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Deadline: 31 August 2020 (or until filled)

Research Scholar in Economic Modeling of the Global Food System and Forestry for Sustainable Development

IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program

Vacancy 17/2020: The successful candidate will work in the team around the partial equilibrium model GLOBIOM, and further develop and apply this model in the framework of international research and policy projects


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

The successful candidate will join the team working with the partial equilibrium model GLOBIOM, and further develop and apply this model in the framework of international research and policy projects on one or more of the following topics: 

  • Agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry production systems
  • International trade
  • Climate change impact analysis, including the impacts of extreme events
  • Food security, nutrition and poverty impact analysis
  • Biodiversity and restoration analysis
  • Climate change mitigation in the agriculture and forestry sectors
  • Food, water and energy nexus issues and solutions.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Develop new modules for GLOBIOM, incl. data analysis and processing
  • Contribute to methodological and structural development of the model
  • Implement new scenarios, incl. policy impact assessment, and analyze their economic, environmental, and social impacts
  • Contribute to project deliverables, reports, stakeholder communication
  • Publish relevant results in peer-reviewed journals and participate in scientific conferences and workshops.

Skills required

  • PhD degree, or a master’s degree with min. four-years research experience, in agriculture, forestry or development economics, or in another area relevant for the research topics listed above
  • Experience with large scale applied economic models, either at sector level or in the general equilibrium framework (proficiency in GAMS advantage)
  • Experience with large-scale data processing and spatial analysis would be advantageous (R or equivalent)
  • 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