Atmosphere Model Code Developer

Job reference:
BAS 20/94
Contract type:
Fixed-Term Contract (30 Months)
Between £31,305 and £39,132 per annum
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Closing date:
24 January, 2021 11:59 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is looking for a model code developer to join BAS; the National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) and the MetOffice. The role will involve writing water isotope code for the atmospheric component of the UK Earth System Modelling Project (UKESM Model), working closely with supporting staff at the Met Office and University of Bristol.


You will alongside two supporting scientists at NCAS, and at Bristol, with weekly support from the MetOffice, to develop water isotope code for the current MetOffice atmospheric model (HadGEM3). You will be a part of Dr Sime’s group at BAS who have worked on modelling water isotopes for the past ~ten years. Her group has developed a better understanding changes in the ice sheets, sea ice, and climate in polar regions over the last 800 000 years on the basis of modelling ice core observations of stable water isotopes. Water isotopes (deuterium and oxygen-18) in ice are the key long-term record of past changes in the polar environmental and global climate. Water isotope enabled simulations, from climate models, enable us to understand how changes in ice sheets, sea ice, and climate imprint themselves in polar ice cores.

If you are successful, you will have 36 months to complete UKESM isotope coding work. You will closely work with the University of Bristol, and will have substantial support from the MetOffice. Specifically you will write new isotope fractionation code for the atmospheric component of the model. Simon Wilson at the NCAS will work with you, ensuring that water tracing part of the code is correctly implemented. However you will have responsibility for the fractionation code. Once the code is complete, you will be uniquely placed to deliver UKESM isotope work for the whole UK community, including participating in important international initiatives. You will be encouraged to develop your own independent research directions in the last year of the post.

You will be supported in their science, and career development, by the British Antarctic Survey. You will also join a vibrant and active community of climate and ice sheet modellers, and will be a key member of the modelling group.

The successful post holder will have experience of developing climate models, and preferably experience with Met Office models. They are likely to have a good degree in Meteorology or Oceanography, and will have demonstrated skill in writing model code. They will have the drive to succeed in this challenging new role.


PhD in atmospheric sciences/numerate field (or equivalent research experience).


  • Lead the development of water isotope code for the atmospheric component of the UK MetOffice UKESM model.
  • Liaise with Prof Paul Valdes group at the University of Bristol and the UKESM team at the MetOffice. Spend time working at the MetOffice.
  • Run and support the use of the UKESM for the BAS IDP-Paleoclimate group.
  • Provide IDP-Paleoclimate group support for the successor-to-ARCHER, MONSOON, and JASMIN facilities.
  • Complete and analyse UKESM simulations for the EU-TiPES projects.
  • Attend and contribute to project meetings.
  • Write papers and present results at meetings/conferences.
  • Undertake further duties, as appropriate to support their ice dynamics and paleoclimate team, such as organising seminars, and liaise closely with the AIC team. Attend NERC/BAS training and other events as appropriate.

Please quote reference: BAS 20/94
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 24 January 2020
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 10 February 2020

BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job. We are open to a range of flexible working options, including job sharing, to support childcare and other caring responsibilities.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Fluent in written and spoken English language. - Essential
  • Track record of publishing in quality peer-reviewed literature. - Desirable [2]

Computer / IT skills

  • Expertise in using and developing FORTRAN codes. - Essential
  • Experience in using Linux/Unix environments for running models and subsequent data analysis/visualisation - Essential
  • Has developed previous Met Office models. - Desirable [1]
  • Experienced Python user - Desirable [1]

Decision Making

  • Ability to show initiative and to tackle problems independently - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Able to work as part of a team, but must also be able to work independently - Essential
  • Ability to work collaboratively with researchers at other institutions, particularly internationally - Desirable [1]

Numerical ability

  • Excellent numerical modelling skills. - Essential


  • PhD in atmospheric sciences/numerate field (or equivalent research experience) - Essential
  • Strong background in meteorology - Desirable [2]

Resource Management ability

  • Able to manage self and resources to meet agreed objectives and deadlines - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Expertise in running climate models - Essential
  • Understanding of meteorology and atmospheric dynamics - Essential
  • Experience of running the UKESM or other MetOffice models. - Desirable [1]
  • Experience on working with the hydrological cycle within general circulation models. - Desirable [2]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.