Research Scholar – Just transitions to net zero carbon emissions

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Veröffentlicht: 25. November 2021
Laxenburg, Austria
Ende der Bewerbungsfrist



The EF Program is looking to recruit a Research Scholar with a strong background in quantitative empirical research for the “Just transitions to net zero carbon emissions for all” (JustTrans4All) project. The successful candidate will study factors supporting just energy transitions and explore potential implications for human wellbeing.


The newly founded Economic Frontiers (EF) Program aspires to provide a comprehensive, rigorous and multidisciplinary framework for studying the changes to economic systems and behaviors that are required to shift production and consumption to patterns that are fair, sustainable and resilient. Explicit consideration will be given to

(i) Economics of equal life chances,

(ii) Economics of disruptive changes,

(iii) Economic governance of transitional change,

(iv) Economic development and wellbeing in a finite and interlinked world.

The program’s research integrates tightly with the natural, environmental, population, and systems science frameworks that IIASA is leading on, thus providing the multi-disciplinary approach needed for an understanding of the transition to sustainable, fair and resilient economies.


The successful candidate will join the JustTrans4All project (project duration Sep 2021 – Dec 2023) and support the project team with the empirical analysis of drivers of just energy transitions and resulting implications for wellbeing using international micro and macro level data and innovative statistical and econometric methods.

The JustTrans4All project contributes to novel analyses of transition pathways that are socially and environmentally just. It will inform policy design aiming at achieving high levels of human wellbeing within planetary boundaries, in line with the UN 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. As a collaborative effort of three research programs at IIASA (Economic Frontiers (EF), Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)), the project aims at studying conditions that enable just transitions and developing a first comprehensive set of just transition scenarios towards a net-zero carbon society. For this, the interdisciplinary team combines soft-systems analysis approaches grounded in ethical reasoning with quantitative empirical and prospective modelling techniques.

As part of the empirical work package of the project, the incumbent will first support the collection of international longitudinal data on energy access and transitions as well as data on multidimensional poverty, inequality, decent living standards, and human wellbeing; second, the candidate will empirically investigate how different factors and conditions (with a focus on governance and human capital) influence just transitions to net zero carbon emissions and what their human wellbeing implications are; and third, the candidate will provide estimates and inputs that can be used to develop a set of prospective models and just transition scenarios to assess how alternative pathways can ensure fair energy transitions and an equal distribution of wellbeing over time and space. Fourth, ideally the candidate will also contribute to the modeling of the impact of transition-induced health gains relying on an economic burden of disease framework. JustTrans4All will enhance IIASA policy impact by providing guidance on designing policies for socio-ecological transformation that enjoy societal support and leave no one behind.


  • Contribute actively to the research of the JustTrans4All Project, especially on topics related to the analysis of drivers of just energy transitions and the implications for wellbeing
  • Support the collection of relevant international data at the micro and macro level. Preparing and managing data sources for the project
  • Conduct statistical analyses on just energy transitions and wellbeing implications
  • Carry out research that advances the state-of-the-art on the topic, publish relevant results in peer-reviewed journals, and participate in scientific conferences and workshops
  • Actively engage with other researchers in the EF, POPJUS, and other IIASA programs, to establish joint research activities
  • In line with the team spirit that prevails at IIASA, the incumbent may occasionally work on other tasks assigned by their superiors, that might not be directly related to this appointment but where the post holder has relevant experience and skills, and/or a shortage of immediate personnel capabilities requires such.


  • PhD in demography, quantitative social sciences, statistics, economics, sociology or other related field(s) coupled with solid expertise and interest in the topic of just energy transitions
  • Proven competence in statistics/econometrics; experience with relevant statistical packages e.g., R, STATA and/or Python
  • Extensive empirical research experience in the social sciences, including demonstrated experience in developing research plans, collecting and managing data, and carrying out statistical analyses
  • Experience with data processing and handling of large-scale datasets at the micro and macro level. Preferably experience with georeferenced data
  • Track record in research and publication output corresponding to the career stage of the successful candidate
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English
  • Innovative and critical thinking. Proven independence in conducting research
  • Demonstrated willingness and ability to actively engage in collaboration within a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Willingness to engage with stakeholders in communicating and devising research, and to engage in capacity building efforts
  • IIASA offers an interdisciplinary and international workplace, and the possibility to interact with researchers of different nationalities, with strong ties to a world-wide network of research institutions engaged in environmental systems research. The successful candidate must be able to work in, and have respect for, an intercultural environment, and IIASA core values.


The selected candidate should be available to take up the position as soon as possible in 2022. We offer an initial fixed-term, one year, full-time (40 hours per week) employment contract with the possibility of extension after the first years' work. Eligible applicants wishing to work part-time hours may be considered.

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, near Vienna in Austria (up to 100 days per year home office working possible).

The corresponding profile for this opportunity is R2 according to the IIASA researcher profiles for research careers. IIASA does however, reserve the right to hire a researcher with a lower profile, and at a corresponding lower salary than the minimum stated below, if the qualifications and professional experience of the selected candidate do not meet the criteria described in the researcher profiles adequately.


A minimum gross annual, full-time salary of
EUR 43,000.00, which is exempt from income tax in Austria.

The advertised salary is:

  • Negotiable, based on the qualifications, skills and experience of the selected individual.
  • Subject to deductions for health insurance and/or social security.
  • Not directly comparable with other employers in Austria, due to the unique legal status and privileges granted to IIASA.
  • Subject to the principle of income aggregation (Progressionsvorbehalt in German).
  • Educational subsidies for children of school age enrolled in private schools in Austria.
  • A generous annual leave allowance.
  • Moving and settlement allowances and paid home leave for employees in scientific and professional categories hired from international locations.
  • Assistance for newcomers to Austria with visa, work and residency permit applications.
  • Support finding accommodation in Austria.

To apply for this opportunity, you will need to provide the following documents in English:

  • A cover letter outlining your motivation for and fit to the position
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • The names, addresses (including e-mail), and telephone numbers of two work-related reference givers.

Deadline for receipt of applications: 2 January 2022

More information and application here

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