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Postdoctoral Level Research Scholar - Hydrology

Postdoctoral Level Research Scholar - Hydrology


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)


The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an independent, international research institute with National Member Organizations in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

Through its research programs and initiatives, the institute conducts policy-oriented research into issues that are too large or complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline. This includes pressing concerns that affect the future of all of humanity, such as climate change, energy security, population aging, and sustainable development.

IIASA – Water Program

The Water Program was established in 2013 in conjunction with a flagship project, the Water Futures and Solutions Initiative (WFaS), which now forms the core of the Water Programs research.

The IIASA Water Program works across various water-related sectors and management scales. It studies a range of possible future socioeconomic changes and technological innovations.
The program seeks to incorporate water science into assessment and planning studies at the nexus of water, food, energy, and environmental security. Its aim is to establish a critical mass of water knowledge through development of new modeling tools and data collection

IIASA Water Program


Vienna, Austria


Relevant divisions
Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI)
Geosciences Instrumentation and Data Systems (GI)
Hydrological Sciences (HS)

Full time

Student / Graduate / Internship

IIASA salaries are exempt from taxation in the host country of Austria but subject to the principle of income aggregation

Preferred education

Application deadline
22 April 2019

21 January 2019

Job description

Postdoctoral Level Research Scholar

in European Scale Hydrological and Water Resources Modeling for the European Climate Prediction (EUCP) system (full-time)

As part of the European Climate Prediction (EUCP) system, the IIASA Water Program (WAT) is offering a position for a post-doc level research scholar in European scale water resources modeling.
The successful candidate will work on developing the in-house open source hydrological and water resources model, Community Water Model (CWatM), and designing the state-of-the-art sectoral and cross-sectoral indicators to assess future hydro-meteorological risks (e.g., flood, drought, water scarcity).

A key focus is on helping the advancement of climate and non-climatic (i.e., human activities) attributions of hydro-meteorological events and impacts at various spatial scales, using the CWatM. This involves working with other specialists such as economists, ecologists, hydrologists, modelers, stakeholders and social scientists to explore how linkages can be developed. The successful candidate will need to have experience with existing hydrologic global models and a broad knowledge of scenarios modeling and climate change assessments.


The overarching objective of the EUCP system is to develop an innovative European regional ensemble climate prediction system based on a new generation of improved and typically higher-resolution climate models, covering timescales from seasons to decades initialized with observations, and designed to support practical and strategic climate adaptation and mitigation decision-taking on local, national and global scales.
The EUCP will link current observed climate conditions, near future predictions and more distant future projections out to 40 years ahead. Such a climate prediction system and framework are currently lacking. It will provide an authoritative framework to assess the impacts and risks of variations in climatic conditions across, but not limited to, Europe from regional to local scale suitable for use in a range of sectoral applications as a solid basis for investment decisions, spatial planning, and policy and adaptation options. The evolving experience with tailoring climate information to better serve user needs will be continuously integrated into the EUCP system. This represents a step change in how we make use of, for instance, future Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments.


  • Take the lead in software management of CWaTM, e.g. hosting the source code on GitHub, versioning control and building up test suites
  • Maintain and develop the CWaTM website, forum, documentation and a wiki platform, supporting the dialog between users
  • Work on visualization and plotting scripts to display results from CWaTM
  • Develop the Community Water Model (CWatM) at different spatial and temporal resolutions
  • Assist with the development of modules for non-climatic factors (e.g., agriculture, human water use, reservoir regulation) and incorporating policy and management options into CWatM
  • Assist with the development of methods for scaling and incorporating policy and management options into macro-scale hydrologic models
  • Produce and publish (in peer reviewed journals) CWatM modules and hydro-meteorological impact assessments across different sectors.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • PhD in hydroinformatics, hydrology, climate, environmental science, engineering, informatics or a related field
  • Programming knowledge and proficiency (e.g., mainly Python, but also Fortran, C/C++, GAMS)
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems (e.g., ArcGIS, or QGIS)
  • Experience with the concepts of subversioning, git, GitHub, Jupyter Notebook and similar state of the art software development tools
  • Proven analytical skills and ease in manipulating large data sets and complex modeling systems
  • Experience with both river basin scale and continental scale spatial hydrologic models
  • Strong interest and background in integrative systems analysis and development of tools to support policy development
  • Excellent English skills (written and oral)
  • Proven experience publishing scientific work in refereed international scientific journals
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a multicultural team

Appointment Terms:

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, Austria. The successful candidate will initially be offered a one-year contract with the possibility of extension thereafter. The EUCP project will run for 4 years (2018-2021) in total, having started in January 2018.
IIASA offers a competitive compensation and benefits package (moving and settlement allowances, educational grants for children of school age, and five weeks’ annual vacation). IIASA salaries are exempt from taxation in the host country of Austria but subject to the principle of income aggregation.
IIASA is committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, tolerance and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified 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.

Link to application – IIASA

How to apply


To apply, please email a cover letter, résumé, two recent examples of research work, plus names and contact details (including email) of three work-related reference givers to:
Review of applications will continue until the position has been filled.

Contact details

Alia Harrison
Recruitment Coordinator
Human Resources
T +43(0) 2236 807 286

For information about this position, please contact:
Wada, Yoshihide, Deputy Program Director Water
Burek, Peter, Research Scholar

Link to application – IIASA