Head of Earth System Modelling Section
Job reference: VN21-53
ECMWF is the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. It is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 by a group of European nations and is today supported by 34 Member and Co-operating States, mostly in Europe. The Centre’s mission is to serve and support its Member and Co-operating States and the wider community by developing and providing world-leading global numerical weather prediction. ECMWF functions as a 24/7 research and operational centre with a focus on medium and long-range predictions and holds one of the largest meteorological archives in the world. The success of its activities relies primarily on the talent of its scientists, strong partnerships with its Member and Co-operating States and the international community, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the use of innovative technologies such as machine learning across its operations.
Over the years, ECMWF has also developed a strong partnership with the European Union, and for the past seven years has been an entrusted entity for the implementation and operation of the Climate and the Atmosphere Monitoring Services of the EU Copernicus Programme, as well as a contributor to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. The collaboration does not stop there and includes other areas of work, including High Performance Computing and the development of digital tools that enable ECMWF to extend its provision of data and products covering weather, climate, air quality, fire and flood prediction and monitoring.
ECMWF has recently become a multi-site organisation, with its headquarters based since its creation in Reading, UK, its new data centre in Bologna, Italy, and new offices in Bonn, Germany.
For details, see www.ecmwf.int.
Summary of the role
The Earth System Modelling Section performs research and development to improve the fidelity of models used to represent the coupled Earth System. Its activities feature prominently in the ECMWF 10-year strategy and it plays a central role in contributing to continued improvement in ECMWF’s predictions from medium range to seasonal timescales and reanalyses. The Section comprises around 40 staff, with roughly three quarters in Reading and one quarter to be located in Bonn. These are distributed across teams covering atmospheric physics, coupled processes, numerical methods and model uncertainty. While there is a strong preference for this role to be located with the majority of the team in Reading, we are willing to consider an exceptional candidate being based in Bonn.
Exciting new science is required over the next 10 years in order to meet the challenges of the strategy – and ultimately deliver to society. In particular major developments are foreseen along too main axes. First of all, moves to global convection-permitting ensemble forecasts will require developments to grey zone physics and non-hydrostatic modelling. Secondly the plans envisage extensions to the breath, consistency and accuracy of the Earth System representation. Particular foci will include driving down model biases (in all components) that limit the quality of predictions for all timescales and attention to interface modelling (e.g. atmosphere-land, atmosphere-wave-ocean-ice) that is key for near-surface weather parameters. The role requires to provide strategic and scientific direction to these efforts and the choices that need to be made.
This is a senior management position reporting to the Director of Research. The incumbent will have direct responsibility for the Earth System Modelling Section, and is expected to deal with a wide spectrum of technical and scientific complexity, people management and the management of financial resources.
Main duties and key responsibilities
Education, experience, knowledge and skills (including language)
The successful candidate will be recruited at the A4 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £89,118.72 or EUR 107,790.12 net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the ECMWF Staff Regulations. Full details of salary scales and allowances available on the ECMWF website at www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs, including the ECMWF Staff Regulations and 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: Given the location of most of the staff in the section, there is a strong preference for the position to be based at ECMWF’s duty station in Reading, UK. However, for the right candidate, ECMWF will consider the position being based in Bonn, Germany.
As a multi-site organisation, ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows flexibility to staff to mix office working and teleworking.
Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions.
Interviews by videoconference (via Teams ) are expected to take place mid to late January 2022.
Who can apply
Applicants are invited to complete the online application form by clicking on the apply button.
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:
Applications from nationals from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.