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Applied Scientist

Posted: 10 Jan 2020 Closes: 9 Feb 2020
Exeter, GB Salary DOE
Permanent & Full-time met-office/20200110112634

Salary Information:

Senior Scientist: £36,684 - £40,352 pa*
Scientist: £30,325 to £33,260 pa*
Foundation Scientist: 23,673 - 26,119 pa*

*Salary quoted is based on full-time salary (37 hours) and 27.5 days annual leave and 8 bank holidays.


Customers and stakeholders are increasingly requesting information over a range of timescales in order to understand the impact of weather and climate on their interests.  The Met Office is the UK's national weather service and a centre of excellence in weather and climate science and provides scientific advice and guidance to a wide range of customers and sectors.

We have 6 exciting opportunities for talented Scientists in our Applied Science & Climate Science areas of the Met Office.

  • Three are permanent posts in our Defence Applications team.
  • One is a permanent post in Urban Climate Service Development.
  • Two are initially fixed term (and may become permanent subject to funding) under the Horizon 2020 EUCP (European Climate Prediction System) project.

Applied Science focuses on helping stakeholders and customers through the application of our world renowned scientific knowledge and techniques, and the implementation of weather and climate-related products, services and consultancy. The Applied Science team work closely with the relevant experts in their field to develop and apply the most up-to-date science and technology to inform customer decision making.

The Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Research is one of the UK's foremost climate change research centres. We work with partners around the globe to carry out world class research. This science is used for services which are developed together with end-users to find the most effective approach to managing climate risk. 

There is a close working relationship between the Hadley Centre and Applied Science on climate service outputs.

Additional Supplementary Information:

Full-time, part-time and job share applications are invited. 

The Met Office is an equal employer and flexible and UK homeworking requests will be considered. It is expected that you will need to be based in Exeter 100% of the induction period and thereafter around 75% of the month. 

These posts will nominally be based in Exeter but we will consider applicants wishing to work elsewhere within the UK as outlined above.

This post may require applicants to travel to conferences, training events and customer meetings within UK and possibly internationally. 

To apply, please click on the ‘apply’ button below.  

Key Dates: Closing date 09/02/2020 with interviews expected Week commencing 02/03/2020. Please note that you will be notified if you are successful or unsuccessful.  

Should you be offered an interview, please be aware there may be a selection exercise which could include a presentation, written test or a scenario-based activity. If you require any reasonable adjustments during these exercises, please include this information in your application.  

Please note, when joining the Met Office all new employees will start on the salary band minimum.  

This recruitment post is not offering UK Visa and Sponsorship and therefore requires all applicants to be eligible to work within the EU/UK 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.  

For defence posts:

Due to the nature of the work, the successful applicant must be a citizen of: UK, EU, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or United States of America. Management will be supportive to those that wish to increase their security clearance through the Developed Vetting process.

We are a “Disability Confident” employer, Mindful Employer, with an Athena Swan Bronze award for our work on gender equality and an LGBTi network.

Job Purpose:

Defence posts

The purpose of the Defence Team is to translate the Met Office’s atmosphere and ocean modelling capabilities into information that directly supports decision making across the Armed Forces and UK Government. The range of work carried out by the team is diverse and the knowledge we apply is not limited to meteorology. We use a broad physics knowledge base to create new ways to model and predict the effects of the atmosphere and ocean on various platforms and sensors, and to inform military decision making.

We work closely with many different areas of the Met Office, including scientists, meteorologists in addition to experts in business and IT. We also have frequent contact with users to understand better the issues they face. Additionally, we work closely with NATO partners and Five-Eye nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) to ensure our work leverages expertise from across the international defence community.


Urban Post

The purpose of the Urban Climate Service team is to translate the Met Office scientific capabilities into information that directly supports and informs decision making within the urban environment. As climate model output becomes available at ever higher resolutions questions are being asked regarding the implications for the built environment.

The team uses a range of data sources to consider aspects, such as the Urban Heat Island, that have wider implications for aspects such as health and the design of urban areas. Collaboration is essential in the work we undertake so we work closely with colleagues across the Met Office and with users in order to co-design and co-create outputs that are of benefit to users.

There is also the opportunity to work on a range of different urban projects that are focused on different countries. It is likely that there will be the opportunity to collaborate with scientists from other countries and to present your work overseas. 


EUCP posts

The Horizon 2020 EUCP project seeks to advance the current state of the art in climate prediction and projection for Europe over the next 1-40 years and beyond. 

The first post will draw on new science outputs from across the project to consider different ‘lines of evidence’ about climate changes and their robustness.  The initial focus will be on understanding the level of conflicting information in the different climate projections for European regions, and the possible implications of conflicting information for user decision making. It will then explore different approaches for dealing with conflicting climate information and how best to communicate it for different regions, including EU 'remote territories', where the climatic regimes are significantly different and the data landscape is sparser.

An increasingly popular way of presenting uncertain information contained in climate predictions and projections is to use narratives or storylines. The second post will work with users to better understand the types and composition of storylines that would be useful and decision-relevant. The jobholder will then collaborate with researchers across the project to produce an EUCP projection storyline set. Additionally, the post will explore the possibility of using storyline approaches to combine near-term initialised predictions and boundary forced projections into a single product for users. A particular question for this post will be will be how to use probabilistic information alongside or within the storylines.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop and apply suitable techniques for analysing and quantifying the impacts and associated risks of weather and/or climate upon the customer’s business.
  • Work with the wider Met Office team to understand current and future Met Office capabilities; identifying, developing and applying capability to address identified customer requirements.
  • Champion (Senior Scientist) / contribute towards (Foundation Scientist) the production of project reports for customers and the publication of scientific papers based on the project outputs (as applicable).
  • Represent the Met Office at customer meetings, scientific conferences, seminars etc where the application of Met Office science (both weather and climate) need to be presented, discussed and explored.
  • Support members of the team to enhance scientific and technical capability and understanding of customer requirements. (Senior Scientist)

Essential Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  1. A good background in physical science, maths or similar discipline to at least degree level (2:1 or above). Scientist / Senior Scientist: Together with a strong record of research or development of meteorological or climate applications.
  2. Demonstrated drive to deliver high quality output in a timely fashion through effective planning and creation of solutions to obstacles. Senior Scientist: Together with evidence of planning and leading major research project / development of customer outputs.
  3. Ability to learn new scientific or technical skills readily and apply them in response to specific requirements. Scientist / Senior Scientist: Experience of analysing and interpreting complex datasets, OR the application of mathematical/physics-based models to solve real-world problems.
  4. Foundation Scientist: Experience in scientific analysis packages and/or programming languages. Scientist / Senior Scientist: Strong mathematical and analytical skills and experience of programming in one or more high level computing languages (eg IDL, Python, R).
  5. Demonstrated ability to communicate scientific or technical information to specialists and non-specialists. Scientist / Senior Scientist: Together with ability to build sound working relationships with colleagues and customers.
  6. Demonstrated ability to listen actively, discuss and understand the needs of customers and propose solutions to address those needs. Senior Scientist: Evidence of presenting innovative solutions to significant research problems or customer requirements

Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

Some of the following:

  1. Expertise in either undertaking statistical analysis (e.g. of extreme events) OR analysis of geophysical hazards (e.g. wind, floods, heatwaves, wildfires, landslides) OR closely related activities.
  2. Demonstrated understanding of current and emerging weather science and/or climate science and/or and implications for decision making.

Met Office

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