The awards are given annually for outstanding work by participants in the institute's Young Scientists Summer Program. They provide financial support for the winners to return to IIASA for an additional three months of research.

The selection procedure

The following criteria will be taken into account by external reviewers and the Awards Selection Committee when reviewing the papers:

  • Quality of the research: For example, is the problem/issue clearly framed and described?; the methodology well executed?; the study grounded in the literature?; the derived conclusions justifiable? 
  • Originality of the research: For example, is the problem framed in a unique way?; the chosen methodology/approach innovative? 
  • Effectiveness of the approach: For example, are the research objectives effectively met?, the problem/ issue effectively approached/solved?; the research appropriately interdisciplinary?  
  • Relevance/impact of the research: For example, does the study advance science or methodology?; is it policy relevant? 
  • Memos from supervisors supporting their candidate: The Selection Committee is usually made up of IIASA director, the YSSP dean, and scientific representatives from IIASA programs.

2022 Winners


Levien Award

Romain Clercq-Roques from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK has won this year's Special Award for his study: “Coupled dynamics of biodiversity loss and undernutrition in eastern Madagascar: a participatory agent-based model”.

IIASA program: Strategic Initiatives Program (SI)

Supervisors: Marta Kozicka, Katya Perez-Guzman

Xander Huggins

Mikhalevich Award

Xander Huggins from the University of Victoria and the Global Institute for Water Security, Canada has won the Mikhalevich Award for his study: "Global archetypes of groundwater interactions in social-ecological systems."

IIASA program: Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program (BNR)/ Water Program (WAT)

Supervisors: Taher Kahil, Amanda Palazzo

Melissa Chapman

Peccei Award

Melissa Chapman from the University of Berkeley, USA has won the Peccei Award for his study: "Meeting 2030 biodiversity targets under land use constraints in the EU".

IIASA program: Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program (BNR)

Supervisors: Martin Jung, Piero Visconti

Honorable mentions:

Dipesh Ch © Dipesh Chapagain

An honorable mention goes to Dipesh Chapagain from University of Bonn, Germany for his study on: "Understanding the role of climate change in disaster mortality: Empirical evidence from Nepal”.

  • IIASA program: Advancing Systems Analysis Program (ASA), Population and just societies Program (POPJUS)
  • Supervisors: Reinhard Mechler, Samir KC


Hyun Woo © Hyun Woo

An honorable mention goes to Hyun-Woo Jo from Korea Univeristy, Korea for his study on:“Optimization of the IIASA’s FLAM model to represent forest fires in South Korea”

  • IIASA program: Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program (BNR)
  • Supervisors: Andrey Krasovskiy, Florian Kraxner

The Peccei Award was established in 1984 in recognition of Dr. Aurelio Peccei's contribution to the understanding of global problems and his efforts to promote multi-national collaborative research.

The Mikhalevich Award was established in 1995 following the death of Academician Vladimir S. Mikhalevich, a pioneer in cybernetics and mathematical problems, who at that time was Chairman of the IIASA Council.

Dr. Aurelio Peccei © IIASA
The late Dr. Aurelio Peccei, best known as President of the Club of Rome

Dr. Aurelio Peccei

Dr. Aurelio Peccei (1908-1984), perhaps best known as the President of the Club of Rome, enjoyed a distinguished career in industry, conservation, and international affairs. His hallmark was a humanistic approach to the problems confronting the modern world, be they economic, technological, managerial, or political.

Dr. Peccei was a consistent and devoted friend of IIASA, a member of the small group of individuals who inspired the original concept of the Institute and contributed actively to its realization. In his later years, his overwhelming concern was the challenge of finding creative opportunities for young people to influence a shared future. In 1984, the Peccei Award was established in an effort to meet this charge, as well as to recognize Peccei's contribution to multinational collaborative research

Acad. Vladimir S. Mikhalevic © IIASA
The late Acad. Vladimir S. Mikhalevich, IIASA Council Member from Ukraine

Academician Vladimir S. Mikhalevich

Academician Vladimir S. Mikhalevich (1930-1994) was the Council Member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences at the time of his death. He was associated with the Institute for many years, in a scientific capacity as a member of the System and Decision Sciences Advisory Committee, and administratively, as Chairman of the Governing Council from 1987 to 1992.

Perhaps less known, but equally important, was Academician Mikhalevich's role in the academic world of the former Soviet Union. At a time when it was not popular, he ventured into cybernetics and employed computers for mathematical problems. He not only conducted his own pioneer work, but unfailingly supported young researchers who came to work with him even when they followed new directions of enquiry, which diverged from his own.

Dr. Levien at visit at IIASA © IIASA

Dr. Roger Levien

Dr. Roger Levien became General Director of IIASA in 1975, after establishing the Handbook of Applied Systems Analysis project in 1974. During his tenure, IIASA undertook influential global system analyses on Energy Supply and Demand and on Global Food and Agriculture, both using international, interdisciplinary teams at IIASA and collaborating with research organizations from both sides of the Cold War divide. In 1977, he established the Young Scientist Summer Program (YSSP), which has over 2200 alumni worldwide.

Dr. Levien began his career in 1960 at The RAND Corporation, where he served as head of the System Sciences Department, Deputy Vice President, and Head of RAND’s Washington Domestic Program Office. He led major studies of computer technology and educational policy, co- authoring two books: The Emerging Technology and Research and Development Management.

Dr. Levien holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics (Computer Science) from Harvard University and a BS in Engineering from Swarthmore College. He is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.