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 Change and the Atmosphere Monitoring Services of the EU’s Copernicus component of its Space 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 will be a major partner in the implementation of the Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative, together with ESA and EUMETSAT as partners. The objective of the European Commission DestinE initiative is to deploy several highly accurate thematic digital replicas of the Earth, called Digital Twins, to monitor and predict natural and human activities as well as their interactions, to develop and test scenarios that would enable more sustainable developments and support corresponding European policies for the Green Deal. 

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.

It has also recently adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows its staff to mix both office working and teleworking. This generous and flexible model provides our staff with considerable flexibility to spend time outside or away from their duty station and decide how they wish to manage their professional working time at ECMWF. ECMWF is an organisation that values the whole being and both understands and values the need for flexibility in the way its staff work.

About Earth System Assimilation Section / Coupled Assimilation Team

The Earth System Assimilation Section (ESAS) forms part of ECMWF’s Research Department. It develops state-of-the-art data assimilation techniques and infrastructure to bring together information from the global satellite and in-situ observation network to support the ECMWF numerical prediction systems. Activity covers all components of the Earth System (atmosphere, land, ocean and cryosphere) with the primary focus of improving the accuracy of weather forecasts, but also being applied for environmental monitoring and prediction such as atmospheric composition, and the generation of climate reference datasets (reanalyses).  

Within the Earth System Assimilation Section, the Coupled Assimilation Team is responsible for land, snow, ocean, and sea-ice data assimilation, and coupled data assimilation developments in ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS). The Coupled Assimilation Team works closely with the other teams of the Earth System Assimilation, Modelling, and Predictability Sections, as well as with the teams working under the Copernicus Climate Change and Atmosphere Monitoring Services (C3S and CAMS).  

The scientists will work as part of the EU funded CERISE (CopERnIcus climate change Service Evolution) project. The CERISE project will develop new and innovative coupled land-atmosphere data assimilation approaches and land initialisation techniques to pave the way for the next generations of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reanalysis and seasonal prediction systems.   

Summary of the role

The scientist will support research developments targeted towards enhancing the ECMWF land data assimilation system, by contributing to methodological and technical developments and evaluation activities. She / he will be responsible for developing observation operators and exploring neural network approaches to enhance the exploitation of satellite observations that are sensitive to the surface. She / he will contribute to the development and implementation of unified ensemble-based land data assimilation systems for NWP and global reanalysis systems. The role also involves developments of novel observation operators for improved exploitation of observations, such as low frequency microwave observations sensitive to multiple Earth system components, to consistently analyse water cycle variables over land and snow surfaces.

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Investigate land surface perturbation generation methods for Land DA systems
  • Develop ensemble-based unified land DA for soil moisture 
  • Explore neural network approaches to develop forward operator for multi-satellite data assimilation to analyse land surface variables controlling water fluxes
  • Contribute to regular progress reports and deliverables for the CERISE project and to international collaborations with the project partners

Personal attributes

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with a proactive approach 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills  
  • Self-motivated, and able to work with minimal supervision  
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a team  
  • Ability to work efficiently and complete diverse tasks in a timely manner 

Education, experience, knowledge and skills (including language)

  • An advanced university degree (EQF level 7 or above) or equivalent professional experience in physical, mathematical or environmantal science
  • Experience in meteorology, climate and/or land surface processes is required
  • Experience in handling Earth observation datasets 
  • Experience in land surface data assimilation and radiative transfer modelling is highly desirable  
  • Experience with developing and contributing to complex shared code is highly desirable
  • Experience with high-performance computing platforms is desirable
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English.
  • Knowledge of one of ECMWF’s other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage but is not essential

Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £63,782.28 or EUR 78,035.40 NET of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy. The position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL 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: 40 months with the possibility of extension until 31 December 2026

Location: This position can be located at the ECMWF HQ in Reading, UK or at its duty station in 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.

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 at the end of September 2022.

Who can apply

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

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, 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. 

Apply now

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