October 2019
Message 62

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[Met-jobs] Climate Model Scientists and Software Engineers

From HRrecruitment <>
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Date Thu, 17 Oct 2019 11:14:05 +0000

Salary Information:

Post A and B:  

  • Senior Scientist: Salary will start at £36,684 with opportunities to progress within the role up to the maximum of £40,352
  • Scientist: Salary will start at £30,325 with opportunities to progress within the role up to the maximum of £33,260
  • Foundation Scientist: Salary will start at £23,673 with opportunities to progress within the role up to the maximum £26,119

 Post B: May be offered at Scientific Software Engineer or Senior Scientific Software Engineer level:

  • Senior Scientific Software Engineer: Salary will start at £36,684 with opportunities to progress within the role up to the maximum of £40,352 plus a discretionary Market Supplement value of £2,250 and a discretionary long-term incentive plan of £500 (subject to periodical review).
  • Scientific Software Engineer: Salary will start at £30,325 with opportunities to progress within the role up to the maximum of £33,260 plus a discretionary Market Supplement value of £1,125 and a discretionary long-term incentive plan of £2,300 (subject to periodical review).      

*Salary quoted is based on full-time salary (37 hours) and 27.5 days annual leave and 8 bank holidays. Employees can buy or sell up to 5 days leave if full-time or for part-time staff up to their weekly contracted hours. Please note, when joining the Met Office all new employees will start on the salary band minimum.


The UK’s global climate and Earth System models are recognised as world-leading. They are used in the Met Office Hadley Centre, and the wider UK climate science community, for research and prediction of climate of the past and future, on timescales from seasons to centuries ahead. Maintaining and developing the capabilities of our models is fundamental to the future development of UK climate science and services, to address some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Climate models are based on the ‘Global Coupled’ (GC) series of models.  HadGEM3-GCx models physical aspects of the climate system. UKESMx Earth System Models, add a suite of chemical, biological and ice sheet processes onto the GC models.  Both models are developed collaboratively.

We have two vacancies for capable and enthusiastic modelling scientists to join the teams that develop and evaluate these models:

Post A (Physical Climate Modelling Scientist at either Foundation Scientist, Scientist or Senior Scientist level) will focus on future generations of the physical GCx model.   

Post B (Earth System Model Developer: Scientific Software Engineer/Scientist/Senior Scientific Software Engineer/Senior Scientist) will contribute to the development of future generations of UKESM models

Job Purpose:

To contribute to the development of  Met Office and UK climate modelling capability, through research and/or development of new model versions.

Post A  the post holder will investigate novel methods of evaluation of the GC model series for climate applications (for example exploiting new observational constraints on global energy and water flows), and/or develop scientifically-based evidence to inform where future modelling priorities should lie between resolution, process complexity and ensemble size, given anticipated increases in computing power. The scientific scope of the work is wide-ranging and will appeal to someone who is keen to develop new skills and knowledge needed to  ‘go where the science takes them’.   

Post B the post holder will develop techniques to efficiently run different model components (e.g. dynamics, chemistry, aerosols) at different resolutions interactively within a single model system. In the longer term the post holder will also contribute to development of future UKESM models based on a new atmospheric dynamical core and software system, designed to exploit upcoming supercomputing architectures of the late 2020s.     

Both posts will work on challenging scientific and computational problems at the forefront of  climate modelling, and will require the post holders to develop an understanding of key aspects of both climate and computational science. Within this, the emphasis of Post A will be directed more towards climate science research and model evaluation, while Post B will emphasize more computational/numerical model development. The post holders will be able to see clearly the influence of their work right across UK and international climate science. They will collaborate widely with climate scientists, model developers and software engineers across the Met Office and beyond, providing an opportunity to develop a broad knowledge of both climate science and climate model development.

Job Responsibilities:

The job holders will contribute to the development and evaluation of future generations of the GCx/UKESMx models.

Post A will develop novel methods of physical (GC) climate model evaluation that are targeted at key climate science questions, and work with the core model development teams to implement these into the model development cycle.

Post B will develop and implement new computational and numerical capabilities for UKESM, validate their scientific results, and optimise their performance on a range of high performance computing platforms.

Precise work plans will be determined in consultation with the successful candidates, taking account of their skills and those of the rest of the teams, as well as project needs. Both GCx and UKESMx are major programmes of work. Post holders will need to liaise actively with colleagues to ensure that their own work contributes to these broader programmes.

Post B will be part of the joint Met Office - NERC UKESM core development team. The roles are likely to combine periods of long-term research/development with periods of faster-paced project work, so the ideal candidates will be comfortable with both types of working.

For Post A  the job holder will be expected to present their work to internal and external scientific audiences, and to contribute to peer reviewed publications, at a level commensurate with their experience.

Post B emphasizes the development and optimization of computational and numerical methods for UKESM. An increased weight is therefore given to model/software development. While contributing to peer-reviewed publications is encouraged, it is not a central requirement for post B.

Essential Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  1. Understanding of fundamental mathematics, physics, and/or computer science relevant to the post (for example shown by a good first degree in a relevant subject).
  2. Independent research/development potential and experience in a subject area related to the post, commensurate with role level: At Foundation Scientist level: ability to think independently through a specified relevant problem, and evidence of successful simple project work.  At Scientist/Scientific Software Engineer level: as above, plus evidence of productive working experience in a relevant field under regular supervision.  At Senior Scientist/Senior Scientific Software Engineer level: as above, plus evidence of consistent productive working experience in atmospheric/ocean/climate modelling under limited supervision, and ability to turn broadly-defined problems into high class research and/or efficient computer software.   
  3. Ability or potential to work effectively with colleagues to deliver shared goals.
  4. Ability to manage time well, balancing periods of multiple requirements during fast-paced project working, while maintaining progress on longer-term research during quieter periods.
  5. Specific to Post B: Demonstrated experience developing numerical models, including strong scientific programming skills in relevant high-level languages (e.g. C/C++, Python, Perl, Fortran), commensurate with role level. or  Specific to Post A:  Demonstrated understanding of the scientific issues related to climate modelling, commensurate with role level. For Foundation Scientist this requires a basic understanding of some key processes of climate physics and approaches to their numerical modelling. For Scientist level and above, this should include an understanding of specific issues related to atmospheric/ocean and climate modelling, and evidence of  ability to work with complex scientific software systems. At all levels an openness to develop new knowledge to ‘go where the science leads’ is needed.    
  6. Specific to Post A: Ability to produce clear written scientific papers or reports, commensurate with role level..

Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of global climate dynamics and relevant numerical models
  2. Knowledge of software engineering issues such as code design and review procedures and version control systems such as SVN/Git/FCM/CVS.
  3. Experience with High Performance Computing (for example, parallel coding languages such as MPI and OpenMP, and/or code optimisation)
  4. Experience of working with the UM, JULES or NEMO models, or similar model systems (running or developing code), and/or the Met Office software environment for modelling (e.g. ROSE)

Additional Supplementary Information:

These posts offer an excellent opportunity to work at the forefront of climate modelling, and to make a real difference to enhancing the Met Office’s and UK’s climate modelling capability and reputation. The posts offer the stimulus of working with a wide range of colleagues in the Met Office, UK academia and internationally. The post holders will be able to develop an exceptionally broad set of skills spanning climate science and modelling, while also developing specific areas of expertise within this remit. Hence, the posts have the potential to open up a range of career development options across both climate science and model development. Applicants will be considered for both posts but are invited to indicate a particular interest in one or the other if they have one.

Full-time, part-time and job share applications are invited. For operational reasons this posts will be based in Exeter and successful applicants will be required to work at least 75% of their working week at the Met Office’s Exeter HQ due to the highly interactive nature of these posts. Homeworking (UK) may be considered for up to 25% of the week.

To apply, please click on the link below and attach the most recent version of your CV, along with a cover letter which briefly (no more than two-pages) states your experience against each essential and desirable criteria.

Key Dates: Closing date 03/11/2019 with interviews 19/11/2019. Please note that you will be notified if you are successful or unsuccessful.   

This recruitment post is not offering UK Visa and Sponsorship and therefore requires all applicants to be eligible to work within the UK / EU without restriction. If you are a non–EU candidate, you will be required to provide and attach all relevant eligibility documentation to your application at the time of applying. 

Please note that successful candidate/s will be required to satisfactorily undergo security clearance checks. This will generally require the candidate to have lived in the UK for at least three out of the last five years, but applicants not meeting this criteria may be considered. 

We are a “Disability Confident” employer, Mindful Employer, with an Athena Swan Bronze award for our work on gender equality and an LGBTi network. Occasional travel in the UK and overseas will be needed, normally with plenty of notice.


Click here to apply online


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