Senior Scientist - OpenIFS

Job reference:VN21-51
Location: Reading, UK
Deadline for applications: 17/01/2022
Salary and Grade: Grade A3: £76,707.96 net annual basic salary + other benefits
Contract type: STF-C
Department: Research
Contract Duration: Four years with the possibility of a further contract


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 additional details, see

Summary of the role

The OpenIFS project is a core activity at ECMWF to provide and support versions of the ECMWF Integrated Forecast System (IFS) for external users, for both research and education. OpenIFS started in 2011 and now has over 100 licensed institutions internationally. The aims of the project are to make it possible for the scientific community to use the IFS in their own institutes, to foster a user community around the IFS, to facilitate research and training in NWP, and to widen the use of IFS, thus bringing benefits to the community, ECMWF and its Member States, and enhancing research collaborations with ECMWF. Where possible we aim to improve the IFS directly, through research and development enabled using OpenIFS in external research groups. Two permanent full-time roles are dedicated to OpenIFS, of which this is the senior role. The post-holder will have a significant part in developing the OpenIFS strategy, and be responsible for managing the project day-to-day.

The role is in the IFS Section of the Research Department (RD) at ECMWF. The IFS Section oversees the development of the IFS and the handover of IFS releases to operations, as well as for providing OpenIFS. The role will require significant engagement with IFS Section team members and other IFS developers, ECMWF research scientists, and colleagues throughout ECMWF. Connecting with external stakeholders and users of OpenIFS is a significant part of the role, to understand their needs and support their work with OpenIFS. The successful candidate will be expected to be proactive in cooperating with external users to foster good working relations, particularly in areas of interest to ECMWF; and to contribute to the scientific and technical development of IFS through OpenIFS-enabled external research and development. Developing training (through the use of OpenIFS) to internal and external users is a key activity, and engaging with our training and outreach staff, and designing and delivering training activities, are therefore key parts of the role.

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Contributing significantly to the strategy and high-level goals for OpenIFS, in line with ECMWF’s strategy and plans
  • Coordinating the development of the four-year and one-year plans for OpenIFS
  • Leading the production and support of new OpenIFS versions and associated documentation
  • Reporting and presenting OpenIFS progress internally and externally
  • Initiating improvements in all aspects of the OpenIFS project
  • Engaging with and helping OpenIFS external users on scientific and technical aspects
  • Collaborating with IFS developers on developing and improving shared infrastructure
  • Acting as an intermediary between the OpenIFS community and ECMWF researchers
  • Contributing to OpenIFS and other training and user workshops
  • Incorporating OpenIFS developments into IFS
  • Contributing to scientific and technical development of IFS releases and evaluation
  • Contributing to OpenIFS project goals

Personal attributes

  • Service-oriented attitude and desire to continuously improve ways of working
  • Flexibility to meet the diverse requirements of this role
  • Ability to handle multiple complex tasks and manage priorities autonomously
  • Coordination, interpersonal and communication skills
  • Dedication and enthusiasm
  • Desire to help others
  • Ability to complete tasks in a timely manner
  • Interest in a range of scientific and technical subjects
  • Interest in knowledge transfer

Education, experience, knowledge and skills (including language)

  • An advanced university degree (to at least EQF Level 7) in Meteorology, Physics, Mathematics or similar subject or equivalent experience is required
  • A PhD in a related subject is desirable but not essential
  • Experience of programming languages in a scientific environment is essential
  • Scientific experience with weather and climate forecasting is highly desirable
  • Experience managing projects is highly desirable
  • Experience of working in a research environment is desirable
  • Experience with large-scale scientific codes in high performance computing environments would be an advantage
  • Experience of community modelling would be an advantage
  • Knowledge of programming languages such as Bash, Python, Fortran, C/C++ or similar is essential
  • Ability to work efficiently in a Linux environment is essential
  • Knowledge of tools and processes for software management and software quality is highly desirable
  • 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

Other information

Grade remuneration
The successful candidate will be recruited at the A3 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £76,707.96 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, 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: The position will be based at ECMWF's headquarters in Reading, UK.

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 in early February 2022.

Who can apply

Applicants are invited to complete the online application form by clicking on the apply button below.

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.
Georgia will become a Co operating State from 01.12.21.

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

published: 16 December 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.