University of Cape Town
Ma-Re / CSIR-SOCCO
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Earth System Model Learning
and Training Centre (ESM-LTC)
The training of young scientists is a major concern for the development of Earth
System Science in South Africa. The Marine Research Institute (Ma-Re) at the
University of Cape Town and the CSIR Southern Ocean Carbon – Climate Observatory
(SOCCO) are seeking a motivated, early-career scientist to run a joint
learning centre with dedicated on-line resources for ESM analysis and validation.
About the Fellowship
This post and the Centre will be supported by the NRF project SOCCESM, funded by
the National Research Foundation for the 3-year period 2019 to 2021. Its aims are to
improve our understanding of the role of the Southern Ocean in the global carbon –
climate feedbacks as well as the role of teleconnections from Antarctica and the high
latitude Southern Ocean in influencing climate variability and change over southern
Africa. Towards achieving these aims, the project will develop new and innovative
parameterisations of sub-mesoscale and mesoscale circulation in the Southern Ocean
and of Antarctic sea-ice dynamics, towards improving Earth System Model (ESM)
projections of Southern Hemisphere climate change. More specifically, these
parameterisations will be built in an African-based Earth System Model that is to
participate in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP6) of the World
Climate Research Programme (CMIP6) during the project period (2019-2021) and
The project is a joint endeavour between the Global Change Institute (GCI) of the
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), the Southern Ocean Carbon – Climate
Observatory (SOCCO) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the
Marine Research Institute at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of
The Fellow will take advantage of existing on-line resources on ESM and will develop
videos, online tutorials and necessary tools for the education and training in model validation and analysis for atmospheric, oceanic and biogeochemical properties in the
Earth System. Experience in sea ice modelling will be considered a plus.
The Fellow will also establish a helpdesk for all the students
participating in the project. In terms of research, the Fellow will contribute towards
strengthening the links between the project and the MIP communities by ensuring
coherence in model experiment design relevant to each MIP.
The Fellowship is open to any eligible South African and international person who can
carry out its objective. Possession of a PhD degree which has been obtained no
more than five years ago is a minimum requirement. Eligible candidates may not
have held any academic or permanent professional positions since achieving the
PhD. The research to be conducted by the Fellow will be under the general
supervision of A/Prof Marcello Vichi at the University of Cape Town and the
Fellow will be registered in the Department of Oceanography at UCT.
As part of the Fellow’s professional development, the successful candidate will be
required to participate in limited teaching and co-supervision of MSc and PhD
students. The required entry skills are: PhD in ocean, atmospheric sciences or a related
discipline; proven experience in Bash, Python and any compiled language programming.
Value and Tenure
The value of the Fellowship award is from R300 000 per annum, depending on
research experience. Postdoctoral Research Fellowships are non-taxable, meaning
that Fellowships must be granted without fringe benefits and no services are required
of the successful candidate in return for the Fellowship beyond the agreed research
activity. The Fellowship is offered for two years + one year depending on the availability of funds and the Fellow’s performance.
To apply, send an email application to the Director of Ma-Re at the University of
Cape Town, Associate Professor Marcello Vichi (Marcello.Vichi@uct.ac.za) and
- letter of application describing research experience, interests, and collaborative experience a curriculum vitae and list of publications
- transcripts of academic qualifications at tertiary level
- contact information for two (2) scientific referees.
Applications will stay open until the position is filled. However, it is anticipated that the Fellowship will have to commence before 2020.
The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications. The University of Cape Town reserves the right to change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all.
A/Prof Marcello Vichi
Marine Research Institute (Director, http://www.ma-re.uct.ac.za)
Dept. of Oceanography, University of Cape Town
Room 112, RW James Building
Postal address: Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa
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