in cooperation with the Institute of Social Ecology (SEC) of the University for Agricultural Sciences (Vienna).

As part of this project, IIASA is now recruiting a Research Assistant to model the emissions of greenhouse gases from the global nitrogen cycle. The GELUC project allows up to two years of employment under the conditions granted to FWF-funded doctoral students.

Job Duties:

The successful candidate will develop and refine model approaches for estimating emissions of the greenhouse gas N2O and their interactions with emissions of CH4 and NH3 as well as with carbon budgets. The analysis will cover all important source sectors, but specifically address agricultural activities and semi-natural vegetation systems, and consider site-specific factors. Employing a spatially explicit model of land use, the work will develop scenarios of future N2O emissions illustrating the consequences of different biophysical conditions and agricultural practices. The analysis will interface with other models, i.e., the GAINS model developed at IIASA and the BioBAM model employed by SEC. The candidate will have the duty and the opportunity to present scientific papers at conferences and workshops and to publish in the scientific literature.

Required Skills:

  • Ability and willingness to process and manage large datasets, become proficient with a complex systems model, and analyze results.
  • Proficiency with statistical tools and programming (e.g., Python) is highly welcome. Also experience with operating GIS systems will be helpful.
  • Candidates must be able to develop new modeling approaches and think critically and independently about their research.
  • Ability to write in a clear and concise manner (in English) and to present factual, data-driven information. Proof of writing skills (e.g., copy of master thesis, possibly additional publications) is required.
  • Excellent interpersonal, networking and communication skills. The incumbent will closely interact between the IIASA team and the SEC group in Vienna, requiring a high degree of self-organization and the ability to integrate well into two independent teams.
  • The ability to prioritize workload in a pressured environment with competing demands and to manage timelines, deliverables and milestones will be essential in order to meet the requirements of the GELUC project; therefore proven experience in project-oriented research work is also desirable.
  • IIASA offers an interdisciplinary and international workplace and the possibility to interact with researchers of different nationalities, with strong ties to a world-wide network of research institutions engaged in environmental systems research. The successful candidate must be able to work in, and have respect for, an intercultural environment.


Candidates must be eligible to enroll in a doctoral program. This means that they need to have completed a four-semester Master program, preferably in a subject such as environmental sciences, climate sciences, agricultural sciences, agricultural economy or related. Among other options, collaboration with SEC or with the Vienna University of Technology would allow for direct supervision of a PhD student by IIASA scientists.

Appointment Terms:

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

The successful candidate is expected to assume their duties in early 2018 (ideally in February)  and will be offered an initial employment contract until 30 November 2019 (thereafter, there may be a possibility for a further contract extension).

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 the following:

  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • A letter of application outlining your motivation and fit to the position
  • A recent example of research work e.g. copy of master’s thesis
  • The names and contact details of two work-related reference givers
  • At least one letter of recommendation

To: Ms. Alia Harrison, Recruitment Coordinator, Human Resources Department,
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
E-mail: harrison [at]

Deadline for receipt of applications: 8 January 2018. 

For further information about this position, please contact:

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 18th annual Quality of Living survey, Vienna continues its reign in the top spot for overall quality of living in 2016. The survey covers 230 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.

Internal reference# 160314

Der Beitrag Ausschreibung IIASA research assistant erschien zuerst auf Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt.

Source: AAU TEWI