Early-Stage Researcher - CAFE Programme on sub-seasonal forecasts of heat waves

Position information
Vacancy No.
: VN19-15 Department: Forecasts Grade: A1 Section: Evaluation Job Ref. No.: STF-PL/19-15 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 heat waves. The successful candidate will investigate extreme weather situations and cascade effects based on European climate patterns. The objective is to evaluate links between large-scale weather patterns and severe warm events over Europe on the sub-seasonal time scale and, also, to measure the current level of predictive skill.

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 Technical University of Dresden, Germany, under the academic supervision of Professor Holger Kantz. 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 secondment will be at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany.

3. Main duties and key responsibilities:

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

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 him/her 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:

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.


European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts - ECMWF



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