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Junior Scientist - Use of IoT data for air quality and greenhouse gases monitoring


  • Organization: ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • Location: Bonn
  • Grade: Junior level - A1 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Environment
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Climate Change
  • Closing Date: 2023-04-10

Job reference: VN23-12

Location: Bonn, Germany

Deadline for applications: 10/04/2023

Publication date: 13/03/2023

Salary and Grade: Grade A1: EUR 65.668 NET annual basic salary + other benefits

Contract type: STF-PS

Department: Forecast Department

Contract Duration: 24 months

Joining us as a Junior Scientist (A1) you will develop applications combining different datasets, some already available within CAMS and some new ones (IoT) that will become available as part of the AD4GD project. A priority will be to characterise the added values of these new observations for improving information products relevant for health and for greenhouse gas emissions monitoring. You will work in the CAMS National Uptake and Copernicus Thematic Collaboration team which is part of our User Outreach and Engagement Section. You will closely interact with other scientists working on CAMS and with scientists at ECMWF working on AD4GD and the related Horizon Europe projects iCHANGE (Individual change of habits needed for green European transition, H2020) and TRIGGER (Solutions for mitigating climate-induced health threats, Europe).

You will also benefit from regular short stays at the ESRIN Φ-lab in Frascati (Italy) to facilitate interaction with experts at ESA.

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 35 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 a large new office in Bonn, Germany. 

For additional details, see

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) provides consistent and quality-controlled information related to air pollution and health, solar energy, greenhouse gases and climate forcing, everywhere in the world. For details, see The question of the environmental impacts on human health has received growing interest in recent years, in particular during the COVID-19 crisis. The UN World Health Organisation estimates that over 7 million people worldwide (over 400.000 in Europe) die prematurely due to insufficient air quality. Improving the estimates of the exposure of populations to the main pollutants is a key objective for CAMS in order to increase awareness and support the development of more protective public policies. Another key topical area of CAMS is the estimation of emissions of greenhouse gases using observations in the atmosphere: this is essential to quantify the effectiveness of mitigation policies and guide the development of new ones at city, regional and country level. For details, see

As part of the activities delegated by the European Commission in the context of CAMS, ECMWF is in charge of setting up the Copernicus Thematic Hub on Health, which will regroup the offer of the entire Copernicus programme towards the users and stakeholders of this domain. This entails in particular developing and highlighting relevant applications and user stories, with the purpose to stimulate uptake and engagement with potential new users.

This junior scientist position will be a joint research opportunity in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and ECMWF. At the end of the two years at ECMWF, there could be an opportunity to continue this research in ESA as part of the collaboration if the topic and results are deemed valuable. There is a long-term collaboration between ECMWF and ESA in the field of Earth Observation (EO) and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and recently joined efforts are underway to explore the use of novel methods combining EO data, Artificial Intelligence and numerical modelling. As an example, the joint ESA-ECMWF workshop on Machine Learning for Earth System Observation and Prediction [MLESOP ] has highlighted the critical need to integrate ML in the prediction pipeline and explore new architectures for scalable, interpretable, and physics-informed ML architectures.

ECWMF is a partner in AD4GD, a European project funded under Horizon Europe ( AD4GD’s mission is to co-create and shape the European Green Deal Data Space as an open hub for FAIR data (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability) and standards-based services that support the key priorities of pollution, biodiversity and climate change. The focus will be on interoperability concepts that bridge the semantic and technology gaps which currently prevent stakeholders and application domains from multi-disciplinary and multi-scale access to data, and which impede the exploitation of processing services, and processing platforms at different levels including Cloud, HPC and edge computing. AD4GD will enable the combination and integration of data from remote sensing, established Virtual Research Environments and Research Infrastructures, Internet of Things (IoT), socio-economic data, INSPIRE (Infrastructure for spatial information in Europe) and Citizen Science (CitSci) in an interoperable, scalable and reliable manner. This will facilitate integration by including semantic mappings to different standards and dominant models bridging domain- and data source-specific semantic concepts such as the Essential Variables framework, as well as applying machine learning and geospatial user feedback to ensure quality, reliability and trustworthiness of data and transforming spatial scales.

ECMWF is involved in different tasks in the project and, in particular for this position, is in charge of developing a use case demonstrating the usefulness of IoT data for monitoring air pollutants and greenhouse gases at local scales. There are opportunities with a wide array of “low-cost” sensors providing information about some of the key air pollutants and greenhouse gases becoming available, but the actual usefulness of these sensors on top of the already existing information (from reference sensors, numerical modelling and satellite observations) still needs to be established. The project aims at evaluating some of these new observational data for the purpose of better assessing health impacts and greenhouse gas emissions at local scales.

  • Exploit IoT / “low-cost” sensor information for improving health impact assessments and quantification of greenhouse gas emissions at local scales.
  • Evaluate the usefulness and complementarities with existing standard systems.
  • Write scientific documentation and extract visual outputs.
  • Contribute to the deliverables and reporting activities for AD4GD, and engage in project meetings.
  • Present results as use case(s) for enriching the Copernicus Thematic Hub on Health.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive and constructive approach
  • Flexibility, with the ability to adapt to changing priorities.
  • Ability to work autonomously and as part of multidisciplinary and geographically distributed teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Highly organised with the capacity to work on a diverse range of tasks to tight deadlines.
  • Genuine interest in ECMWF and Copernicus, especially on the environmental impacts on health and greenhouse gas emissions monitoring
  • The candidate should have recently completed or be close to completion of a PhD in Earth System Science, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, or a related discipline.
  • Experience in atmospheric composition and use of observation and numerical models.
  • Understanding of the Earth Observation data value chains, including aspects on data access infrastructure.
  • Some knowledge of the impacts of air quality on human health or of greenhouse gas emissions (and ways to estimate these) would be an advantage.
  • Some experience with communicating scientific results to a general audience would also be beneficial.
  • Experience developing with Fortran, Python and software lifecycle maintenance is required.
  • Experience with geospatial data analysis with Python would be an advantage.
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English.
  • Knowledge of one of ECMWF’s other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.

Grade & remuneration:  The successful candidates will be recruited at the A1  grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be EUR 65.668 NET of tax ​​​​​​​. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-PS 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. 

Start date:   As soon as possible

Length of contract:  24 months. At the end of the contract, there could be an opportunity for continuing on similar activities in the context of the ESA Research Fellowship Programme.

Location:  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. We allow for remote work 10 days/month away from the office and up to 80 days/year away from the duty station (within the area of our member states and co-operating states).

Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions.

Interviews by videoconference (MS Teams) are expected to take place shortly after the closing date.

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, as well as from all EU Member States. 

ECMWF Member and Co-operating States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, 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. 

In these exceptional times, we also welcome applications from Ukrainian nationals for this vacancy.  

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


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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
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