July 2012
Message 54

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[Met-jobs] Senior Ensemble Prediction Scientist-Met Office

From "Davison, Amanda" <>
To <>
Date Mon, 23 Jul 2012 16:22:46 +0100

Met Office Job Vacancy


Job title:

Senior Ensemble Prediction Scientist

Generic role:

Senior Scientist

Role ID:



Science and Engineering


Starting £29,930 and for exceptional candidates up to £35,040

Vacancy no.:



Met Office, Exeter

Type of appointment:

Full time

Appointment duration:


Closing date:

13 August 2012


The Understanding Climate Change team works on understanding key climate processes, feedbacks and uncertainty to pull through into model development and as a solid base for building prediction systems and delivering policy outputs. Key foci include; constraining global and regional climate sensitivity; reducing uncertainty in climate feedbacks and drivers of global and regional climate change and extremes (e.g. clouds, water cycle); quantifying the role of resolution on climate projections, impacts and extreme events; delivering robust probabilistic predictions.

The Seamless Ensemble Prediction team aim to provide projections on a range of time scales (decadal to longer term), featuring robust estimates of uncertainty. Most notably, the team produced UKCP09, the official government set of probabilistic climate projections for the UK which can be used by decision-makers in risk-based approaches for planning their adaptation strategies. UKCP09 was based on many variants of the HadCM3 climate model, observations, and a set of international climate models used for the 4th IPCC assessment. Since then, new (CMIP5) climate models with improved capability have been run for the 5th IPCC assessment. Therefore it is important to evaluate UKCP09 against these new model results, and hence assess whether it can continue to be used in its entirety for adaptation planning, or whether some aspects should be regarded as out of date. This will allow us to provide advice on how UKCP09 can be appropriately used for adaptation pending the development of new projections.

A longer term aim is to improve support for our projections by developing methods to better understand which large scale features of the climate system drive the range of climate responses for a given region. A key question will be whether a generic method applicable to many international regions can be found, or whether bespoke region-specific methods are needed. This work will involve a combination of innovative personal research and synthesis of other relevant research. It will then be possible to a) form a narrative around the projections which describes them in terms of the key climate drivers for that region, b) to assess the main systematic biases that affect the usefulness of the projections and c) improve our ability to address customer questions regarding the credibility of the projections in light of results from newer climate models, or from the higher resolution models used in operational monthly to seasonal forecasting.

Purpose of job

Initially, to compare UKCP09 with new results from climate models used for 5th IPCC assessment and improve advice to stakeholders on their use of UKCP09. Then, to develop methods to understand our projections in terms of the key large scale features which drive the range of regional climate responses. This could be through a combination of statistical methods applied to model ensembles to analyse the influence of key large scale signals on regional changes, and model sensitivity experiments to support more detailed analysis of mechanisms. Where feasible, generic methods applicable to both the UK and other international regions will be developed, reflecting the interests of UK governments and other customers in worldwide risks associated with climate change.

Job responsibilities

  • To help to develop the strategy for understanding the key large scale drivers of future climate of the UK and other regions, and to help define related plans for Climate Prediction System Development in the Hadley Centre Climate Programme.
  • To write a report assessing whether UKCP09 can continue to be used in light of CMIP5 results.
  • To lead and carry out research and development of a generic method to better understand the large scale features of the climate system that drive the range of climate response for a given region, most notably the UK. This will improve our ability to provide advice to stakeholders about the Met Office's long term climate projections.
  • To build a narrative around our future projections to describe them in terms of the key climate features and identifying the key systematic biases that affect the usefulness of these projections.
  • To keep up with the latest improvements in climate modelling and to write reports and brief DECC and DEFRA and other stakeholders about what these mean for use of our climate projections. To attend project meetings with other institutes involved in UK Climate Projections.
  • To train and support staff both within the seamless ensemble prediction team, and more widely, to enhance our scientific/technical capability.

Qualifications, skills and abilities required


  • Significant relevant post-doctoral research or equivalent experience, with a degree in Maths/Physics or equivalent subject.
  • Ability to write effective scientific software and to successfully analyse large data sets.
  • Demonstrated high level of motivation in understanding physical systems.
  • Ability to effectively communicate their research both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to successfully solve problems using original approaches.


  • Experience in understanding how key large scale features of the climate system affect future response of regional climate.
  • Experience in developing and/or interpreting metrics as measures of model performance and as tools for understanding the range of future responses in regional climate.
  • Experience in working with CMIP3 and CMIP5 IPCC models.
  • Has a good understanding of current and emerging issues in climate science.

Additional information

The successful candidate will join a world-leading team that has and will continue to use ground-breaking methods to produce climate projections that can be used by stakeholders in risk-based decisions of how to adapt to climate change. The post will require the jobholder to work with a wide range of experts in the Met Office, and will involve meeting stakeholders and working with people from other institutes involved in the production and support of UK climate projections.

If the successful candidate is currently in a role in the Met Office scientific framework, they will ordinarily remain in the role to which they are currently mapped.

Application forms and further information

Please mark your request or returned application form: Senior Ensemble Prediction Scientist 002463 R

Please complete this form (using Adobe Reader 9 or above). You can save the form part-way through and return to it later, using the Adobe Reader toolbar. Once you are happy with it submit it using the button at the end of the form. Alternatively, print the form out, complete by hand, and return by post.

Application formDownload application form (PDF, 199 kB)

Guidance notesGuidance notes and information for applicants (PDF, 57 kB)

If you require a Microsoft Word version of the application form, please email including the words 'application request' in the subject line. An automatic email will be returned to you immediately. If you have not received an email within 48 hours then please contact us.

Alternatively, you can call or write to:

HR Customer Services
Met Office
FitzRoy Road

Tel: 01392 885000

We are unable to reply to each applicant individually. If you have had no response from us within four weeks of the closing date please assume you have been unsuccessful. If you meet the sift criteria but have applied more than three times for the same or similar job within the last two years, it will be up to the recruiting manager's discretion whether to offer you an interview.

Nationality and residency requirements

All successful applicants offered conditional employment at the Met Office are required to undertake national security vetting. Usually successful applicants can start after satisfactory initial security vetting (whilst full national security vetting is undertaken), but for a small number of posts a higher level of vetting is needed. If you do not have five years' continuous UK residency this may take longer and we may have to reconsider your application if there are delays in the security procedure.

Please note that nationality and residency restrictions of this kind are common with all UK Civil Service departments and Executive Agencies. For further guidance see the UK Border Agency's Working in the UK website.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme for disabled applicants

To widen the pool of candidates we guarantee an interview to disabled applicants who meet the published minimum criteria for the job.

To qualify for a guaranteed interview, you do not have to be registered as a disabled person but you must have a disability or long-term health condition that puts you at a substantial disadvantage in either obtaining or keeping employment. The disability must be likely to last for at least 12 months.

To apply for a guaranteed interview, please complete the appropriate section of the application form. When appropriate, you should provide details of any particular arrangements you will require for the interview, e.g. car parking, speech facilitator.

Any false declaration of disability to obtain an interview may invalidate any resultant contract of employment.

Priority status for staff in the Civil Service Surplus Talent Pool

If you are an existing Civil Servant and have applied through the CS Vacs website, your application will be given priority status, in that your application will be assessed for suitability before other applications are entertained. Surplus staff should provide a letter from their HR department confirming this status and attach it to their application form.

Civil Service Recruitment Principles

The Met Office's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission Recruitment Principles. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact the mailbox or telephone 01392 885000 in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Met Office, contact the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners.

Commitment to diversity

The Met Office values diversity and recruits on merit.

Benefits and facilities

Employees can join the Civil Service Pension Scheme called 'Nuvos', a defined benefit scheme which both you and the Met Office contribute to. You also have the option to join a partnership scheme where the employer can contribute and you can contribute if you wish. For more details please see the Civil Service Pensions website .

·         Annual Leave allowance of 25 days (plus 8 days public holiday and 2½ privilege days taken at fixed times during the year).

·         Training opportunities, performance-related pay and access to the Met Office sports and social club.

·         The potential to work in different areas within the same organisation, but note that employees are expected to complete 24 months in post before applying for alternative posts within the Met Office.

Starting salaries

The pay range is stated at the top of the job description. Entry to the Met Office is normally at the pay range minimum.


Unless stated in the job advert and job description, financial support is not available for candidates to move to the job location.

Payment of interview expenses

Candidates invited for interview will only be paid expenses if stated in the invite to interview letter.


Appointed staff will normally have a full mobility clause written into their employment contract. A small number of roles have a limited mobility obligation.




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