Senior Scientist – Data Assimilation of
in situ observations

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN18-09
Grade: A3
Job Ref. No.: STF-C/18-09
Department: Research
Section: : Earth System Assimilation
Reports to: Actively Sensed Observations Team Leader
Closing Date: 15 March 2018

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

ECMWF is recruiting a Data Assimilation Senior Scientist to work in the Actively Sensed Observations Team in the Earth System Assimilation Section (ESAS) within the Research Department.

The successful candidate will be the main responsible for research and development that extends and improves the assimilation of in situ observations in ECMWF’s operational hybrid 4D-Var for the atmosphere. He or she will work closely with a number of scientists in ESAS and with staff from the Evaluation Section and Production Section within the Forecast Department.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Extending and improving the assimilation of in-situ observations in ECMWF’s 4D-Var
  • Contributing to the design, development and implementation of screen-level data assimilation (i.e. use near-surface wind and temperature measurements over land) in 4D-Var
  • Improving methods for bias correction and quality control of in situ observations
  • Collaborating with the Forecast Department on blacklisting and quality control of in situ observations
  • Continuing the smooth transition to new observation formats (mainly transition to BUFR)
  • Supporting assimilation of in situ observations for land data assimilation and reanalysis activities
  • Maintaining and improve ECMWF’s FSOI (Forecast Sensitivity Observation Impact) suite
  • Performing advanced data assimilation diagnostics, primarily to support EUMETNET and NMSs on the design of the future in situ observing system for Europe

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a small team and able to lead activities within a team
  • Ability to work efficiently and complete diverse tasks accurately and in a timely manner
  • Willingness to work with a focus on improving the operational data assimilation system

6. Qualifications and experience required


  • A university degree or equivalent is required in a discipline related to meteorology, physics or mathematics.
  • A PhD or equivalent experience is essential


  • Demonstrated in-depth experience working with a model-based data assimilation system in a related field.
  • Very good experience working with assimilation, processing or monitoring of in situ observations.
  • Very good experience working with high-performance computing and data handling systems.
  • Experience with operational data assimilation or observation processing would be an advantage

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Expertise in assimilation of observations, preferably in situ observations and good knowledge of data assimilation methodology.
  • Advanced technical skills are required for the development and improvement of operational data assimilation systems.
  • Excellent programming skills in a high-level language and UNIX scripting is essential. Most of the coding will be in Fortran.
  • 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 A3 grade, according to the scales of the Coordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be Ł71,861.52 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-C 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: Four years, with the possibility of a further contract.
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 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

published: 21 February 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.