June 2015
Message 55

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[Met-jobs] Job Vacancy for Scientist on convection, large-scale dynamics and global model improvement, Met Office, Exeter, UK

From Sean Milton <>
Cc Sean Milton <>
Date Wed, 17 Jun 2015 06:49:08 +0100

More Details and application process available from


 Exeter HQ

Contract type


Salary range

 26010.00  - 35040.00  GBP per Year

Opening date


Closing date


Salary Information

Scientist - £26,010 - £29,100 
Senior Scientist £30,529 - £35,040


The IMPALA project aims to deliver improvements to the modelling of weather and climate over Africa, working jointly with members of the academic community, and is funded by the Department for International Development (DfID). This position will be based in the Global Model Evaluation and Development team and work very closely with the Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations team (APP), combining two related aspects, (i) research on the interactions of convection with the large-scale dynamics of the atmosphere, and (ii) process based evaluation of improvements to global model predictions across a range of timescales assessing benefit over Africa. 

Convection has a major influence on the atmosphere, and its accurate representation in models has wide-reaching implications, from improving the predictability of NWP to increasing the reliability of climate projections. One long-standing research question has been to understand how convective clouds interact with larger-scale atmospheric motions that can span continents, and consequently significantly affect the rainfall behaviour over large regions. Recent developments in observational and modelling tools present an exciting opportunity for making significant progress in this field, with consequences for the representation of convection in models both over Africa and globally. 

Integrating the above advances in convection along with other improvements is a key objective for the IMPALA project. This involves trialling and evaluating the impacts of revised parametrizations (convection, aerosols etc.) with the specific aim of understanding physical process interactions and assessing impacts on precipitation and large-scale dynamics over the African continent using knowledge gained from the first activity.

Job Purpose

To develop our understanding of the physics and dynamics controlling the interaction between convection and larger-scale atmospheric motions (African Easterly Waves, African Easterly Jet, Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS)) and use that insight to contribute to improving the parametrizations used in the UM to perform weather forecasts and climate predictions. Secondly, to pull through and evaluate the improvements to the Unified Model across a range of prediction timescales as part of the model development process. Developments in this field would be of interest to the wider scientific community, and as such, the job holder would have the opportunity to publish in scientific journals, attend conferences, and develop an international profile as an atmospheric scientist.

Job Responsibilities
  • To carry out research and development to improve the representation of the convection-dynamical coupling in the Unified Model with a focus on African climate. 
  • Integrate advances in model formulation by evaluating potential parametrization changes (convection, aerosols) across seamless prediction systems as part of model development process. 
  • To contribute to the presentation and publication of the work both internally and externally in order to maintain our scientific capability, integrity and transparency.
Essential Qualifications, Skills & Abilities
  1. An honours degree (2:1 or above) in a physical science, mathematics or other related discipline. 
  2. Scientist & Senior Scientist :Ability to carry out postgraduate level research and development in a related science discipline as demonstrated by a publication record and to show initiative in resolving problems with limited supervision. 
    Senior Scientist Evidence of leading and delivering complex scientific research and development , taking ownership and initiative in resolving problems. 
  3. Knowledge of the Unified Model or similar global model, its dynamics and parametrizations and experience in running large scale models on HPC platforms. 
  4. Scientist and Senior scientist:Good general computing skills (Fortran, Unix, python/Iris or similar), with proven expertise in handling and analysing large datasets. 
    Senior scientist : strong evidence of developing and testing complex software for scientific application. 
  5. Ability to work effectively both as an independent scientist but also as part of a larger team involving colleagues at the Met Office, DfID, or in UK Academia. 
  6. Scientist and Senior Scientist :Good communication skills - demonstrated ability to present scientific research at conferences etc. and lead/contribute to peer reviewed scientific papers. 
    Senior Scientist:Evidence of ability to communicate effectively ( oral and written) with specialists and non specialists in a clear manner with influence and authority.
Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities
  • A PhD in a geophysical science. 
  • Knowledge of African climate variability and processes. 
  • Knowledge of convection and its parametrisation in global weather and climate models. 
  • Experience in coding diagnostics using Python and/or the Iris framework. 

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