Scientist - Heat Danger Forecasts
Reading, UK or Bonn, Germany

Job reference: VN22-75

Location: Reading, UK or Bonn, Germany

Deadline for applications: 08/12/2022

Publication date: 11/11/2022

Salary and Grade: Grade A2: £ 68,375 or EUR 83,888 basic salary, net of tax + other benefits

Contract type: STF-PL

Department: Forecast

Contract Duration: 25 months with the possibility of extension

Your role 

The successful candidate will be responsible for transforming the scientific knowledge on the connection between health and climate impacts into effective indicators to provide information on human health and vegetation stress at several spatial scales, from local to national and continental. This effort will form the basis of a prototype for forecasting climate-driven human health, vegetation stress and food security indicators. 

The health indicators (e.g. human heat stress) will be linked to weather and climate variables (e.g. maximum daily temperature, hours of insolation) as well as air quality information (e.g. UV exposure and dust pollution). They will build upon the most advanced scientific knowledge and will rely on robust testing thanks to historic data and innovative “Living labs” where health and climate data will be collected in real-time. Similarly, the vegetation stress and food security indicators (e.g. vegetation growth and yield forecast) will be linked to weather and climate variables (e.g. water deficiency, intensity and length of dry spells during the growing season) and will rely on advanced satellite mapping of crop and vegetation health.

We expect the development of tools for an early warning prototype to provide real-time forecasts on a sub-seasonal to seasonal time range, making use of relevant ECMWF forecasts as meteorological drivers. The technology used to develop the prototype is expected to be generic and scalable and connect to the existing software tools in ECMWF’s production chain e.g.  SPIDI and Thermo-feel.

TRIGGER and CENTAUR projects

The work will be carried out as a part of the TRIGGER (SoluTions foR mItiGatinG climate-induced hEalth thReats, HEurope) and the CENTAUR (Copernicus enhanced tools for anticipative response to climate change in the emergency and security domain) projects. TRIGGER looks at impacts on human health from weather and climate hazards and will collect environmental and socio-economic data for further use within the project and for building applications for users, including a prototype of an early warning system for climate related health risks. CENTAUR looks at the impact of climate variables on the environment with a particular focus on vegetation, plant growth and food security. The candidate will attend project workshops and project meetings and interact with the other project partners to contribute to a successful project. They will also interact with the teams in ECMWF that maintain and develop forecast system for research and operations. A specific collaboration with the User Outreach and Engagement Section in the frame of the development of the Copernicus Thematic Hub on Health is foreseen.

About ECMWF 

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 is a multi-site organisation, with its headquarters based since its creation in Reading, UK, a new data centre in Bologna, Italy, and new offices in Bonn, Germany. 

For additional details, see

Your responsibilities 

  • Evaluate and develop effective indicators for climate and weather driven human health and vegetation growth danger due to excessive heat and other environmental factors.
  • Develop an early warning pilot system for global heat related hazards.
  • Contribute to the TRIGGER and CENTAUR deliverables and attend and contribute to project meetings.
  • Represent ECMWF at international meetings and scientific conferences to present the outcome of the project

What we’re looking for

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive and constructive approach
  • Flexibility, with the ability to adapt to changing priorities and user needs
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are vital, to communicate with a wide range of technically skilled colleagues, including remote teams, and to non-technical staff
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a team and across teams
  • Highly organised with the capacity to work on a diverse range of tasks to tight deadlines

Education and experience

  • Advanced university degree (EQ7 level or above) or equivalent experience in computer science or engineering, computational science, physics or natural sciences, mathematics, or a related discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience in publishing scientific research on forecasts and re-analysis in the context of heat related hazard 
  • Demonstrated experience in cross- and inter-disciplinary collaborations with experts in climate and weather-related impacts, population exposure, human vulnerability and other relevant disciplines
  • Experience in global-scale operational forecasting system for the prediction of heat and cold extremes hazardous to human health are advantageous
  • Experience in a global system to track pathways in which climate and weather extremes are being affecting human health and food security are advantageous
  • Knowledge of operational forecasts are advantageous

Knowledge and skills 

  • Independently managing contributions and reports to externally funded projects
  • Experience developing scientific software with Python, Fortran, C++ or similar is required 
  • 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) is an advantage.

Other information 

Grade remuneration:  The successful candidates will be recruited at the  A2  grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be EUR 83,888 (Bonn) or GBP 68,375 (Reading) 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:  25 months, with the possibility of further extensions

Location: The position can be located in Bonn, Germany or in Reading, UK.

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.

Who can apply 

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.