Cerfacs Enter the world of high performance ...

Full-time researcher position in Climate and Artificial Intelligence


Required Education : Doctorat
Start date : 1 April 2024
Deadline for applications : 15 March 2024

Laboratory: CECI (Cerfacs/CNRS)
Team: GLOBC Team
Salary: Based on experience
Starting date: April, 1st 2024 (flexible)
Application deadline: March 15th 2024

Location: 42 avenue Gaspard Coriolis – 31057 Toulouse
Contact persons: Dr. Laurent Terray – Dr. Julien Boé
E-mail: dirceci@cerfacs.fr
Level of education required: Ph.D.


The CECI research unit is a joint laboratory between the European Center for Advanced Training and Scientific Computing (Cerfacs) and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Cerfacs is a private center of research, development, transfer and training regarding simulation, modelling and High-Performance Computing. Through its in-house computing resources and expertise in high-performance computing, it tackles major scientific and technical challenges in both academic and industrial research. The Cerfacs teams bring together physicists, applied mathematicians, numerical analysts, and computer scientists who design and develop innovative methods and software solutions to meet the needs of the aeronautics, space, climate, energy, and environmental sectors. Cerfacs works closely with its seven public and private shareholders: Airbus, Cnes, EDF, Météo France, Onera, Safran, and TotalEnergies. CNRS is a public-funded French institution that covers all scientific disciplines, from the humanities and social sciences to biological sciences, nuclear and particle physics, information sciences, engineering and systems, physics, mathematical sciences, chemistry, Earth sciences and astronomy, and ecology and the environment.

About the team:

The GlobC Team is currently comprised of 11 researchers and 14 early career researchers, and benefits from the support of a team of 6 highly-skilled research engineers with strong expertise on climate and environmental models, high-performance computing (HPC), simulation workflows and data management. We conduct cutting edge research spanning from climate variability and prediction, oceanography and polar science, air-sea interaction, climate change detection and attribution and its impacts, to extreme events such as heat waves, intense precipitation events and droughts as well as environmental risks such as atmospheric pollutant dispersion, wildland fires and floods. We use a wide range of numerical models from large-eddy simulation to global Earth system models and associated algorithms (data assimilation, uncertainty quantification, machine learning, code coupling) to tackle our science challenges.


Thematic(s): Novel Applications of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to climate science problems

Title: Climate researcher with ML/AI skills

Employer: Cerfacs

Basic purpose and job description:

We are seeking a motivated and enthusiastic researcher to join our team at CECI/Cerfacs. Your main role will be to lead and conduct world-leading research in climate science and the development of novel applications of ML/AI techniques to current climate science questions and issues. These can include, among others, the following challenges: sources of predictability for modes of variability, feature detection, climate model evaluation and uncertainty quantification, extreme weather and precursors, hybrid climate modelling and parameterization emulation, tipping points, downscaling and bias correction.

The expected job duties will involve:

  • leading world-class research in climate science
  • animating scientific activities on ML/AI across the different CECI climate and environmental themes, and developing cross-disciplinary interactions within CECI and with other Cerfacs research teams;
  • submitting French and International research proposals for funding, as well as monitoring and managing them;
  • recruiting and supervising undergraduates, PhD students and post-doctoral researchers;
  • forging relationship with Cerfacs shareholders and academic partners, to strengthen Cerfacs on Climate and ML/AI aspects and fostering successful collaborative research;
  • writing scientific articles in peer-reviewed rank A journals;
  • presenting your work to the french and international scientific community at conferences;
  • contributing to Cerfacs training activities regarding Climate and ML/AI.

We encourage applications from mid-career scientists, but we will also consider early career researchers with an outstanding track-record. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and identities and from individuals who may have had a non-linear career path, career gaps or career breaks.

What we offer at Cerfacs:

  • A genuinely inclusive and equitable work environment.
  • An individual health insurance policy (“mutuelle”) that offers an excellent health coverage in addition to the state health insurance system known as “sécurité sociale” with the option of enrolling family members (partner and children).
  • 6 weeks annual leave (with the possibility of 22 extra days of vacation per year if you opt for a 39-hour instead of a 35-hour work week)
  • Flexible working arrangements with possibility to work from home up to two days per week
  • A sustainable mobility package that allows the employer to cover home-to-work commuting costs of employees who commute to work by bike.

Required Job Qualifications:  

  • PhD in Climate Science (atmospheric science, oceanography, …), or related discipline with experience in ML/AI; OR a Ph.D. in ML/AI, Mathematics, or Statistics with strong interest and demonstrated experience in addressing climate science questions with ML/AI.
  • Demonstrated curiosity, creativity and enthusiasm to tackle new challenges and revisit long-standing problems in climate science
  • Ability in conducting research, both independently and as an active member of a research team,
  • A strong track record as a researcher in climate science and/or ML/AI
  • Demonstrated experience of applying ML/AI or advanced statistical techniques to climate science related problems.
  • Experience in handling large spatiotemporal geophysical data sets
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Engagement in the national and/or international climate science community is not required but will be advantageous

Preferred Job Qualification:

  • Prior climate research studying problems in atmospheric and oceanic variability, extreme weather, climate modelling and prediction, statistical and dynamical downscaling.
  • Prior knowledge of a broad range of ML/AI topics, as demonstrated by research performed and/or classes and courses taken.
  • Prior experience collaborating across disciplines.
  • Strong scientific programing skills including experience with deep learning/neural networks, their frameworks (tensorflow, keras or pytorch among others) and their use on HPC systems

Application instructions:

Applicants are asked to send a resume or CV, a cover letter (that is no more than two pages in length) with a brief statement of research interests, and the names and email addresses of three professional references to dirceci@cerfacs.fr. In your cover letter, please carefully address all of the required and preferred qualifications. References of the finalist candidates will be contacted for letters of recommendation.