Early-Stage Researcher - CAFE Programme on sub-seasonal forecasts of Mediterranean extremes

Position information
No.: VN19-14 Department: Forecasts Grade: A1 Section: Evaluation Job Ref. No.: STF-PL/19-14 Reports to: Head of Section Publication Date: 25 March 2019 Closing Date: 20 May 2019

1. About ECMWF
ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of its forecasts, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data. Satellite and in situ observations provide the information for up-to-date global analyses and climate reanalyses of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface.

For details, see www.ecmwf.int/.

The H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions / ETN funded Climate Advanced sub-seasonal Forecasting of Extremes (CAFE) Early Stage Researcher Programme has as ultimate goal to improve the sub-seasonal predictability of extreme weather events through the interdisciplinary training of 12 Early-Stage Researchers in aspects such as climate science, complex networks and data analysis. Climate extremes such as heat waves or cold surges have huge social and economic impacts that are expected to increase with climate change. Forecasting of such extreme events on the sub-seasonal time scale (from 10 days to about 3 months) is very challenging because of the poor understanding of phenomena that may increase predictability at this time scale, such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation, planetary waves and atmospheric blockings. Reliable sub-seasonal climate information is of great importance, allowing for early warnings and adequate mitigation strategies. The WMO World Weather Research Programme and World Climate Research Programme acknowledge the importance of sub-seasonal forecasts by running the international Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Prediction Project to improve forecast skill and understanding, with special emphasis on high-impact weather events.

2. Summary of the role
This position sits in the Evaluation Section of the Forecast Department and the successful candidate will work in the Diagnostics Team to assess the S2S predictability of extremes events. The successful candidate will investigate the predictability of large - scale atmospheric flow patterns over the Mediterranean connected to extreme weather. The objective of the project is too reach a better understanding of the predictability of large-scale flows patterns over the Mediterranean in sub-seasonal forecasts, and its connection to extreme weather.

This position is part of the H2020-CAFE Early-Stage Researcher Programme and as part of this programme, the Early-Stage Researcher will be enrolled as PhD student at the Technische Universität Bergakademie, Freiberg under the academic supervision of Professor Jörg Matschullat. The CAFE Programme will enable the Early-Stage Researcher to further develop their scientific skills as well as the opportunity to work in different European countries. Therefore, candidates applying for this position and participating in the CAFE Programme will be expected to work for some months at different European institutions. One period of secondment will be spent at the Technische Universität Bergakademie, Freiberg, Germany.

3. Main duties and key responsibilities:

  • Developing diagnostics and tools to identify the links between large-scale circulation and Mediterranean precipitation events using both re-analysis/observations and model data
  • Diagnosing predictability of extreme rainfall in the Mediterranean at sub-seasonal range using the S2S data
  • Diagnosing sources of predictability for these events
  • Investigating conditional probabilistic skill in predicting the events based on these sources of predictability
  • Developing products using the S2S forecast outputs to improve the guidance available for forecasting Mediterranean precipitation

4. Personal attributes

  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a team
  • Interested in tackling challenges with a proactive approach
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Interested in working in operational and international environments

5. Qualifications and experience required

University degree to Master’s level, or similar, in atmospheric science, oceanography, or related areas is required.

The grant agreement with the European Commission is subject to an experience criteria. Applications are invited from candidates that must be in the first four years (full -time equivalent research experience) of their research careers at the time of recruitment and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Date of recruitment means the starting date to feature in the employment contract. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling the EarlyStage Researcher to embark a doctorate.

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.

Mobility Criteria
The grant agreement with the European Commission is subject to a mobility criteria.
For international organisations, recruited researchers must not have spent more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date, at the same appointing organisation.

6. Other information

Grade remuneration
The successful candidate will be recruited at the A1 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £46,353.96 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 www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.
Length of contract: 36 months and contract end date finishing no later than 28 February 2023.
Location: The position will be based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom. However, as part of this programme, the Early-Stage Researcher will be required to work in up to three different European for short periods of time. Full details will be available in due course.

7. How to apply
Step 1
: Please complete the online application form available at: www.ecmwf.int/en/about/jobs.
Candidates are also required to upload a letter of motivation when they submit their application.

Step 2: Go to the CAFE portal to complete the CAFE application form at: http://www.crm.cat/en/Pages/CAFEProject.aspx

To contact the ECMWF Recruitment Team, please email jobs@ecmwf.int.

ECMWF will also work with other project partners with this selection.
Please refer to the ECMWF Privacy Statement. For details of how we will handle your personal data for this purpose, see: https://www.ecmwf.int/en/privacy.

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 Member States and Co-operating States.

Staff from non-ECMWF States may be considered in exceptional cases.


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