Scientist - EPiGRAM-HS Project

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN18-25
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.: STF-PL/18-25
Department: RD
Section: Earth System Modelling
Reports to: Team Leader Numerical Methods
Closing Date: 4 September 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. This data is fully available to the national meteorological services in the Member States. The Centre also offers a catalogue of forecast data that can be purchased by businesses worldwide and other commercial customers. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archive) at ECMWF is one of the largest of its type in Europe and Member States can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.

For details, see

ECMWF uses its high-performance computing (HPC) facility to produce a time-critical twice-daily global numerical weather forecast. The operational forecasting system and research & development are currently run on two Cray XC-40 clusters totalling over 250,000 Intel Broadwell compute cores each. Given the expected need for increasing the Earth system model resolution and complexity, enhanced parallelism in work flows and computer code are required, as may be the exploitation of emerging hardware architectures such as low-power multicore CPUs combined with FPGAs.

3. Summary of the role

In 2014, ECMWF embarked on a ten-year research programme on HPC Scalability. This programme is funded partly by ECMWF's Member States and aims to achieve exascale numerical weather prediction capability by 2025.

As part of the Scalability Programme1, ECMWF is engaged in partnerships with its Member State organisations, HPC centres and vendors to prepare for the exascale challenge, in terms of both computing and data handling. The EPiGRAM HS project is funded by the European Commission under its FETHPC programme. EPiGRAM HS aims to develop and demonstrate programming models adapted to future exascale heterogeneous systems. For this project, ECMWF is opening a post to investigate implementation of modern parallel programming paradigms in the ECMWF weather forecasting model. In particular, the use of GASPI and of task-based parallelism will be studied.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

The successful candidate will perform scientific and technical research and development in the following areas, and will document work according to the requirements of the EPiGRAM HS project:

  • Performing a clean insertion of GPI-2 communication procedures into selected ESCAPE dwarves2 and analysing performance implications of the implementation.
  • Investigating the use of task-based parallelism in selected ESCAPE dwarves, with the goal of showcasing paths towards increased scalability.
  • Implementing lessons learnt from GPI-2 3 and task-based parallelism in the IFS, and benchmarking performance results.
  • Contributing to scientific and technical development of IFS releases and evaluation.

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach, together with an interest in identifying, investigating and solving technical challenges
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a small team
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills listening to and respecting the views of others
  • Positive attitude towards working in an international environment
  • Ability to work under pressure

6. Qualifications and experience required


  • A university degree, or equivalent, in a discipline related to computer science, meteorology, physics, mathematics or engineering is required.
  • A PhD in a related subject is desirable but not essential.


  • Experience in developing codes on high-performance computing facilities, including distributed systems, involving several levels of parallelism.
  • Experience with GASPI usage and/or task-based parallelism would be an advantage.
  • Experience with developing large scientific codes.
  • Experience working in projects and teams governed by tight schedules would be advantageous.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Good knowledge of object-oriented programming and of a high-level programming language such as C/C++, Fortran. Knowledge of Python would be useful.
  • Strong background in UNIX systems (and/or Linux).
  • In-depth understanding of parallel programming (e.g. MPI and OpenMP).
  • 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 Coordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £58,238.40 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: To 31 August 2021.
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

At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensure a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all, without distinction as to race, gender, age, marital status, social status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, personality, ethnicity and culture. We value the benefits derived from a diverse workforce and are committed to having staff that reflect the diversity of the countries that are part of our community, in an environment that nurtures equality and inclusion.

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: 07 August 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.