Director of Research - Berkshire, UK

Berkshire, UK
basic salary starts at £108,890 net of tax
Sep 06, 2016
Oct 07, 2016
Result Type
Position Type
Full Time

Director of Research
Vacancy No.: 
Department: Research
Grade: A6
Job Ref. No.: STF-C/16-30
Reports to: Director-General
Publication Date: 30 August 2016
Closing Date: 7 October 2016

ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. ECMWF carries out scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of its forecasts, collects and processes large amounts of observations, and manages a long-term archive of meteorological data. Satellite and in situ observations provide the information for up-to-date global analyses and climate reanalyses of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface.

For details, see

Summary of the role

The Director of Research sets, directs and delivers the strategic objectives of the Research Department to maintain the credibility, integrity and reputation of ECMWF.

The role is at executive management level and involves interacting with and managing stakeholders externally and across the Centre. Internal stakeholders include the Director-General, other Department Directors and Section Heads across the Centre. 

External stakeholders include, but are not limited to, ECMWF’s Council and Member States’ National Meteorological Services, ECMWF’s Scientific Advisory Committee, ECMWF’s Technical Advisory Committee and its subgroups, users of ECMWF forecast products and services, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other international partner organisations such as EUMETSAT, ESA and the European Commission, the high-level research community and others.

The role requires a high level of cooperation and interaction with all stakeholders to ensure the Centre has the resources (financial and otherwise) necessary to carry out its mission and complies with its own regulations and policies, with any applicable external regulations, and with contractual obligations.

This role calls for considerable experience in an established research position in the areas of atmospheric sciences relevant to the work of the Centre. This includes wide experience in numerical weather prediction (NWP), data studies, and analysis and modelling of the Earth system. The academic skills required for the Director of Research will ideally be complemented with experience in transition from research to operational NWP.

Main duties and key responsibilities

The Director of Research is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the Research Department. This includes managing each Section’s financial and human resources and ensuring each Section operates smoothly with high standards of quality, and timely research outcomes.

It line-manages the Heads of Sections and other team members, and provides guidance and support to all staff in the Department. The incumbent will be expected to engage in research issues covering the whole range of Earth system sciences.

The key responsibilities include:

  • Directing and coordinating the overall activities of the Research Department
  • Bearing responsibility for the planning, formulation and monitoring of the research activities at ECMWF
  • Initiating and supervising research and development, aimed at improving the performance of the operational forecasting system in accordance with the goals of ECMWF
  • Advising and assisting ECMWF’s Director-General in research matters

Personal attributes

The Director of Research is a key position at ECMWF, and the incumbent is expected to:

  • Respect diversity and value others, by promoting equality of opportunity and treating others with fairness, dignity and respect
  • Adapt and embrace change, by recognising and responding positively to the need for change, and seeking out opportunities to fulfil the need for change
  • Lead and decide, while empowering, motivating and guiding others toward common goals
  • Seek and promote excellence and achievement of results
  • Influence and inspire others, by communicating ECMWF’s vision to gain the support of others
  • Demonstrate excellent communication skills, both verbal and written

Qualifications and experience required


  • PhD in atmospheric science, meteorology or other related field.


  • Extensive experience in the areas of atmospheric sciences relevant to the work of ECMWF. This includes vast experience in areas such as numerical weather prediction, data studies and analysis and modelling of the Earth system.
  • Substantial and proven track record at executive management level with responsibility for leading and delivering strategic research development in a politically sensitive and complex environment.
  • Sizable experience in leading a large and diverse team.
  • Experience working in a diverse, international environment.

Knowledge and skills (including language): 

  • Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and interviews will be conducted in English.
  • A good knowledge of one of the Centre’s other working languages (French or German) would be an advantage.

Other information

Grade remuneration

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A6 grade, according to the scales of the Co‑ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary starts at £108,890 net of tax. This position is assigned to the employment category STF-C as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: June 2017

Length of contract: Five years

Location: The position is based in the Reading area, in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

How to apply

Applicants should email their CV by clicking on the 'Apply' button with a cover letter and an organisation chart showing their current position within the Management Team of their current employer.

ECMWF has an Equal Opportunities Policy and applications from all suitably qualified candidates are welcome.

Staff are usually recruited from among nationals of the Member States and Co-operating States.

Interviews for this position are expected to take place on 10 and 11 November 2016. A recommendation for the candidate to be appointed will be submitted to ECMWF’s Council for final approval on 1 December 2016.

* The ECMWF Member States are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The ECMWF Co-operating States are Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania and Slovakia.