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Foundation Scientist / Scientist in Assimilation of Surface-Based Observations Group

Company Met Office Location Various
Contract Permanent Position Salary 22,361.00 - 28,644.00
Sector(s) Scientific

Job Description

Salary Information

Foundation Scientist - £22,361 
Scientist - £28,644


The Met Office is a world leader in pulling-through and applying weather and climate science to deliver services that support stakeholders in their decision making. Our research underpins all our products and services. From weather and ocean forecasting to climate prediction, our research and development team are at the forefront of scientific research.
Successful candidates (for the 2 posts) will work within the Assimilation of Surface-based Observations Group (ASOG), a new team in Satellite Applications (SA) Section of Weather Science. ASOG will undertake Research & Development (R&D) to improve the impact of surface-based observations for both our global and regional operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems and hence to improve the accuracy of our weather forecasts.
Work will cover research to improve and develop the assimilation of a wide range of surface-based observations into both the global and UK limited area NWP systems. The observations include surface observations over both land and oceans, upper air observations such as radiosondes and aircraft and surface-based remotely sensed observations such as weather radar. Liaison with partners in meteorological services, the academic community etc. will be an important part of the work. This team contributes to the definition of NWP requirements for future observing networks (particular in the UK). 
We are seeking to recruit two scientists to work as members of ASOG. The successful applicants are expected to conduct a range of work, from forefront research through to development and operational support. They should aspire to become a national/international expert on the assimilation of surface-based observations into NWP systems.
The award-winning Met Office Headquarters in Exeter is home to amazing facilities and world-class employees. Innovative and cutting-edge, this is the place to work in the South West. All employees will receive the following benefits upon joining:
• Annual Leave starting at 27.5 days (+ Bank holidays) rising to 32.5 days. 
• Flexible working hours to promote work/life balance. 
• A choice of pension schemes, so you can plan for your future. 
• Extensive career development.
• ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme to enable affordable, healthy travel.
• Free car park for those living a bit further away. 
• Onsite modern, fully functional gym + classes.

Job Purpose

The post holder will contribute to the end-to-end process of the assimilation of surface-based observations: from close interactions with the data providers and assessment of new datasets, through development and testing of the assimilation and operational monitoring, to assessment of the impact of surface-based observations in global and km-scale NWP.

Job Responsibilities

• Contribute to the Science programme by carrying out R&D to improve our assimilation of surface-based observations into NWP systems, and thus to improve Met Office forecasts, products or services. 
• Contribute to the wider activities of ASOG; e.g. monitoring of observations, contributing to SA pre-operational upgrade packages and supporting the operational assimilation of observations.
• Contribute to developing plans of work. 
• Contribute significantly to the communication and documentation of work internally and externally in order to maintain our scientific reputation, engage others working in the field and extend our reach into new areas of interest.
• Represent the Met Office at appropriate national and international scientific or technical fora.
• Contribute to the development and support of our scientific software systems, following Met Office software development and quality assurance standards.
• Provide scientific and technical support to other team members in order to maintain the effectiveness of the team. 

Essential Qualifications, Skills & Abilities


  1. University degree with a strong physics, meteorology or mathematical. For a Scientist, this should be to PhD level or equivalent and relevant research experience
  2. Significant experience of R&D with one or more types of meteorological observations
  3. Demonstrated ability, or potential to progress rapidly, to work independently on challenging scientific/technical problems
  4. Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and confidently, both orally and in writing
Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities


  1. Familiarity with data assimilation theory and its applications
  2. Familiarity with FORTRAN and Python programming languages
  3. Proven ability to work with, and develop, complex computer codes
  4. Familiarity with Met Office NWP systems and related tools


Additional Supplementary Information

This role will nominally be based in Exeter HQ but we will consider applicants wishing to work elsewhere within the UK. All posts require applicants to travel to conferences or training events out/within Exeter. A subset of the posts involves overseas travel, with the teams involved in activities worldwide, including in developing countries. An ability and willingness to travel abroad for work is therefore required for the posts in these areas.

We are open to applicants working different working patterns (e.g. part-time). We are willing to explore with any potential candidates whether we can meet the business needs for the role based on their preference for location and/or working pattern.

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

Key Dates: Closing date 


 with interviews expected 


. 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.  

How to Apply

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