Scientist - EPiGRAM-HS Project

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN18-34
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.: STF-PL/18-34
Department: Research
Section: Earth System Modelling
Reports to: Head of Section
Closing Date: 5 November 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, national HPC centres and hardware vendors to prepare for the exascale challenge, in terms of both computing and data handling

ECMWF is participating in the EPiGRAM-HS project, recently funded by the European Commission, which aims to develop programming models adapted to future exascale heterogeneous systems and to showcase them on real software applications.

We are now looking to recruit a scientist who will work with us to investigate the 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 by the successful candidate. There will be regular interaction with the EPiGRAM-HS partners and s/he will also be involved in providing insightful contributions to the key project objectives as well as representing ECMWF at the project meetings.

The position sits within the Earth System Modelling Section at ECMWF and will report to the Head of Section.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

S/he will perform scientific and technical research and development in the following areas:

  • Investigating overlapping communication and computation, for example using the PGAS programming model or task-based parallelism
  • Benchmarking of current code versus overlapped communication and computation
  • Contributing to scientific and technical development of IFS releases and evaluation
  • Contributing to the key project objectives
  • Documenting the work of the EpiGRAM-HS project according the requirements of the project

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach, together with an interest in identifying, investigating and solving technical challenges
  • Enthusiasm about computers and programming, willingness to learn new algorithms and tools
  • Ability to work in a small team
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, particularly listening to and respecting the views of others

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 parallel codes on high-performance computing facilities.
  • Experience with both shared and distributed memory systems.
  • Experience with PGAS usage and/or task-based parallelism would be an advantage.
  • 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++, Fortran. Knowledge of Python would be useful.
  • Ability to work in a Linux-based environment.
  • Good 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 role 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 ensuring 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: 06 October 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.