Senior Scientific Officer - in-situ observations for the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)
Bonn, Germany

Job reference: VN21-50

Location: Bonn, Germany

Deadline for applications: 16/12/2021

Publication date: 09/11/2021

Salary and Grade: Grade A3: EUR 92,770.32 net annual basic salary + other benefits

Contract type: STF-PL

Department: Copernicus

Contract Duration: Four years, subject to the continued availablity of funds. There would also be possibility of contract extension.


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 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 new offices in Bonn, Germany.

Copernicus is the earth observation component of the European Union (EU) space programme. Based on the exploitation of space-based and in-situ (earth-based) observations and scientific models, Copernicus provides information services for land, marine, atmosphere and climate monitoring, as well as emergency management and security. These services, and their free, open and quality assured data and tools, support a range of environmental and security applications across sectors and policy domains.

For details, see

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) service 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 Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) service provides authoritative information about the past, present and future climate, as well as tools to enable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies by policy makers and businesses. 

For details, see

Summary of the role

ECMWF is recruiting a Senior Scientific Officer for the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) in the ECMWF Copernicus Department for an initial period of four years to oversee the work on historical in-situ observations. He or she will report to the C3S Reanalysis Team Leader. Such observations play an important role at C3S and form a critical component of the global climate observing system prior to the satellite era.

C3S collects in-situ observations and provides free public access via the C3S Climate Data Store (CDS). Such activities are mainly delivered by external contracts. However, historical in-situ observations are ingested in C3S reanalyses (ERA5 and ERA6 in the future) that describe the recent evolution of the Earth’s climate system. This activity takes place primarily at ECMWF.

The successful candidate will engage in both activities. They will oversee the scientific and technical part of the C3S in-situ contracts and, together with experts of the CDS Team, ensure that in-situ data sets are published and maintained in the CDS catalogue. They will also play an active role in the C3S Reanalysis Team. The main duty of that activity embraces the preparation, ingestion and quality control of historical in-situ observations and the optimization of their impact in (future) C3S reanalysis. They will also engage closely with the C3S Climate Intelligence Team. Other tasks include a contribution to routine monitoring of reanalysis production, contributing to reporting activities and representing C3S at relevant events and forums.

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Overseeing the implementation of the C3S in-situ observation activities
  • Providing technical support to several individual in-situ contracts
  • Working on the ingestion and performance of impact experiments for newly available historical observational datasets in preparation to future C3S reanalysis
  • Liaising with the CDS Team on the ingestion and maintenance of in-situ datasets
  • Working in close collaboration with the C3S Contract Management and Procurement Teams
  • Liaising with the Climate Intelligence Team and supporting with climate monitoring activities and the European State of the Climate Report and other relevant applications
  • Leading the overarching Cross-in-situ Working Group
  • Contributing to the planning and reporting cycle of ECMWF for the European Commission by providing input to documentation
  • Supporting the Copernicus management team with interactions with the European Commission and its agencies on relevant activities
  • Contributing to other C3S activities as required

Personal attributes

  • Service-oriented attitude and flexible with a strong can-do attitude to handle the diverse requirements of this role
  • Excellent attention to detail, procedures and rules
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive approach
  • Ability to handle multiple complex tasks and to manage priorities autonomously and to take initiative
  • Excellent coordination skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication (verbal and written) skills
  • Highly organised with the ability to work efficiently and complete diverse tasks in a timely manner
  • Dedication and enthusiasm to work in a team
  • Genuine interest in the Copernicus environmental services

Education, experience, knowledge and skills (including language)

  • An advanced degree (EQF Level 8) or equivalent is required in a relevant discipline
  • Proven experience with providing scientific and technical steering to multiple contracts
  • Solid experience with many aspects of historical in-situ climate observations, ranging from their practical usage to data policies
  • Experience in providing technical support to contract management is an advantage
  • Experience with working with and contributing to large scientific codes in Fortran and/or C++ in High Performance Computing environments
  • A solid experience with practical aspects of data assimilation is a valuable asset
  • Experience with and knowledge of databases is an advantage
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Ability to work in a Linux-based environment
  • 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

Grade remuneration

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 EUR 92,770.32 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: Four years, subject to the continued availability of funds. There would also be the possibility of further contract extension.

Location: The position will be based at 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.

Videoconference interviews (via Microsoft Teams) are expected to take place week commencing 17th January 2022.

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 and all EU states, listed below:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, 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.

Georgia will become a Co operating State from 01.12.21.

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


The closing date for this job has now passed.