Call for Research Fellow in Satellite Observations of African Tropical Convection


Do you have a background in meteorology, applied mathematics, physics or a related field? Are you interested in using satellite data to better understand convective clouds? Do you want to contribute to a high impact project improving forecasting capability in Africa? Do you want to further your career in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and one of the UK’s leading research-intensive Universities?

The University of Leeds is seeking a research scientist with interests in satellite remote sensing of tropical convection to contribute to the African Science for Weather Information and Forecasting Techniques (SWIFT) project, which combines fundamental scientific research into African weather with practical programmes to improve forecasting capability at partner institutions in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. This post will similarly include both basic research into using satellite remote sensing data to improve the physical understanding of the dynamics of convective clouds over tropical Africa, as well as training African scientists on using satellite products for nowcasting and research. Depending on the interests of the successful candidate, the post could include joining existing collaborations on applying machine learning techniques to satellite-based nowcasting, and could also make use of the Himawari data in anticipation of Meteosat Third Generation.

This post is based at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Leeds and will be supervised by Dr Jennifer Fletcher and Professor Alan Blyth. The National Centre for Atmospheric Science is the research centre of the Natural Environment Research Council charged with providing research expertise and infrastructure in atmospheric science. The African SWIFT project is part of a growing and long term emphasis in NCAS on application-focused research in the area of Official Development Assistance (ODA). In particular, the University has a growing number of projects and overseas partners in the fields of weather and air quality hazards. Whilst this particular post within the African SWIFT project is available initially for a fixed period of 15 months, the University of Leeds are keen to recruit a candidate who will have the skills and capability to develop further in the role and to take an active part in our developing strategy to address research applications of ODA relevance.

Successful applicants should hold a PhD in physical science or be very close to attaining it and will have a strong track record of research commensurate with their experience. You will have excellent qualitative and quantitative research skills, communication skills, and an ability to manage your own time.

You will be willing to learn the technical details of implementing an existing nowcasting platform, and restrictions around COVID-19 permitting, you will take two to four trips to Africa, ranging from about four days to two weeks, to train scientists in partner institutions on those details, but alternatives such as virtual meetings might be required.

To explore the post further or for any queries, you may have, please contact:

Dr Jennifer Fletcher, Senior Research Scientist


Location: Leeds – Main Campus
Faculty/Service: Faculty of Environment
School/Institute: School of Earth and Environment
Category: Research
Grade: Grade 7
Salary: £33,797 to £40,322 p.a. Please note due to funding restrictions an offer will not be made above £36,914 p.a.
Working Time: 100% – Leeds will consider job share / flexible working arrangements
Post Type: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed Term (until 31 December 2021)
Closing Date: Tuesday 08 September 2020
Reference: ENVEE1417
Downloads: Candidate Brief

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