Scientific Director

Ref: 5982

Institute for Advanced Studies

Vienna, Austria

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Role Managed by:

Jess Winfield

Research Associate

t: +31(0)20 24 04 375


Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 07/10/2022

The Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) is seeking a dynamic leader to serve as the Scientific Director of the institute. The appointment is for a term of five years, with the possibility for a reappointment. The salary will reflect the scope of duties and is based on remunerations in comparable positions at universities and non-university research institutions.

IHS is an independent, non-profit, and non-university research institute in Vienna (Austria) with a focus primarily on economics, sociology, and political science. Since its founding as an economic and social research institute in 1963, IHS has strived for excellence by combining academic and applied research. Funded by grants from public authorities and by competitive grants and commissioned research projects, the institute employs about 100 researchers and around 25 PhD candidates and brings together high-level expertise from various disciplines and countries to address fundamental economic and social issues. The institute is routinely involved in the evaluation of economic and social policy choices. In this endeavour, the IHS has acquired an outstanding reputation within Austria but is also well-recognised internationally.


Job profile

IHS is looking for an exceptional academic leader who can inspire and motivate the renowned community of academics, professional staff, and students in addressing the grand societal challenges. The Scientific Director can think strategically and can formulate compelling advice that inspires and connects the IHS community with the Austrian government, policymakers, international research organisations, in particular universities, and other relevant partners in the public or private sector. The ideal candidate should preferably have some experience in the scientific, organisational and economic management of non-university research institutions. Alongside an excellent scientific track record, the Scientific Director will have the willingness to make decisions and collaborate with researchers in an interdisciplinary-oriented environment.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate the following qualifications:

  • A background in economics, social sciences, or political sciences and the academic credibility (research and teaching) necessary to lead a well-established and recognised institute across Europe. The ideal candidate is held in high esteem within the international scientific community and is well-connected to scientific networks;
  • Connecting and inspiring leadership style and a successful career at internationally renowned universities or independent research institutions, with experience in the scientific management of third-party funds projects, including commissioned research projects;
  • A high level of personal integrity and commitment to scientifical rigor, as well as the ability to build positive relationships with national and international partners;
  • Excellent communication and management skills;
  • Very good command of German and English.

Desirable would be:

  • Experience in interdisciplinary research contexts;
  • A sound understanding of Austrian and European institutional structures.


Appointment Process and How to Apply

An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver to assist the Appointment Advisory Committee in the discharge of its duties, both to assist in the assessment of candidates against the requirements of the role and to identify the widest possible field of candidates. Applications should consist of a covering letter addressing suitability against the person specification and a full curriculum vitae.

Perrett Laver may be contacted for informal enquiries and questions on +31 (0) 20 240 4375 or by emailing Applications can be uploaded at, quoting reference 5982. The closing date for applications is at 09.00 am CET on Friday 7th of October 2022.

Applications will be considered by the selection committee and shortlisted candidates will be selected. The interviews with the appointment committee and a selection assessment will take place. The appointment process, including the appointment decision, is expected to occur expeditiously.


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