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Deadline: 31 August (or until filled)

Research Scholar in Development/ Agricultural/Forestry  Economics for Regional Studies

IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program

Vacancy 16/2020: The ESM Program is hiring an applied economist of development, agriculture or forestry to work on land use modeling in national and regional contexts  for interdisciplinary research and policy applications.


The IIASA ESM Program adopts an integrated approach taking into account i) interactions between different economic sectors, including agriculture, forestry, bioenergy, and fisheries, ii) synergies and trade-offs between multiple societal objectives, including, but not limited to, GHG emissions and climate change mitigation, climate change impacts and adaptation, food security, sustainable nutrient and water management, and biodiversity, iii) across different spatial and temporal scales, going from pixel through the country level up to the global scale, and from annual to a hundred year time horizon. 

The program comprises a multidisciplinary team where quantitative analysis plays a strong role with a particular focus on development of novel spatially explicit datasets and a wide spectrum of applied models; from detailed process based biophysical models to global economic models. ESM is strongly connected to the international academic community, placing emphasis on transdisciplinary synergies and applied approaches. The work accomplished has long been recognized through regular publications in high-ranking scientific journals, and the team includes several top 1% highly cited researchers. In addition, the ESM Program is recognized as a reliable partner in support of national policy making and international multilateral processes.

The Position

In the context of our research on land use change effects at a regional scale, ESM is offering a position for a Research Scholar in applied economics, with a specialization in the field of agriculture, forestry or development economics. The successful candidate will be contributing to research conducted around the partial equilibrium model GLOBIOM, and further develop and apply this model in the framework of regional studies. As a land use change specialist, the candidate will work within the ESM Program to conduct tasks related to developing national and regional level modeling and the impact of scenario analysis at a high spatial resolution. The work consists of data analysis and model development in order to improve i) the representation of land use change drivers in the model, ii) the implementation of policy-relevant scenarios in the context of national and international policies, iii) impacts on economic development. The research will be conducted in the framework of several international projects. The successful candidate will collaborate with project partners outside IIASA to ensure that local knowledge, insights and existing efforts are incorporated in the research. Tasks will be performed in support of other IIASA colleagues working on this topic and build on past IIASA policy support legacy in the domain.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Lead specific developments of regional production systems representation and land use change dynamics

  • Study economic and environmental impacts of land use policies and other relevant drivers by means of forward-looking analysis applied in the GLOBIOM model

  • Lead/Contribute to project deliverables, reports, stakeholder communication

  • Coordinate with and train local partners

  • Publish relevant results in peer-reviewed journals and participate in scientific conferences and workshops.

Skills required

  • PhD degree in economics or equivalent experience in quantitative methods and focus on agriculture, forestry or development economics, or a master’s degree with min. four-years research experience in the same areas

  • Experience with large scale applied economic models, either at sector level or in the general equilibrium framework (knowledge of GAMS advantage)

  • Experience with large-scale data processing and spatial analysis would be advantageous (R or equivalent)

  • Experience in research topics related to regional land use sector dynamics, incl. tropical basins

  • Strong interest in ESM topics, deforestation risk, agriculture, climate change impact and mitigation, biodiversity protection and/or economic development

  • Ability to collaborate with relevant stakeholders for the development of participatory and evidence-based land use policy making

  • Excellent organizational skills and the capacity to deliver on allocated tasks and respond in a timely manner to deadlines

  • Ability to draft reports that analyze and summarize scientific information and policy applications

  •  Flexibility to travel

  • Fluency in English and good presentation skills.


appointment terms

This position is classified as 'Scientific". The successful candidate will be offered a full-time (40 hours per week) position with an initial contract of three years and the possibility for extension thereafter.

The successful candidate should be available to take up the appointment as soon as possible in the fall of 2020. Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, near Vienna in Austria. 

IIASA is committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, tolerance and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male 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.



We offer

IIASA offers a competitive salary (based on qualifications and experience) together with a benefits package which includes moving and settlement allowances. IIASA salaries are exempt from taxation in Austria, but subject to the principle of income aggregation. 

For information on benefits offered, please visit working at IIASA.







Further Information

For general information about our institute, please visit

For further information about this opportunity please contact:

Mr. Michael Le Gohebel (  







Name: Alia Harrison
Function: Recruitment Coordinator