Blue Flower

Scientist – GAIA-CLIM




1. Position information


Vacancy No.: VN15-06

Department: Research

Grade: A2

Section: Satellite

Job Ref. No.: STF-PS/15-06

Reports to: Head of Section

Closing Date: 11 March 2015


2. About ECMWF *


The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 States.* It carries out scientific and technical research, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data on a 24/7 operational basis.


For details, see


3. Summary of the role


The Scientist will work on evaluating a range of observational datasets using numerical weather prediction (NWP) and reanalysis systems, and support development of a virtual observatory. This position is in the Satellite Data Section of the Research Department and will be part of the GAIA-CLIM project.


4. Main duties and key responsibilities


The successful candidate will join the Satellite Data section at ECMWF to work on GAIA-CLIM, an EU-funded research project aimed at improving Earth Observation (EO) capabilities, in particular establishing sound methods for characterising the uncertainties of satellite-based EO datasets by exploiting reference-quality in-situ data.


The main aspects of the role are:


To contribute to the characterisation methods by analysing assimilation-based observation feedback from our NWP/reanalysis systems

To facilitate uptake of observation feedback by others

To promote good practices in observational dataset generation to benefit NWP, reanalysis, and the EU's Copernicus programme

The work will involve substantial collaboration with institutions in Europe and elsewhere, including intercomparison with analogous feedback from UK Met Office systems.


Key responsibilities:


To analyse assimilation-based diagnostics of observational quality

To acquire external datasets and generate observation feedback

To support other scientists in the use and interpretation of observation feedback

5. Personal attributes


Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

Flexibility, with the ability to adapt to changing organisational priorities and user needs

Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a small team

Good analytical and problem solving skills with a proactive approach

Ability to communicate with and understand the complex requirements of scientists, engineers and professional staff in the deployment and documentation of software

6. Qualifications and experience required




A university degree (preferably at PhD level) in meteorology, computer science or a related subject, together with extensive experience in scientific computing on large high-performance computers.



Experience in characterising uncertainties of earth-observation datasets.

Experience in development of weather forecasting or data assimilation systems would be advantageous.

Good knowledge of scientific programming and highlevel programming languages including Fortran and shell scripts (possibly C/C++ or Python).

Strong background in UNIX systems (and/or Linux).



Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English.

A good knowledge of one of the Centre’s other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.

7. Other information


Grade remuneration


The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £54,776 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PS as defined in the Staff Regulations.


Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.


Starting date: As soon as possible.

Length of contract: 14 months.

Location: The role will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.


8. How to apply


Please apply by completing the online application form available at


ECMWF has an Equal Opportunities Policy and applications from all suitably qualified candidates are welcome.


Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the Member States and Co-operating States.


Staff from non-ECMWF States may be considered in exceptional cases where there is a strong need for a particular competency.


Interviews for this position are expected to take place on 22 and 23 April 2015.



* The ECMWF Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The ECMWF Co-operating States are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia