Research Associate in Stochastic Rainfall Modelling

Salary: £33,797 - £40,322 per annum (Grade 6)
Vacancy Number: 12175BR

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position funded by a European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 project, 'DOWN2EARTH: Translation of climate information into multilevel decision support for social adaptation, policy development, and resilience to water scarcity in the Horn of Africa Drylands'. This is a large, interdisciplinary project comprising 14 partner institutions in 8 countries. It is designed to strengthen climate services in the drylands of East Africa through research on climate, water, and food, as well as social adaptation and policy development.

This position will be based in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Cardiff University. The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences is a dynamic and successful multi-disciplinary centre devoted to research in Earth and environmental sciences.

Working with Dr Michael Singer and Dr Mark Cuthbert (at Cardiff and others at other partner institutions), the role of the Research Associate (RA) is to develop, test, and implement a new regional stochastic rainfall model for the Horn of Africa drylands. This model will capture the essential components of climatological drivers of rainfall, the rainfall characteristics they produce within individual rainstorms, and their spatial and temporal distributions. The model, a new version of the existing STOchastic Rainstorm Model (STORM), will be used to drive a hydrological model (developed by a different member of the team) to resolve the water balance across the Horn of Africa drylands for historical decades, near-term (seasonal) forecasts, and future climate projections. The model will take into consideration historical climate information from various sources including gauging data, remote sensing, and climate model output to develop realistic distributions of key rainfall characteristics that support the generation of time series of spatial rainfall fields across a region spanning multiple countries in the Horn of Africa.

The RA will work closely to co-develop research with other interdisciplinary researchers within the project consortium, as well as with relevant stakeholders who may be consumers of the new technology developed in DOWN2EARTH. They will also play a leading role in developing and delivering training to enable others to use and implement the model on their systems.

In addition to these duties, the RA will be expected to produce work of publishable quality for appropriate respected peer reviewed journals, present papers at national and international conferences, develop outreach opportunities related to the DOWN2EARTH project, and contribute to the development of collaborative research grants.

The successful applicant will hold or have nearly completed a Ph.D. in a relevant subject. Expertise in climate science, analysis of rainfall, and modelling experience (ideally in Python) is essential, but there will be opportunities for the RA to learn some aspects of the science (e.g., dryland hydrology) and coding on the job. Experience with high-performance computing also desirable.

This position is full time (35 hours per week). It is available from 1st October 2021 and is a fixed-term appointment until 30th September 2023, with a possibility of extension beyond that timeframe.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Michael Singer, email:

For further details about working in Cardiff University please contact Briony FitzGerald, email:

More information on the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences: School of Earth and Environmental Sciences - Cardiff University

Important Notes:

Applications can only be accepted via the online system.

It is the University's policy to use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement. Please ensure that the evidence you are providing corresponds with the numbered criteria outlined below. Your application will be considered based on the information you provide under each element.

When attaching the supporting statement to your application profile, please ensure that you name it with the vacancy reference number.

Closing date: Thursday, 9 September 2021.

This post has previously been advertised to employees of Cardiff University only. We now invite external applications.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world. In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

"Cardiff University is a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions we will evaluate applicants on the quality of their research, not publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which the research is published. More information is available at:"

posted: 13 August 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.