Education and training

Participants in capacity building activities by member (blue) and non-member (orange) countries


Young Scientists Summer Program

For three months every summer, the flagship Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) provides an opportunity for around 50 to 55 PhD students to work alongside IIASA researchers. During their stay, each participant is required to prepare a research paper. Many of these papers are published in prestigious journals. Since 1977, over 2,020 young scientists from over 90 countries have benefitted from the program. The 2019 program hosted 50 participants from 26 countries.

2019 YSSP Awards

IIASA has instituted two annual awards for exceptional young scientists participating in the YSSP. The Peccei Award is awarded in recognition of rigorous research that makes a policy contribution, while the Mikhalevich Award is given to students who use mathematical tools to solve real-world questions. The recipients of these awards return to IIASA for another three months.

Felicia Chiang from the University of California, USA received the Peccei Award for her study: “Concurrent temperature and precipitation shifts in historical and historical natural-only model simulations”.

Nicolas Choquette-Levy from Princeton University, USA received the Mikhalevich Award for his study: “The impact of risk sharing mechanisms on smallholder farmer climate adaptation strategies”.

An Honorable Mention went to Rory Gibb from the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, University College London, UK for his study titled: “Interacting effects of land use, climate and socioeconomic change on Lassa fever in West Africa”.

An Honorable Mention went to Roope Kaaronen from the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki, Finland for his study on: “Cultural evolution of sustainable behaviors: pro environmental tipping points in an agent-based model”.

Postdoc Program

Postdoc opportunities at IIASA allow early‑career scientists to research a topic related to the institute’s scientific agenda and hone their skills in systems analysis. Recognizing the expanding number of external funders wishing to partner with IIASA to support postdocs at the institute, in 2019 IIASA primarily focused its postdoctoral activities on these partnerships.

These programs are an effective way for member countries and other interested institutions to increase the number of its nationals who are postdocs at IIASA, and to develop expertise in systems analysis among its researchers. IIASA currently has bilateral programs with Israel, the Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES), Brazil, Peking University, China, the National Research Foundation of the Republic of Korea, and the Fonds du Recherche de Quebec, Canada.

In 2019, there were a total of 19 postdocs at IIASA. This included 7 funded by IIASA, 11 funded by the bilateral postdoc fellowship programs, and one funded by the Peter de Jánosi fellowship program in honor of Dr. Peter de Jánosi, IIASA Director from 1990 to 1996.

Building systems analysis expertise

In 2019, IIASA scientists hosted or coordinated 89 events worldwide, including a number of workshops and activities designed to build capacity in systems analysis. Examples include:

The CD-LINKS summer school, organized by IIASA and the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, brought together 23 young researchers and professionals from 14 different countries for a week to learn about the state-of-the-art in integrated assessment modeling.

A workshop on demographic analysis with applications to aging and health presented at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand for junior scientists and early-to mid-career professionals.

Supporting and strengthening the development of a multi-disciplinary research community to address air quality in Vietnam.

Working with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs to address the issue of misinformation and to develop new tools to deal with misinformation.