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Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences / Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Postdoctoral Scholars and Research Scientists in Data-Informed Earth System Modeling

Close Date:
Open until filled.


Climate change projections continue to be marred by large uncertainties. But breakthroughs in their accuracy are within reach, thanks to recent advances in the computational and data sciences and in the availability of Earth observations from space and from the ground. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and partner institutions are developing a new Earth system modeling platform to harness these advances. It will fuse an Earth system model (ESM) with global observations and targeted local high-resolution simulations of clouds, turbulence, and other elements of the Earth system.

As a postdoctoral scholar or research scientist, you will collaborate with a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and applied mathematicians, spanning Caltech, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Naval Postgraduate School. You will contribute to the development of a data-informed ESM by

  • devising scalable data assimilation and machine learning (DA/ML) algorithms, to allow them to learn systematically from diverse data sources, such as satellite observations or high-resolution simulations of turbulent flows;

  • developing physically informed parameterizations of subgrid-scale processes in the atmosphere that are suitable for DA/ML approaches, including models for boundary layer turbulence, clouds, and convection; or

  • building and prototyping numerical and computational methods for an atmosphere dynamical core that is scalable and adaptable to emerging hardware architectures.

We are seeking to fill several postdoctoral and research scientist positions within this initiative, spanning a range of expertise from computational and applied mathematics to the atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

As minimum qualification, you are expected to have

  • Completed a doctoral degree in applied mathematics, atmospheric or oceanic sciences, computer science, engineering, physics, statistics or a related field at the time of the appointment;

  • A strong physical, mathematical, and/or computational background;

  • Programming experience in at least one general purpose language;

  • Demonstrated effective written and verbal communication skills.

We prefer for you to have

  • Experience with high-performance parallel computing;

  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams and interacting cross-functionally with a wide variety of people.

For the research scientist positions, at least 2 years of postdoctoral research experience and leadership experience of research projects as demonstrated by publications are also required.

For more information about the modeling initiative and positions, please visit climate-dynamics.org or contact Professors Tapio Schneider or Andrew Stuart at esm@caltech.edu.

Applications with a curriculum vitae, a one-page statement of research interests, and three letters of recommendation should be submitted online. Review of applications will begin August 9 and will  continue until the positions are filled.

If there are any questions during the search process, please contact us at shechet@gps.caltech.edu.

For postdoctoral scholars please apply at the link on this page. For research scientist positions, please apply here.

Instructions for Applicants

  1. Create an account.
  2. Fill out the application form.
  3. After you submit your application form send the link that is provided to your three references and have them upload their letters of recommendation.
  4. Upload the following documents (as individual files or in one combined pdf):
    • curriculum vitae;
    • and a one-page statement of reserach interests.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. Click here to read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

Caltech is committed to working with and providing access and reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical or mental disabilities. To request disability accommodations for any part of the interview or hiring process, please contact 626-395-6111 for assistance or contact shechet@gps.caltech.edu.

Caltech has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy effective October 15, 2021, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees (with Institute-approved exemptions for religious or medical contraindications only). At present, an individual is deemed “fully vaccinated” when that person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson). As a condition of employment, employees must submit official COVID-19 vaccine documentation. More information may be found here.