24 September 2014

Research Assistant: Energy Access and Poverty

Vacancy 17/2014 -  IIASA's Energy Program is looking to recruit a motivated and talented young researcher to join a team analyzing a wide range of issues surrounding energy economics and climate change. 


The successful applicant's research will focus on modeling energy use among the global poor with the MESSAGE model and its extensions. The purpose of the research is to inform international policy efforts, such as the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative (http://www.se4all.org/), that aim to improve health, gender equality, education, and economic development by improving the access to and affordability of modern energy services in developing regions. An additional objective of this research is to evaluate the potential synergies and trade-offs between achieving universal modern energy access goals and other energy, development, and climate goals. Exploring future pathways that aim at achieving multiple policy priorities simultaneously, and that align different goals will be part of the focus of this research.

The incumbent must be prepared to process and manage large datasets, become proficient with a complex energy system model, and analyze results. In addition, the applicant must be prepared to develop new modeling approaches and think critically and independently about her/his research. 


Applicants should have (or be close to completing) a Master’s degree in economics or in science (engineering, physics) coupled with some economic background, at a minimum. Proficiency with programming and/or statistical software such as GAMS, R, Python, STATA, or SAS is preferred – the successful candidate will be expected to use and further develop an existing set of R scripts that operate iteratively with the MESSAGE energy system model. Experience in economic/energy modeling and empirical analysis is also an important pre-requisite. Previous experience working with issues related to energy poverty and access in developing countries is welcome.

The selected candidate will interact with researchers of different nationalities, and have the chance to present scientific papers at conferences and workshops. IIASA offers an interdisciplinary workplace, with strong ties to a world-wide network of research institutions engaged in environmental and energy research and in particular on the analysis of climate change issues. 

Appointment Terms:

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, Austria. The successful candidate should be available to take up the assignment in early 2015 and will initially be offered a one-year employment contract. Following an evaluation of the first year's work, the appointment period may be extended for up to a further year thereafter.

IIASA offers a competitive compensation and benefits package including moving and settlement allowances. IIASA salaries are exempt from taxation in Austria, but subject to the principle of income aggregation.

The Institute’s management and staff alike are committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, and tolerance. The Institute encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Preference will be given to applicants who are nationals of IIASA member countries.


To apply, please email a cover letter, detailed curriculum vitae, and at least one letter of recommendation plus names and contact details of two work-related reference givers via email to:

Ms. Alia Harrison, Human Resources
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Fax: (+43) 2236/713-13

Deadline for receipt of applications: 31st October 2014 (review of applications will begin immediately). 

For information about this position, please contact:

Dr. Shonali Pachauri

For general information about our Institute and its research activities, please visit our IIASA Web site.

Internal reference # 140158

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Last edited: 30 September 2014


Alia Harrison

Recruitment Coordinator

Human Resources Department

T +43(0) 2236 807 286

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313