Research scientist position on ocean predictability and prediction - Recognized Researcher R2

Job Reference:



Research scientist position on ocean predictability and prediction - Recognized Researcher R2

Closing Date:

Sunday, 09 April, 2017

Job Description:

About BSC

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) is the leading supercomputing center in Spain. It houses MareNostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, and is a hosting member of the PRACE European distributed supercomputing infrastructure. The mission of BSC is to research, develop and manage information technologies in order to facilitate scientific progress. BSC combines HPC service provision and R&D into both computer and computational science (life, earth and engineering sciences) under one roof, and currently has over 460 staff from 44 countries.

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Context and Mission

Within the Earth Sciences Department of Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-ES), led by Prof Francisco Doblas-Reyes, the climate prediction group, led by Virginie Guemas, aims at developing climate prediction capability for time scales ranging from a few weeks to a few decades into the future and from regional to global scales. This objective relies on expanding our understanding of the climate processes responsible for the predictable part of the climate variability through a deep analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of state-of-the-art climate forecast systems in comparison with the most up-to-date observational datasets, and on exploiting these detailed analyses to refine the representation of these climate processes in our climate forecast systems and their correct initialization. We use the EC-Earth European global climate model ( for our developments and collaborate closely with all the members from the EC-Earth consortium.

Positioned at the cutting-edge of climate prediction research, we also have access to large multi-model databases from international projects (e.g. CMIP, SPECS, NMME) for process analysis. Achieving our objectives rely on the combination of a large variety of expertise on climate processes within our group from the stratosphere down to the deep ocean and from tropical to polar latitudes, together with expertise on climate modeling and data assimilation. Particular attention is paid to the career path of the group members, who are given gradually increasing responsibilities within the group and in the context of both national and international projects. Outstanding opportunities exist for establishing links with other international climate research institutions and, if interested, to participate in the tutoring and monitoring of early-career scientists. This position requires participation in several projects funded by the European commission or the Spanish Ministry such as:


1. PREFACE (November 2013 - October 2017) focuses on improving the representation of the Tropical Atlantic climate and our prediction capability on seasonal to centennial timescales, through a deep analysis of model systematic error and the exploitation of coordinated multi-model experiments.

2. HIATUS (January 2016 - December 2018) aims at understanding the processes explaining the slowdown of the surface global warming in the early XXIst century, through the deep analysis of successful climate predictions, sensitivity experiments and novel observations.

3. PRIMAVERA (November 2015 - October 2019) aims at improving the representation of climate processes in climate models through the use of ground-breaking resolutions, novel approaches to represent physical processes and their uncertainties and original sensitivity experiments to diagnose strengths and weaknesses of state-of-the-art climate models.

This position presents the opportunity to work alongside a wide range of leading, international climate specialists delivering innovative climate science research. This position implies becoming part of dynamic, multi-national research group that performs cutting-edge, highly-demanding climate prediction experiments. The candidate should be able to work as an active and collaborative team member to help in the delivery of shared objectives and to efficiently communicate results.


Key Duties

  • Improving ocean initial conditions and comparing different sources of initial conditions for seasonal-to-decadal ensemble climate predictions with the dynamical global climate model used by the climate prediction group, EC-Earth;
  • Process-based analyses of the main sources of ocean predictability well as new ways to infer information on model deficiencies across time scales, by performing sensitivity experiments and/or analysing large multi-model database;
  • Evaluation of the impact of new model developments on the EC-Earth climate model performance, and prediction drift and skill;
  • Contributing to running climate experiments for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Phase 6 (CMIP6) with EC-Earth, e.g. DCPP (decadal climate prediction project) or HighResMIP;
  • Contributing to project coordination
  • Disseminating results through peer-review publications and presentations at conferences
  • Collaborative work with other partners within the EC-Earth consortium



  • Education
    • PhD in physical oceanography, climate physics, applied mathematics or in a related discipline


  • Essential Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Proven ability to prepare and submit manuscripts to peer-review journals
    • A demonstrated ability to develop experimental setups that address specific climate modeling problems.
    • Experience in ocean/atmosphere modeling or environmental modeling
    • Programming skill: scripting (e.g. bash, python), data analysis and visualization software (e.g. CDO, NCO R. Python, NCL)
    • Experience in handling large databases, and a minimum knowledge of NetCDF encoding


  • Additional Knowledge
    • Interest and capacity in participating in the writing in and, when possible, leading the preparation of research and computing proposals
    • Knowledge of version control systems (git, svn, cvs…)
    • Experience in HPC and parallel computing (multi-threaded applications)


  • Competences
    • Fluency in spoken and written English, while fluency in other European languages will be also valued
    • Highly collaborative spirit - ability to work as part of a large, strongly-coordinated team and to continuously share both knowledge and tools
    • Ability to efficiently communicate results



  • The contract will be for two years initially, with the possibility of renewal depending on performance
  • A competitive salary will be offered, matched to the cost of living in Barcelona, and commensurate with the value and experience of the candidate
  • The applicant will work at the BSC (Barcelona, Spain) within the Earth Sciences Department
  • The position will start as soon as possible


Applications Procedure

All applications must include:

  • A motivation letter
  • A full CV including contact details


Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment

BSC-CNS is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion. We are pleased to consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or any other basis protected by applicable state or local law.


Application Form

Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_CV
Files must be less than 3 MB.
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Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_CoverLetter
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Please, upload your CV document using the following name structure: Name_Surname_OtherDocument
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** Consider that the information provided in relation to gender and nationality will be used solely for statistical purposes.