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We are looking to hire a highly motivated researcher who can help advance our extended-range predictability understanding and improve sub-seasonal to seasonal predictive skill over East Africa for the Horizon ACACIA project, in collaboration with internal experts and external project partners.

The successful candidate will conduct research on (1) identifying the main sources of S2S predictability for heavy precipitation events over Ethiopia and Madagascar and tropical cyclone strikes over Madagascar. This knowledge will be consolidated with local perception of the changes in the climate risk, in collaboration with colleagues in ACACIA (2) evaluating the performance of the ECMWF extended-range forecasts of impactful events and user-relevant metrics at lead times of 2 to 6 weeks and identifying the shortcomings in the model prediction over the regions of interest, with a focus on the kinds of impactful events that will be identified as most relevant to users (3) employing novel post-processing methods, including machine learning methods and multi-model predictions to produce extended-range forecasts that are more skilful than the current ECMWF operational forecasts (4) supporting the co-development of operational S2S forecasting systems for improved early warning system for Ethiopia and Madagascar.

The research and development will take place in close collaboration with colleagues in the Earth System Predictability Section and with external partners in the ACACIA project.

About the Earth System Predictability Section

The Earth System Predictability Section forms part of ECMWF’s Research Department. The Section explores relevant directions to improve the skill of the ECMWF forecasting systems. This involves both exploring the predictability horizon of the earth system, as well as identifying those elements limiting the actual forecast skill. The aim is to guide future development of the ECMWF Seamless Earth-System forecasting system.

Within the Earth System Predictability Section, the extended-range Prediction Team is responsible for the design of the ECMWF extended-range prediction system, which currently covers forecasts up to 46 days ahead. The team conducts predictability research to inform on the representation of sources of sub-seasonal predictability, as well as identifying critical elements to translate predictability into prediction skill.


The Anticipatory Climate Adaptation for Communities In Africa (ACACIA) is a world-leader in weather and environmental forecasting. As an international organisation we serve our members and the wider community with global weather predictions and data that is critical for understanding and solving the climate crisis. We function as a 24/7 research and operational centre with a focus on medium and long-range predictions, holding one of the largest meteorological data archives in the world. The success of our activities builds on the talent of our scientists and experts, strong partnerships with 35 Member and Co-operating States and the international community, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the use of innovative technologies and machine learning across our operations. ECMWF is a multi-site organisation, with a main office in Reading, UK, a data centre/supercomputer in Bologna, Italy, and a large presence in Bonn, Germany.

ECMWF has also developed a strong partnership with the European Union and has been entrusted with the implementation and operation of the Destination Earth Initiative and the Climate Change and Atmosphere Monitoring Services of the Copernicus Programme. Other areas of work include High Performance Computing and the development of digital tools that enable ECMWF to extend provision of data and products covering weather, climate, air quality, fire and flood prediction and monitoring.

See www.ecmwf.int for more info about what we do.

About the ACACIA project

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an ambitious interdisciplinary alliance to enhance the resilience of African at-risk communities in Sub-Saharan Africa to climate impacts. Focusing on floods in the Greater Horn of Africa and floods and tropical cyclones in Madagascar, the project will seek to improve the ways climate services are produced, disseminated and used for making short-term decisions to diminish climate risk. The project will steer the co-production of national and regional operational early warning systems and enhance the skill of sub-seasonal forecasts over the Greater Horn of Africa and Madagascar.

Your main duties and key responsibilities

  • Develop and apply diagnostics to identify the main sources of predictability for heavy precipitation in east Africa and tropical cyclone strikes over Madagascar
  • Develop and apply diagnostics to evaluate the skill of the ECMWF extended-range forecasts for impactful events which will be identified as most relevant to users
  • Develop and apply artificial intelligence methods for improved flow-dependant error calibration.
  • Perform numerical experimentation to study the potential benefits of changes to the configuration of the dynamical model on ECMWF’s extended-range forecasts of high-impact events over east Africa
  • Ensure timely delivery and high quality of relevant ACCACIA results, as well as their contribution to ECMWF’s goals
  • Communicate and document scientific results and software developments in technical reports, journal publications, conferences and meetings as appropriate

What were looking for

  • Ability to work efficiently and complete diverse tasks in a timely manner
  • Self-motivated and passionate about the work
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, with a proactive approach
  • Ability to succeed both independently and in close collaboration with others


  • An advanced university degree (EQF level 7 or above) in physical, mathematical or environmental science


The following skills and experience would be an advantage. However, you are encouraged to apply even if you don’t feel you meet all these criteria.

  • Experience in researching weather and climate variability and predictions
  • Experience in working with numerical general circulation models
  • Experience with artificial intelligence for diagnostic and calibration is desirable
  • Advanced programming skills in Python, Fortran, and UNIX shell scripting
  • Experience in working with large geophysical datasets on high-performance computing platforms in Unix/Linux-based environments
  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English

Other information

Starting date:  On or around 01 October 2024

Length of contract: The contract duration is expected to be 32 months , with the possibility of extension until 30 September 2027.

Remote work: As a multi-site organisation, ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows flexibility to staff to mix office working and teleworking. We allow for remote work 10 days/month away from the office, including up to 80 days/year away from the duty station country (within the area of our member states and co-operating states).

Interviews by videoconference (MS Teams) are expected to take place during approximately a month after the close date for applications. If you require any special accommodations in order to participate fully in our recruitment process, please contact us.