The application period for the 2024 YSSP is over. Applications for 2025 YSSP will open in October 2024.

Apply © IIASA

Who should apply? Apply if...

  • You are an advanced graduate student, ideally 1-2 years from PhD degree.
  • Your field of study complements research at IIASA (see below for some guidance)
  • You are interested in interdisciplinary research.
  • You would like to apply your research to global challenges facing society.
  • Your research and career would benefit from working alongside 50 young scientists, as well as senior researchers, from around the world.

Information on the YSSP Application Process:

1. If you are an advanced Ph.D. student, check if your topic is compatible with ongoing IIASA research. Ideally, your work should explore policy implications. You will need to submit a proposal for a research project that you will work on while at IIASA. The proposal includes the following elements: abstract, main research questions, methods, data requirements, innovative aspects, and expected results.

How to figure out which IIASA program/research group best fits your Ph.D. topic?
We suggest you look at papers you have cited in your Ph.D. to date and check if you have used IIASA publications. If yes, identify the research program mentioned in those papers. In addition, we recommend you familiarize yourself with IIASA research programs to better identify which one best suits your Ph.D. topic. 

2. Applicants are strongly encouraged to establish contact with the respective IIASA program representatives as soon as possible. Please draft your pre-proposal (use this PDF form to orientate yourself as to the criteria to be fulfilled) and contact the respective CDAT representatives of the program of your choice as soon as possible.

3. The final application needs to be submitted by the deadline.

4. Please note that IIASA does not have laboratories, therefore is not suitable for postdoctoral researchers looking to undertake lab-based research. 

5. Participation in the YSSP is only possible for one summer (however, you may apply several times) and you will need to be present at the institute in Laxenburg, Austria, for the full duration, i.e., three months of the program (no fieldwork or working remotely). Also, please note your research project must be completed and handed in by end of September.

Who should apply?

The program is designed for advanced Ph.D. students working on a topic compatible with ongoing research at IIASA and wish to explore the policy implications of their work. Participants will be working under the direct mentorship of an experienced IIASA scientist in a unique interdisciplinary and international research environment. They will produce a paper (serving as a first step towards a publishable journal article) and get the opportunity to foster contacts for future collaboration within the institute's worldwide network.

Applicants can choose to work with up to two programs. We strongly encourage to carefully read through all program descriptions before making your decision.

Applicants from all countries are welcome, although IIASA gives priority to citizens or residents of National Member Organizations (NMO) countries.

Participation in the YSSP is only possible for one summer (however, you may apply several times) and you will need to be present at the institute (i.e. no fieldwork or working remotely) for the full duration of the program.

FAQ — Application process

Is there an upper age-limit for applicants?
No, there is no upper-age limit. The program is designed for advanced PhD students working on a topic compatible with the interdisciplinary IIASA research agenda.

How should I frame my research objectives?
You should look through the IIASA program webpages to get an idea what research is done at IIASA. To ensure reasonable supervision, your research should fit within the themes/expertise already ongoing at IIASA. It is a good idea to contact IIASA scientists directly to discuss your project. You may first want to start with the YSSP representative in each program.

Can I apply if I am not coming from an NMO country?
Yes, we accept applications from all countries. Funding then needs to be covered through own sources. For exceptional cases IIASA provides special funding as well. Students coming from developing countries will receive funding through the IIASA Annual Fund.

Can I apply even if I am not yet enrolled in a PhD Program?
No, the program is primarily designed for students in the latter stages of their PhD.

What are the dates of the program?
The program usually runs from 1 June until 31 August. Depending on weekends and holidays, the exact days may vary.

Do I have to be present at IIASA during the whole the 3 months?
Yes. The YSSP is a full time activity. However, up to FIVE leave days (working days) are granted and are subject to approval by your IIASA mentor.

FAQ — Funding and visa

Most of our National Member Organizations (NMOs) provide grants to enable young scientists (either their own nationals or foreign students studying in their country) to participate in the YSSP. All successfully selected applicants will receive notification about funding shortly after the evaluation process.

Applicants not eligible for an NMO scholarship must find alternative funds from their home institution or other sources to finance their participation. IIASA has limited funds for exceptional applicants from non-NMO countries. These are awarded as part of the selection procedure.

How much is the stipend and who is paying?
Most of the institute's NMOs provide special grants to enable young scientists (either their own nationals or foreign students studying in their country) to participate in the YSSP. Note: only limited slots available so there is a chance that selected candidates will not get funding from an NMO due to high demand. The stipend varies slightly among NMOs, but usually it is € 1500 per month plus airfare. If you are not a citizen of or resident in an NMO country you must find alternative funds (either from your home institution or other sources) to finance your participation.  

There are various funding opportunities for successful candidates who do not have funding such as:

The YSSP Fund - supporting students from developing countries.

The Prof. Jyoti and Prof. Kirit Parikh fellowship with the aim to provide much needed support for talented researchers from India and other developing countries.

The Roger Levien Fellowship offering Pardee RAND Graduate School students an opportunity to participate in the YSSP.

Participation costs
IIASA does not charge a tuition fee. In general, participants are expected to cover all expenses associated with their stay (3 months rent, meals, local transportation, expenses for any accompanying dependents, and health insurance) from their NMO grant or their other funding source. 

Do I need to submit an extra application for the stipend?
Please wait until you hear from us about the selection outcome. IIASA will explore individual funding options for all successful candidates including special grants and be in direct touch with you.   

Do I need to contact my NMO?
Yes, once you receive the official letter of invitation (upon successful selection) from IIASA, please get in touch with the relevant NMO secretary (contact details on that letter).  

What can I expect in terms of cost of living?
Vienna is an expensive place to live. If you have a choice between bringing an item from home or buying it in Vienna, bring it with you. In comparison with the US, only beer is cheaper in Austria. Based on our experience students usually require a total sum of around €5000 - €5500 on average to cover all the living and travel expenses related to their YSSP participation over the whole summer.

Visa requirements
Please note that as a non-EU (EU/EEA/Swiss) resident, you will need to apply for a D-visa. This D-visa will allow you to travel to Austria and to reside here during the YSSP period and will also allow you to travel to other Schengen countries. Accompanying family members will have to apply for C-tourist-visas and will only be able to stay in Austria for up to a maximum of 90 days. Participants from the EU and Switzerland will need to apply for an Aufenthaltsbescheinigung. IMPORTANT: do not start requesting a visa until you have heard back from IIASA that you have successfully been selected to take part in the YSSP. We will initiate contact with the relevant embassy in your country to support you.