Research Assistant (part-time 20 hours per week) - 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)
Languages Required: 


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The mission of the IIASA Risk and Resilience (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. The RISK program’s specialty is applying advanced methods for assessing and analyzing 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 assist with research into how indirect losses due to natural hazard risks can be decreased within a highly interlinked and complex system such as the economy of Austria. They will help to identify, quantify and evaluate risk management options that can decrease indirect risks from extreme flood hazards for today and in the future in Austria for public and private stakeholders. There will be a particular focus on creating an inclusive approach within the accompanied stakeholder process to increase trust and enable an open dialogue. In addition, the role will involve assisting with finding policy-compatible ways forward, together with key decision-makers and stakeholders, on how to tackle indirect risks due to flood events in Austria. 


Under the supervision of a senior scientist, the successful applicant will mainly support project coordination including performing literature reviews, stakeholder mapping and engagement, and facilitating workshops of the MacroMode project. Specific tasks of the successful applicant include but are not limited to:

  • Establish and maintain contacts with relevant stakeholders
  • Support with the collection and collation of relevant data and information
  • Contribute to literature reviews of relevant studies
  • Conduct interviews for key stakeholders during the project
  • Assist in the development, organization and translation of stakeholder workshops
  • Contribute to dissemination of knowledge and results
  • Support outreach activities for the project
  • Provide general support to other project-related matters.

Your Profile:

We seek a motivated research assistant who is able to work in an interdisciplinary and multicultural environment. The degree of supervision can be flexible depending on the candidate’s skill sets and needs. The position would ideally suit a recent, or soon to be master's graduate who is seeking experience in an international research setting. 

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree (or equivalent) in economics, social or political sciences, statistics, geography, environmental science, or other relevant field(s)
  • Fluency in German (written and spoken) and strong English (written and spoken) skills are required. Proficiency in other languages will also be considered an asset
  • Knowledge of the literature and practice on statistical analysis, risk, resilience, ArcGIS, and/or stakeholder engagement processes is desirable
  • Intercultural sensitivity and  the ability to work within an international team
  • Proficiency with standard data editing software (e.g. MS office).

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 part-time (20 hours per week) position with an initial employment contract for 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 quote the vacancy reference # 35/2019 in the subject heading and email the documents listed below to 

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé
  • Recent example of research work (if available), up to a maximum of 2 
  • Names and addresses (including title, affiliation, e-mail, and telephone number) of two work-related reference givers

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled.