Scientist in Earth System Assimilation

1. Position information

Vacancy No.: VN20-21
Grade: A2
Job Ref. No.: STF-PS/20-21
Department: Research
Section: Earth System Assimilation Section
Reports to: Team Leader Active Sensing Observations
Closing Date: 22 December 2020

2. About ECMWF

ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing global numerical weather predictions and other data for its Member and Co-operating States and the broader community. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research to improve its forecasts, runs one of the largest supercomputer facilities in Europe and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data.

For details, see

3. Summary of the role

The Scientist will work in the Active Sensing Observations Team, in the Earth System Assimilation Section of the Research Department at ECMWF and will be responsible for maintaining and improving the exploitation of GNSS radio occultation (GNSS-RO) observations from the current network of meteorological satellites for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP).

The successful applicant should have strong communication skills, as this role will also involve collaborating and coordinating some activities with other European NWP centres as part of the EUMETSAT Radio Occultation Meteorology Satellite Application Facility (ROM SAF). The work with the ROM SAF will mainly involve maintaining and developing assimilation tools for GNSS-RO, and the monitoring the operational GNSS-RO missions.

4. Main duties and key responsibilities

The main aspects of the role are:

  • Contributing to the monitoring and maintenance of the current operational GNSS-RO assimilation system
  • Working on the preparation for the pre-launch system and post launch evaluation of new GNSS-RO observations prior to operational use - including impact assessment with assimilation experiments in the ECMWF analysis and forecasting system
  • Developing advanced scientific software to extend and improve the exploitation and impact of GNSS-RO observations for NWP, and integrating them into ROM SAF software
  • Some international travel may be required to represent ECMWF at external meetings and scientific conferences

5. Personal attributes

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Flexibility, with the ability to adapt to changing priorities and user needs
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work independently and in a small team
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach
  • Scientific curiosity to explore innovative development opportunities
  • Ability to communicate with and understand the complex requirements of scientists, engineers and professional staff

6. Qualifications and experience required


  • A university degree or equivalent in physics, mathematics meteorology or a similarly related subject.
  • A PhD is desirable but not essential.


  • Experience in the fields of satellite observations for Earth Observation and (ideally) the assimilation of these for NWP (or related geophysical) applications.
  • Good knowledge of scientific programming languages including Fortran and shell scripts as well as experience with supercomputers and Linux systems
  • Specific knowledge of GNSS radio occultation measurements would be an advantage but it is not essential.

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • 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

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 60,590.64 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PS 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: Contract to end of February 2022, with the possibility of extension.

Location: The position will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions.

Videoconference interviews (via Blue Jeans) are expected to take place week commencing 18 January 2021.

8. How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at

To contact the ECMWF Recruitment Team, please email

Please refer to the ECMWF Privacy Statement. For details of how we will handle your personal data for this purpose, see:

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.

Applications are invited from nationals from ECMWF Member States and Co-operating States, listed below:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Applications from nationals from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.

published: 01 December 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.