Scientist - Land Surface Assimilation

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN16-43
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.:STF-PL/16-43
Department: Research
Section:Earth System Assimilation
Reports to: Team Leader Coupled Assimilation
Closing Date: 31 January 2017

2. About ECMWF *

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

3. Summary of the role

This position is in the Coupled Assimilation Team of the Earth System Assimilation Section (ESAS) of the Research Department.

The Scientist will support research developments targeted toward enhancing the ECMWF land surface data assimilation system, by contributing to methodological and technical developments and evaluation activities. He or she will work closely with other teams of the Earth System Assimilation, Modelling and Predictability Sections.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

Key responsibilities include:

  • Building and maintaining the off-line surface analysis infrastructure used for H-SAF soil moisture analysis products and for land surface assimilation research developments, in collaboration with the Earth System Modelling and Predictability Sections
  • Developing and maintaining soil moisture evaluation and land surface evaluation tools in collaboration with the ECMWF Evaluation Section
  • Performing the production of H-SAF root zone soil moisture products, their evaluation and documentation and contributing to international collaboration with EUMETSAT H-SAF partners and ESA SMOS partners
  • Providing support for ECMWF coupled reanalysis activities on land surface diagnostics
  • Assisting with forecast impact diagnostic studies
  • Assisting with studies related to new observations

5. Personal attributes

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

6. Qualifications and experience required


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


  • Experience in meteorology and/or land surface processes is required.
  • Experience in handling Earth observation datasets.
  • Experience in land surface data assimilation is highly desirable.
  • Experience with developing and contributing to complex shared code is highly desirable.
  • Experience with high-performance computing platforms is desirable.

Knowledge and skills

  • Excellent programming skills in a high-level programming language (e.g. Fortran, C++, python) and UNIX scripting is essential.
  • 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 £56,487 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL 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 and six months.
Location: The position 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.

* 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.

published: 21 December 2016     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.