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Computational Scientist for Destination Earth

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) - Research

Salary and Grade: Grade A2 GBP 71,451 (Reading/UK) or EUR 86,824 (Bonn/Germany) NET annual basic salary + other benefits

Location: Reading, UK or Bonn, Germany

Contract type: STF-PS

Publication date: 05/02/2024

Contract Duration: To 31 May 2026, with the possibility of further extension subject to funding 

Your role  

We are searching for a Computational Scientist to join the Integrated Forecast Systems (IFS) Performance and Portability team. This role offers an excellent opportunity in the area of model development and high-performance computing (HPC) and will be responsible for enabling the efficient execution of ECMWF’s IFS model across the many different supercomputing architectures that will support DestinE deliverables (e.g. EuroHPC).

At ECMWF, you will find a passionate community, collectively aiming to build the best global Earth system models for numerical weather prediction and climate simulations. Through the development of several highly accurate thematic digital replicas of the Earth (Digital Twins) for the Destination Earth initiative, ECMWF is aiming to advance its own modelling and predictive capabilities and expand its software infrastructure to a range of current and next-generation HPC systems to make the best of use of world-leading supercomputing technology for operational weather prediction and climate simulations.  

The successful applicant will join a highly collaborative team and work closely with other teams across ECMWF to adapt and optimise IFS model components for execution on several high-end supercomputing systems. You will contribute to the continued adaptation of ECWMF’s IFS model to GPUs and accelerator-based HPC architectures with a focus on developing sustainable multi-architecture support for individual model components via modern software engineering methods. This effort supports ECMWF’s strategy of producing world-leading science and technology for weather predictions and monitoring of the Earth system.

About the IFS Performance and Portability Team

The IFS Performance and Portability team is responsible for the optimisation of the computational performance of IFS on a range of supercomputing systems. We are developing and maintaining a software middle layer that enables automatic adaptation of the model to multiple types of HPC system through a mixture of source code refactoring, accelerator-aware data structures, and source-to-source translation tools. This forms part of ECMWF’s strategy towards a flexible and specialised software stack that allows the efficient execution of Digital Twins on multiple systems within the EuroHPC portfolio.

About ECMWF 

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is a world-leader in weather and environmental forecasting. As an international organisation we serve our members and the wider community with global weather predictions and data that is critical for understanding and solving the climate crisis. We function as a 24/7 research and operational centre with a focus on medium and long-range predictions, holding one of the largest meteorological data archives in the world. The success of our activities builds on the talent of our scientists and experts, strong partnerships with 35 Member and Co-operating States and the international community, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the use of innovative technologies and machine learning across our operations. ECMWF is a multi-site organisation, with a main office in Reading, UK, a data centre/supercomputer in Bologna, Italy, and a large presence in Bonn, Germany. 

ECMWF has also developed a strong partnership with the European Union and has been entrusted with the implementation and operation of the Destination Earth Initiative and the Climate Change and Atmosphere Monitoring Services of the Copernicus Programme. Other areas of work include High Performance Computing and the development of digital tools that enable ECMWF to extend provision of data and products covering weather, climate, air quality, fire and flood prediction and monitoring.

See for more info about what we do. 

The Destination Earth (DestinE) Initiative 

ECMWF is one of the three entities entrusted to implement the Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative of the European Commission, alongside ESA and EUMETSAT as partners. DestinE aims to deploy several highly accurate thematic digital replicas of the Earth, called Digital Twins. The Digital Twins will help monitor and predict environmental change and human impact, in order to develop and test scenarios that would support sustainable development and corresponding European policies for the Green Deal.  ECMWF is responsible for the delivery of these digital twins and of the Digital Twin engine, the software infrastructure needed to power them of some of Europe’s largest supercomputers, those of the European HPC Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC). 

The second phase of DestinE covers the period June 2024 – May 2026, and future phases are foreseen (subject to funding). Phase 2 will focus on early operations with consolidation, maintenance, and continuous evolution of the DestinE system components developed in the first phase. There will also be an enhanced focus on ML activities, including the deployment of workflows of components of a ML model for the Earth system, optimisation of the Digital Twin Engine to enable efficient model training and simulations, and other activities. 

For more information on DestinE, see and

Your responsibilities 
  • Contributing to the adaptation of ECMWF's IFS model to GPUs via source-to-source translation tools and GPU-enabled data structures
  • Contributing to the refactoring of IFS model code and data structures in support of GPU-readiness
  • Development and evaluation of automated GPU-porting recipes for individual model component of IFS
  • Contributing to the development of a technical software infrastructure and strategy for model development at ECMWF and with DestinE partners
  • Contributing to regular progress reports to the European Commission and supporting procured activities within DestinE by ECMWF 
What we're looking for
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with a proactive continuous improvement approach
  • Initiative and ability to work collaboratively with other ECMWF staff and DestinE partners, but also able to work independently
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Dedication, passion and enthusiasm to succeed both individually and across teams
  • Highly organised with the capacity to work on a diverse range of tasks to tight deadlines
  • Candidates must be able to work and communicate effectively in English
  • A university degree (EQF Level 6 or above) in a physical, computational or mathematical science, or a related subject, or equivalent experience
  • Recent experience in high-performance scientific computing; working with GPU and other accelerator technologies, as well as experience with programming models such as OpenACC, OpenMP-5, CUDA, HIP, SYCL etc.
  • Relevant experience in using or developing source-to-source translation tools, compiler frameworks (e.g. LLVM) or domain-specific languages is desirable
  • Experience with developing and maintaining large scientific codes would be an advantage
  • Experience with deployment and running of scientific codes at large HPC centres would be an advantage
Knowledge and skills

The following skills and experience would be an advantage. However, you are encouraged to apply even if you don’t feel you meet all these criteria. 

  • Programming and scripting (e.g. Python, Fortran, C, C++, shell scripts, etc.) 
  • A track record in identifying, investigating and resolving technical problems
  • Familiarity with methodologies of modern software development is essential
Other information 

Grade remuneration:  The successful candidates will be recruited at Grade A2, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be GBP 71,451 (Reading/UK) or EUR 86,824 (Bonn/Germany) NET annual basic salary (ECMWF salaries are exempt of national income tax). In addition to basic salary, ECMWF also offers an attractive package of benefits and entitlements. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PS  as defined in the ECMWF Staff Regulations. To find out more about working with us and for full details of salary scales and allowances, please visit

Starting date:  01 June 2024

Length of contract: The contract duration is expected to be approximately two years up to 31 May 2026. The DestinE initiative as per the Contribution Agreement is divided into phases, the second of which will last approximately two years from June 2024 to June 2026. There may be the possibility of further contract extensions in the future, depending on requirements and funding availability.

Location: This position can be located at either ECMWF's HQ in Reading, UK or its duty station in Bonn, Germany

Remote work: As a multi-site organisation, ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows flexibility to staff to mix office working and teleworking. We allow for remote work 10 days/month away from the office, including up to 80 days/year away from the duty station country (within the area of our member states and co-operating states).

Interviews by videoconference (MS Teams) are expected to take place during March 2024. If you require any special accommodations in order to participate fully in our recruitment process, please contact us. 

To contact the ECMWF Recruitment Team, please email

Who can apply 

Applicants are invited to complete the online application form by clicking on the apply button above. 

At ECMWF, we consider an inclusive environment as key for our success. We are dedicated to ensuring a workplace that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all, without distinction as to race, gender, age, marital status, social status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, personality, ethnicity and culture. We value the benefits derived from a diverse workforce and are committed to having staff that reflect the diversity of the countries that are part of our community, in an environment that nurtures equality and inclusion. 

Applications are invited from nationals from ECMWF Member States and Co-operating States, as well as from all EU Member States. 

ECMWF Member and Co-operating States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye and the United Kingdom. 

In these exceptional times, we also welcome applications from Ukrainian nationals for this vacancy.  

Applications from nationals from other countries may be considered in exceptional cases. 

Location: Reading
Salary: £71,451 Grade A2 GBP (Reading/UK) or EUR 86,824 (Bonn/Germany) NET annual basic salary + other benefits
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 9th February 2024
Closes: 3rd March 2024
Job Ref: VN24-10
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