Research Assistant (Risk and Resilience (RISK) Program)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Vienna, Austria
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Vacancy 25/2019 - The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary team to analyze how Europe’s economy and society will be affected by climate change impacts that occur beyond its borders


The mission of the IIASA RISK Program is to contribute to transforming the way societies manage risks to economic, ecological, and social systems while confronting the global trends that are amplifying these risks. The program examines environmental and socio-economic interactions across multiple scales, providing the analytical foundation for improved management and governance of natural disasters, climate change, and technological and ecological transitions. Our specialty is applying advanced methods for assessing and analysing risks and uncertainties, and designing risk governance processes, to improve policy outcomes on global change issues, such as extreme events, socio-economic development and environmental degradation.

The Project:

The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary team to analyse how Europe’s economy and society will be affected by climate change impacts that occur beyond its borders. The work will be conducted as part of the EU-funded project RECEIPT "REmote Climate Effects and their Impact on European sustainability, Policy and Trade" (start: September 2019). The work will involve modeling climate-related stresses on public finance caused by hurricanes or floods, and associated risks in overseas territories and globally, particularly considering the role of climate change. Potential risk management measures to reduce any effects of hazards on financial risk are to be explored as well.


The successful applicant will support the risk modeling work of the RECEIPT project under the supervision of a senior risk modeller. Specific tasks of the successful applicant include but are not limited to:

  • Contribute to the socioeconomic analysis and modeling of climate-related risks, in particular risk-based scenario stress testing of public finance across Europe as triggered by events outside the EU
  • Integrate latest climate scenarios into the risk modeling chain (story-lines, quantification of drivers and outcomes)
  • Contribute to publications in relevant journals/books and other media (e.g., press, internet) 
  • Present research results in international fora.


The successful applicant should have a Master’s degree or equivalent in economics, mathematics, statistics, geography or other relevant fields. An understanding of the literature regarding current issues related to disaster risk management, climate change and resilience is highly desirable. Knowledge of quantitative (e.g., modeling, statistics, GIS, risk analysis, stochastic simulation) research methods is essential. The incumbent could carry out the research as part of a PhD thesis. Finally, strong English language communication and writing skills are necessary, and proficiency in other languages will be considered an asset.

Appointment Terms:

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

The successful candidate will be offered a full-time (40 hours per week) position with an initial employment contract of one year and possibility for extension thereafter. The successful candidate should be available to take up the position as soon as possible.

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 the following documents:

  • Cover letter 
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé
  • Up to two (maximum) recent examples of research work
  • Names and addresses (including title, affiliation, e-mail, and telephone number) of two work-related reference givers

Please do not include a photograph to:

Harrison, Alia

Recruitment CoordinatorHuman Resources

+43(0) 2236 807 286

Review of applications will be ongoing and continue until the position has been filled.

For information about this position, please contact:

  • Hochrainer-Stigler, Stefan. Senior Research ScholarRisk and Resilience. +43(0) 2236 807 517.  
  • Mechler, Reinhard. Deputy Program DirectorRisk and Resilience. +43(0) 2236 807 313.