Reading, UK or Bonn, Germany

Job reference: VN22-61

Location: Reading, UK or Bonn, Germany

Deadline for applications: 16/10/2022

Publication date: 14/09/2022

Salary and Grade: Grade A2: GBP 63,782.28 or EUR 78,035.40 NET annual basic salary + other benefits

Contract type: STF-PL

Department: Research

Contract Duration: 36 months, with the possibility of extension until 31 Dec 2026


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.

For additional details, see

About Earth System Predictability Section

The Earth System Predictability Section forms part of ECMWF’s Research Department. The Section explores relevant directions to improve the skill of the ECMWF forecasting systems. This involves both exploring the predictability horizon of the Earth system, as well as identifying those elements limiting the actual forecast skill. The aim is to guide future development of the ECMWF Seamless Earth-System forecasting system. 

Within the Earth System Predictability Section, the Long-Range Prediction Team is responsible for the design of the ECMWF seasonal prediction system, which currently covers forecasts up to one year ahead. The team conducts predictability research to inform possible extension of the forecast horizon, as well as identifying critical elements to translate predictability into prediction skill.

For additional details, see​​​​​​​

Summary of the role

The successful candidate will conduct collaborative research on developing new and innovative diagnostics of the land surface and apply them to re-analyses and seasonal re-forecasts from ECWMF and other partners in the EU-funded project CERISE. The research has a strong focus on evaluating the impact of new land initial conditions provided by coupled land-atmosphere data assimilation with time varying vegetation.

The successful candidate will analyse the accuracy of trends in current and new re-analyses, design and evaluate numerical experiments to assess the impact of specific changes in the ECMWF land re-analyses on seasonal forecasts, and develop new diagnostics to assess the consistency and slow variability of land in seasonal re-forecasts. The successful candidate will also propose new land-surface seasonal forecast products and provide recommendations for future improvements in land-surface initialization for seasonal prediction.

Main duties and key responsibilities


  • Assess the fidelity and low-frequency variability of land in ECMWF re-analyses
  • Assess and compare the quality of land initial conditions in different forecasting systems
  • Develop methodology to diagnose time consistency and trends of land surface variables in seasonal forecasts 
  • Contribute to the design and evaluation of experiments
  • Propose new land-surface seasonal forecast products
  • Write the relevant documentation and periodic reports
  • Represent ECMWF interests in external forums

Personal attributes

​​​​​​​Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with a proactive approach 
  • Attention to detail
  • Self-motivated, and able to work with minimal supervision 
  • Ability to maintain effective communication and documentation with the rest of the team and a distributed user community
  • 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)


  • A university degree (EQF Level 6) in physics, meteorology, oceanography, geoscience, applied mathematics, or a related subject or equivalent is essential
  • A relevant higher degree (EQF Level 7 or above) or equivalent experience is desirable

Experience required in the following areas

  • Demonstrated experience in evaluating large geophysical datasets.
  • Demonstrated experience on climate variability and prediction
  • Experience in land-surface modelling or analysis
  • Experience with numerical experimentation using Earth system models
  • Experience in probabilistic forecasting and predictability and/or land surface processes

Knowledge and skills required​​​​​​​

  • Experience with UNIX (and/or Linux) scripting environment is required
  • Experience with Fortran and Python programming is required
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English


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  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 from 01 January 2023

Length of contract: 36 months with the possibility of extension until 31 December 2026

Location: The position can be based either at ECMWF’s HQ in Reading, United Kingdom or ECMWF’s 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 week commencing 7th November 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, 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. 


The closing date for this job has now passed.