PostDoc on Exploiting Earth Observation for Climate Research


Postdoctorate Position 2 years ECSAT, Harwell, UK

Uploaded 28 Jun 2018

Job Description

The overall goal of the ESA Climate Office is to expand awareness, use and scientific impact of Earth Observation (EO) data records, especially from ESA satellites, by working with the international climate research and modelling communities.

This is achieved through the following lines of activities:

  • Implementation of the Climate Change Initiative programme (CCI)(, that aims to develop a lasting and structured dialogue with climate research and modelling communities worldwide, analysing their needs for long-term satellite-based observations of the climate system, as expressed via the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and assessing their feedback on available EO data records;
  • Translating these needs into technical performance specifications for Fundamental Climate Data Records (FCDR) and Essential Climate Variables (ECV) based on the complete ESA EO satellite archives, taking due care to account for the nature of different satellites;
  • Initiating and managing a suite of scientific analyses, data exploitation and system development activities to enhance ESA’s capability to generate these records for climate research, modelling, attribution, projection, prediction, trend assessment, and data assimilation, as well as validation of the data sets with the corresponding scientific users.
  • Exploiting the records generated through CCI to improve understanding of key science questions e.g. those identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1 Assessment Report (AR5, 2013) and those identified through the GCOS Implementation Plan (GCOS-200).

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the ESA careers website.

Field(s) of activities/research

In the framework of the above the selected candidate could choose to be involved in various activities depending on their previous research experience. For this opportunity, the suggested topics for potential research fellows are:

  • Developing activities common to a subset of climate projects, climate domains (Atmospheric, Land and Ocean) and their interfaces.
  • Working with products from the various projects within the CCI portfolio (see focusing in particular on addressing key climate science questions (e.g. those posed by IPCC). This should concentrate on a combination of ECVs delivered by established and new CCI projects.
  • Working to support cross cutting activities such as data harmonisation, product consistency assessment, uncertainty characterisation. This can involve both CCI products and those outside ESA.
  • Working on the derivation of Climate Indicators, as identified by GCOS, and their development and promotion for an informed general public.

Person Specification

We encourage a wide range of proposals and can be reasonably flexible in what subjects can be covered. However, preference will be given to work involving ECVs delivered by projects managed directly by the ESA Climate Office (Aerosol, Cloud, Sea Ice, Soil Moisture, Fire, Glaciers, Land Surface Temperature, Lakes, Snow, Water Vapour).

Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following ESA Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada and Slovenia as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS). Priority will first be given to candidates from under-represented Member States.


    • EU National

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