Scientist to work on modelling Arctic processes


Position information

  • Vacancy No.: VN16-35
  • Department: Research
  • Grade: A2
  • Section: Earth System Modelling
  • Job Ref. No.: STF-PL/16-35
  • Reports to: Coupled Processes Team-Leader
  • Publication Date: 2 November 2016
  • Closing Date: 12 December 2016



ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of its forecasts, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data. Satellite and in situ observations provide the information for up-to-date global analyses and climate reanalyses of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface. For details, see


Summary of the role

The position is in the Earth System Modelling Section of the Research Department. The Scientist will work in the Coupled Processes team, in close collaboration with the atmospheric physics and evaluation teams. The aim is to develop an enhanced snow model to be used in the ECMWF coupled Earth system model for interactions between the land and the atmosphere and between sea-ice and the atmosphere. The Scientist will research Arctic processes and identify model errors and parametrization improvements with the aid of in-situ and satellite-based Earth observations. The results will be tested in the EU-funded EartH2Observe project (in 2017) and in the Horizon 2020 project APPLICATE (Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: Modelling, observing system design and Linkages associated with a Changing Arctic climate, in 2018–2019). The research will also contribute to the activities of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), one of the flagship activities of the WMO Polar Prediction Project (PPP). The goal is to enhance the visibility and potential uptake, through participation in workshops and active involvement in the project.


Main duties and key responsibilities  

  • To assess a multi-layer snow model over land and perform global land simulations in the framework of the EartH2Observe and future ECMWF land reanalyses  
  • To explore the use of the interactive snow scheme to represent snow overlaying glaciers and sea-ice for implementation in the ECMWF Integrated Forecasting System (IFS)  
  • To employ coupled simulations to investigate snow-boundary layer/cloud interactions with a focus on processes involved in severe weather in the Arctic  
  • To investigate optimal approaches for coupling the snow and ice surface layer with the atmosphere and evaluate the impact on the diurnal cycle


Personal attributes

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach  
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a team  
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills  
  • Ability to work efficiently and complete diverse tasks in a timely manner


Qualifications and experience required


  • A university degree or equivalent in atmospheric science, hydrometeorology, oceanography or related areas of physics. A PhD is desirable but not essential.



  • Experience in modelling the interactions of atmosphere and snow/sea-ice. Experience in the evaluation of coupled Earth system models.


Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Knowledge of snow, ice and/or atmospheric Arctic processes.
  • Proficiency in handling and analysing large datasets.
  • Very good programming and scripting skills for complex scientific codes.
  • 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


Other information

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 £55,488 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: Three years.
  • Location: The role will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.


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 following Member States and Co-operating States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Staff from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • Location: Reading
  • Grade: A-2, Grade
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Statistics
    • Physics and Mathematics
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
  • Closing Date: 2016-12-12

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