ECMWF – Scientist to work on km-scale coupled ocean modelling

ECMWF, Bonn, Germany
Closing date: 15 April 2021

ECMWF has an exciting opportunity for a Scientist to work on the H2020 NextGEMS project. The role of this position is to further develop the representation of the ocean in ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) as part of NextGEMS.

NextGEMS aims to develop a new generation of global coupled Storm-Resolving Earth System Models (SR-ESMs), exploring kilometre-scale simulations (2-4 km both in the atmosphere and the ocean) with an explicit representation of essential Earth system processes, such as ocean mesoscale eddies and atmospheric deep convection. The NextGEMS project focuses its development around two European SR-ESMs, ICON coupled to ICON ocean and IFS coupled to both NEMO and FESOM-2.

The position sits in the Earth System Modelling Section of the Research Department. As member of the Numerical Methods team, there will be a lot of collaboration with both the Coupled Processes and Physical Processes Team members, so strong communication and interpersonal skills will be key in this role.

The successful candidate will develop an improved and flexible coupling between the atmosphere and the ocean that enables the coupling of IFS to two different ocean models, NEMO and FESOM-2, to initialise and conduct coupled simulations at 2-4km resolution (of the atmosphere and ocean), to improve efficiency and scalability of selected coupled configurations and explore different grid and configuration options for the ocean models.
The Scientist will help to identify model errors of IFS coupled to the two ocean models, through targeted diagnostics and numerical experimentation, in close collaboration with teams across ECMWF and the NextGEMS partners. They will also contribute to the communication and dissemination of these results to an extensive range of stakeholders.

Whilst this position will be based in Bonn, Germany, there will be a lot of collaboration with staff based at the HQ in Reading, United Kingdom so it is anticipated that visits to the HQ in Reading will be required.

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Conducting coupled simulations with IFS/FESOM-2 and IFS/NEMO
  • Further developing the atmosphere-ocean coupling in ECMWF’s IFS
  • Contributing to the development of an ocean model dynamical core
  • Considering initialisation options for the two ocean models
  • Optimising the interaction of atmosphere and ocean, both technically and scientifically, e.g. the coupling to the wave model
  • Diagnosing the feedbacks of the two ocean models on the atmosphere
  • Identifying and exploring coupled model errors
  • Managing project deliverables in the framework of the NextGEMS project and contributing to publications, communication activities and reporting
  • Participating in NextGEMS hackathons workshops and hackathons and representing ECMWF and NextGEMS results in relevant meetings

Other information
The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be up to EUR 75,178.92 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the Staff Regulations.
Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.
Length of contract: Three years, with possibility of a further contract. This is subject to the signing of the grant agreement, expected on 1 April 2021.


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