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Scientist - Land Surface Assimilation

Reading (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

  • Organization: ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • Location: Reading (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
  • Grade: A-2, Grade - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Statistics
    • Physics and Mathematics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Engineering
  • Closing Date: 2017-01-31

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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

ECMWF has been entrusted to operate the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on behalf of the European Commission until the end of 2020. Copernicus is the European Union (EU) flagship Earth-observation programme. The programme ensures operational monitoring of the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and will provide reliable, validated information services for a range of environmental and security applications.

Summary of the role

ECMWF is recruiting a Data Assimilation Senior Scientist for the C3S Reanalysis Team of the Copernicus Services Department. The Reanalysis Team uses global forecast models, climate observations and data assimilation systems to produce datasets that describe the recent evolution of the Earth’s climate system. ECMWF reanalysis data provide an essential contribution to the catalogue of the Climate Data Store currently being developed as part of the C3S infrastructure. The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary team of scientists and analysts whose objective is to develop and maintain state-of-the-art global reanalyses suitable for climate monitoring, research and services. The position is intended to strengthen the team’s expertise in data assimilation for climate reanalysis. The Reanalysis Team works with other groups at ECMWF to ensure that reanalysis products meet all C3S user requirements in terms of scientific quality, timeliness, documentation and user support.

Main duties and key responsibilities 

  • Contributing to the operational delivery of the C3S reanalysis products and the achievement of C3S user satisfaction
  • Leading the development of data assimilation systems for climate reanalysis, including aspects of quality control and bias adjustment
  • Designing and conducting observation impact experiments, resulting in optimal use of observations in data-sparse scenarios
  • Developing and implementing covariance models that reflect the time evolution of background errors and the global observing system
  • Assessing the performance of operational reanalysis productions based on scientific criteria relevant to C3S users
  • Engaging and collaborating with scientists, analysts and users as needed to maintain the highest scientific standards for the C3S reanalysis effort
  • Contributing to the definition of scientific and technical objectives, priorities and strategies for future ECMWF reanalysis products to satisfy the evolving needs and requirements of C3S users
  • Following up as required on the work of external consortia subcontracted by ECMWF in the area of reanalysis and its contributions
  • Carrying out other activities as required within the Copernicus climate change domain, in support of the C3S operational service delivery

Personal attributes

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Ability to motivate and lead
  • Ability to communicate effectively with different audiences, both verbally and in writing
  • Curiosity about climate science and climate services
  • User focus and willingness to work within an operational service

Qualifications and experience required


  • An advanced university degree in a relevant subject.


  • At least 5 years of experience working with model-based data assimilation systems in a related field.
  • At least 2 years of experience working with observations relevant for climate.
  • At least 5 years of experience working with high-performance computing and data handling systems.
  • Experience with an operational service would be an advantage. 

Knowledge and skills (including language)

  • Expertise in data assimilation methodology and familiarity with climate reanalysis. Advanced technical skills as required for the development of global reanalysis systems.
  • 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

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 £68,468.40 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, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Length of contract: Three years.

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


How to apply

Please apply by completing the online application form available at

ECMWF has an Equal Opportunities Policy and applications from all suitably qualified candidates are welcome.

Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the following Member States and Co-operating States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Applicants from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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