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Career Opportunity: Internal Research Fellow (PostDoc) on Exploiting Earth Observation for Climate Research

A new Research Fellowship (postdoc) position is open within the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

The successful candidate will contribute to the activities of the the European Space Agency's Climate Office, based in ECSAT, Harwell, United Kingdom, in cooperation with relevant scientific projects within ESA's Climate Change Initiative programme.

The main activities of the ESA Climate Office main activities include:

  • the implementation of ESA's Climate Change Initiative (, which delivers satellite-derived data sets of ECVs (as expressed by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)) tailored to the needs of the climate research and modelling communities worldwide.
  • to generate such ECVs we analyse carefully climate user needs for long-term satellite-based observations and assess their feedback on the fitness for purpose of available climate data records.
  • to create such ECVs it is necessary to perform scientific investigations, assess the data quality and develop the computational and modelling systems (e.g. data assimilation) to generate such data records for climate research. An important part is also the validation of the data sets produced against independent, space and ground-based, observations in collaboration with scientific users. 
  • finally, the ECVs produced by the ECO improve our understanding of key science questions posed by the changing climate and hence support the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and GCOS, with whom we work closely to enhance the evidence base for climate research.
  • based on our research activities we raise awareness of the value of satellite data for climate research among the science community and the general public.

Field(s) of activities/research

The selected candidate's research shall contribute to the activities of the ESA Climate Office, for example, through:

  • the use of satellite-based observations in addressing key climate science questions.  Any potential research project should include more than one (European and/or worldwide) satellite-derived variable (e.g. soil moisture and land surface temperature).
  • the development of improved climate data records from satellite data, and/or improved methods of uncertainty characterisation, including the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve or analyse satellite climate data records.
  • the investigations into the physical consistency between different satellite-derived climate data records (e.g. aerosol and cloud properties), and the impact of inconsistencies in the data on applications.
  • the quality assessment and validation of satellite-based data sets for climate science.
  • improving public understanding of climate science (e.g. by developing and promoting GCOS Climate Indicators) and raising awareness of ESA's climate activities.

Technical competencies

  • Knowledge relevant to the field of research
  • Research/publication record
  • Ability to conduct research autonomously
  • Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities
  • General interest in space and space research
  • Ability to gather and share relevant information

Full details and make an application 

Visit the ESA careers portal for full details and to apply for this position. The closing date for applications is 09 October 2019.