Wednesday, Feb 19, 2020

Vacancy Announcement.

Lead Research Scientist in weather and climate modelling, S2S prediction, diagnostics, training, and testbed


The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) is a specialized institution of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). ICPAC has a responsibility for the provision of timely early warning information and supporting specific sector applications to enable the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region cope with various risks associated with extreme climate variability and change for poverty alleviation, environment management and sustainable development of member countries. ICPAC is one of the African partners of the GCRF African Science and Weather Information and Forecasting Techniques (African SWIFT) project. The African SWIFT aims to develop sustainable research capability in tropical weather forecasting to enhance the livelihood of African populations and improve their economies. The main focus areas of this partnership are in four work packages (WPs): Forecast verification at short-to-medium range (3-10 days) and S2S timescales (WPR2), Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal (S2S) Prediction (WPR6), training (WPC1) and testbed (WPC2). The project will identify sources of predictability for African rainfall on sub-seasonal timescales, assess the skill of operational S2S prediction systems, build research capability in the region to inform the development of operational forecast products on the sub-seasonal timescale for decision making across a range of sectors, and support training school and material on best practices for forecast evaluation. 

For the execution of the project in these work packages, ICPAC is seeking one candidate for Lead Research Scientist position to support its climate diagnostic, modelling and prediction team. The candidate is expected to have a verifiable computational skill, experience working with the WRF model, and a solid experience in S2S prediction, training, and testbed. The overall responsibility of the Lead Research Scientist is to (i) liaise with African SWIFT Lead and coordinate all African SWIFT activities at ICPAC; (ii)  contribute to the deliverables for WPC1, WPC2, WPR2, WPR6, with a focus on sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasts; and (iii) provide updates on the progress of the project to the African SWIFT Lead. 



TOR 1: Lead and/or participate in video conferencing organized for all SWIFT partners and offer technical support on forecasting for S2S Testbed participants every two weeks. 

TOR 2: Produce and evaluate tailored forecasts for the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG) from the S2S database weekly. 

TOR 3: In consultation with other SWIFT partners, the scientist will be involved in organizing, conducting and documenting activities for an S2S Testbed wrap-up workshop.

TOR 4: Prepare a final report for each Testbed/Training Full Time Employment Year (2020, 2021) on the S2S testbed and training progress and experiences, including new and existing S2S forecasting techniques, methods and procedures, lesson learnt, forecast verification skill, areas of improvements, and other relevant issues. 


TOR 6: Scientist shall work on the March-May 2018/2019 case studies utilizing the S2S data archive, reanalysis data and observational datasets. 

TOR 7: Scientist will document best practice in S2S verification. Different verification skills will be used throughout the Testbed period. 


TOR 8: Analysis of observations and reanalysis to identify major drivers of sub-seasonal variability (e.g., MJO, ENSO, QBO, Saharan Heat low, tropical waves, African Monsoon System, land surface) over East Africa/Greater Horn of Africa. 

TOR 9: Analysis of operational models (e g. ECMWF, NCEP, UKMO) representation of sub-seasonal drivers of variability over the region. 

TOR 10: Assess forecast skill of operational systems such as ECMWF, NCEP, UKMO and the in-house WRF model. 

TOR 11: Document the intra-seasonal rainfall variability such as onset, cessation, and frequency of dry/wet spells over the Greater Horn of Africa. 

Required Qualification and Experience

  • Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences, environmental science and engineering;
  • Experience working at a regional climate institution(s) on weather and climate prediction;
  • Experience in African SWIFT project activities working on S2S prediction, forecast evaluation, training, and S2S testbeds preferred;
  • Experience and excellent computing skills in model output analysis; and
  • A record of publications.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Knowledge/background on climate and climate drivers of the Eastern Africa;
  • Knowledge of S2S Prediction and Forecast Evaluation;
  • Programming experience in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model;
  • Working knowledge in FORTRAN and scripting language (e.g., csh, Bash, etc);
  • Solid statistical programming and data visualization experience with NCL, R, MATLAB, NCO;
  • Knowledge of HPC system and experience working under UNIX/Linux operating system;
  • Strong organizational skill and ability to work in a team environment. 

Duration of Assignment

The position will be for 21 months subject to performance and availability of funds. 

Reporting Line

The Lead Research Scientist in weather and climate modelling, S2S prediction, diagnostics, training, and testbed will report to senior climate modelling expert 


The successful candidate will earn a monthly lumpsum salary at IGAD P3-level without any other benefits. 

How to Apply

To apply, please submit by email only with the subject ‘‘Application for Lead Scientist ICPAC SWIFT’’ a letter of interest and a statement of research, curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses (mailing and email addresses) of three references by 10th  March 2020 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The applications should be addressed to:

The Director, Administration & Finance, IGAD,

P.O. Box 2653, Djibouti,

Republic of Djibouti


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