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Postdoctoral Research Associate – Climate


Job no: 509314
Work type: Full time
Location: Sydney, NSW
Categories: Post doctoral research fellow

  • One of Australia’s leading research & teaching universities
  • Vibrant campus life with a strong sense of community & inclusion
  • Enjoy a career that makes a difference by collaborating & learning from the best

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work.


The Postdoctoral Research Associate undertakes research to improve our understanding of how year-to year variability in the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans influences Australia’s weather and how projections under greenhouse warming in those ocean basins will affect our future climate. Focus will be given to precursors and drivers of extreme events, such as droughts. Outcomes of this research expect to inform about climate variability and change, enabling decision-makers across Australia to develop risk assessment tools and adaptation solutions. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work with investigators within the Climate Systems Hub of the National Environmental Science Program to achieve these outcomes.

The Australian Government National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Climate Systems Hub was established in 2021 and will conduct research activity until 2026. The Climate Systems Hub (CSH) is hosted by CSIRO and is a partnership of Australia’s leading climate change research institutions including the University of New South Wales, University of Tasmania, Australian National University, Monash University, University of Melbourne, the Bureau of Meteorology and state governments. The Climate Systems Hub’s research portfolio includes a range of climate and Earth systems projects integrated across land, ocean and atmospheric research.

The successful candidate will contribute to project ‘CS2.8– Extreme climate: dry, wet, hot-and-dry’, which aims to enhance our understanding of the climate system processes and develop tools to improve the modelling and prediction of variability and extreme events in Australia. The project will perform research into topics such as processes related to large-scale climate drivers, their teleconnections, interactions and changes in a warming world, precursors and drivers of extreme events, and attribution of climate change and extreme events. Consultation with stakeholders will help tailor the research toward end-user needs.

This position will be based at the UNSW node of CSH, within the Climate Change Research Centre, Sydney, NSW. The Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) is a multi-disciplinary research centre comprising one of the largest university research facilities of its kind in Australia. CCRC houses research expertise in the key areas of Earth’s climate: atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial processes. We apply basic scientific principles to pressing questions on climate dynamics, global climate change, and extremes of weather and climate.

About the role

  • Level A – $98k – $106k – plus 17% Superannuation and annual leave loading
  • Fixed Term – 3 years
  • Full-time (35 hours per week)

The Postdoctoral Research Associate reports to Associate Professor Andrea Taschetto and has no direct reports.

Specific responsibilities for this role include:

  • Contribute independently and as a team member in collaborative research, with other researchers among CSH partner organisations, with a focus to enhance the quality of research outcomes for Australia’s projections science.
  • Conduct novel research (as per the norms of the discipline) and/or enable research teams to create scholarly output that is recognised by peers.
  • Contribute to the co-design and co-production of research projects through interaction with stakeholders during the research process.
  • Maintain a strong focus on communicating research findings by publishing in highly ranked journals and presenting to peers at local, national and global conferences.
  • Undertake specific research project/s under the guidance of a research leader and contribute to the development of research activities.
  • Analysing observations, multiple reanalysis data, large-ensemble simulations, and multi-model ensemble.
  • Performing global climate model simulations under different configurations, such as atmospherically-forced, partially coupled runs, and fully-coupled simulations.
  • Take on leadership opportunities that arise to contribute to the collegiate life of CSH/CCRC such as contributing to PhD supervision, committee membership, leading workshops, etc.
  • Participate in and/or present at conferences and/or workshops relevant to the project as required.
  • Align with and actively demonstrate the UNSW Values in Action: Our Behaviours and the UNSW Code of Conduct
  • Cooperate with all health and safety policies and procedures of the university and take all reasonable care to ensure that your actions or omissions do not impact on the health and safety of yourself or others.

About the successful applicant

  • PhD in Physical Climate Science, Climate Modelling or Atmosphere/Ocean Dynamics or related discipline.
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake high quality scientific research independently and as part of a collaborative team.
  • Demonstrated track record of strong research and publication track record (relative to opportunity) in an area listed in the position summary.
  • Evidence of high level analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Evidence of highly developed verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated programming skills in a Unix/Linux environment (e.g. Python, Fortran, Matlab, R).
  • Knowledge of regional climate processes, atmosphere dynamics, physical oceanography, and/or land-atmosphere interactions.
  • Experience in developing experiments and running climate simulations with regional and/or global climate models like the ACCESS-CM2 or similar.
  • An understanding of and commitment to UNSW’s aims, objectives and values in action, together with relevant policies and guidelines.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training.

Please apply online – applications will not be accepted if sent to the contact listed.

Andrea Taschetto

Applications close: June 29th, 2022

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