Chief Science Advisor
Boulder, CO 
Posted Today
Job Description
Location: Remote/Flexible.

Type: Full-time, exempt.

Position Term: 3-year term with the possibility for extension.

Application Deadline: This position will be posted until filled.

Relocation: No relocation package is offered for this position.

Work Authorization: UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa (e.g., J-1, H1-B, etc.) for this position.

Salary: Hiring Range $149,266 - $186,582
Full Salary Range $149,266 - $186,582 - $242,557

Benefits: UCAR affirms its continuing commitment to developing, providing, and administering its employee benefit programs with due consideration for equal employment opportunity and diversity guidelines. UCAR's rich package of employee benefits includes medical, dental, vision, education assistance, retirement, and life insurance. UCAR offers a variety of programs designed to assist with work-life balance including flexible work alternatives, paid time off and 14 weeks of paid parental leave.

Where You Will Work:

The Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS-pronounced: see-pass), under the UCP, provides an extensive portfolio of placement, management, and organizational services for the broad Earth System Science community. CPAESS develops innovative solutions to complex scientific challenges, advances research capacity, and fosters community collaborations.

CPAESS provides professional development, training, and research opportunities for early career to expert scientists. The CPAESS community includes placements at prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, short- and long-term appointments at US Federal research labs and institutions, research internships, and summer school opportunities for graduates and postdoctoral scientists. These research and training opportunities provide mentoring and career advancement; lifelong collaboration through program alumni networks; and the advancement of science worldwide through university, federal, state, municipal level, and private sector partnerships. CPAESS employees and sponsors collectively work toward advancing scientific research for the benefit of society.

What You Will Do:

Chief Science Advisor to lead the Unified Forecast System (UFS) community to establish and implement science and development priorities, strategies and supportive organizational structures in concert with NOAA. Communicate scientific results in both oral and written forms by presenting UFS at national and international meetings and in journal articles. Represent UFS in the science community, and build strategic and collaborative partnerships for the UFS within the broader numerical weather prediction (NWP) community. Coordinate and build collaborations among UFS working groups and application teams and among various UFS research and development projects. Ideally, the Chief Science Advisor will also maintain an active UFS-based research program.

The Unified Forecast System (UFS) is a community-based, coupled, comprehensive Earth modeling system. It is designed to support the Weather Enterprise and to be the source system for NOAA's operational numerical weather prediction applications. Potential candidates are referred to for additional information on UFS and its community members.

The duty location of the position is negotiable. Funding will be provided for either a full-time position or part-time with remaining funds for support staff.


Co-chair the Unified Forecast System (UFS) (SC) and lead the SC to:

  • Establish annual priorities, including: science advances, forecast advances, model releases, community meetings and forums;
  • Develop the triennial UFS Strategic Plan;
  • Lead and/or provide oversight for the development of critical UFS documents; for instance, define gates and metrics processes for UFS testing and evaluation, from Research to Operations, in collaboration with the UFS Community and NOAA;
  • Lead and organize weekly UFS-SC meetings (with co-chairs).
  • Coordinate and facilitate with the Communications and Outreach Working Group on monthly basis
  • Monitor, coordinate and review the activities of the UFS Working Groups and Application Teams (invite quarterly updates, annual plans, assess and facilitate cross-cutting activities, resolve concerns);

Plan and lead annual Steering Committee meetings, where the UFS Community will develop both short and long term strategies and plans

Work collaboratively with NOAA and Community Modeling (oversight) Boards, aligning science priorities with operational forecast goals; Report bi-annually to NOAA and Community Modeling Boards on progress of the UFS

Represent the UFS to the national and international community at meetings, conferences.

Develop collaborations with national and international numerical weather prediction community, to use common model components, infrastructure, and model testing approaches


High-level problem solving and strong leadership skills are required. Routinely investigates and solves unique, highly complex problems using sound judgment, considerable creativity, and expert scientific and technical knowledge. Evaluates complex situations and problems and makes decisions on how best to proceed. In consultation with colleagues, develop innovative and ingenious solutions to very complex technical and organizational challenges. The incumbent will work with minimal supervisory oversight and will periodically report to the NOAA Directors.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:


PhD and at least 15 years of experience developing numerical weather prediction systems or Earth system models.

Experience with building operational systems, services and products related to NWP and reanalysis.

Experience with high-performance computing, cloud computing, data archiving and/or data services.

Experience working with funding agencies and other stakeholders.

National and internationally recognized contributions to Earth system modeling and numerical weather prediction reflected in a strong publication record.


  • Deep knowledge and extensive research experience in Earth system and numerical weather model development, testing and evaluation, and/or data assimilation
  • Demonstrated ability to develop innovative strategic directions and lead large teams of scientists to achieve strategic goals
  • Familiarity with the needs and requirements of program stakeholder agencies.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, highly organized and detail-oriented, with experience in bringing consensus to a diversity of viewpoints, and constructively managing conflict.
  • Expert skill in planning and managing complex projects.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with advanced written communication in reports and publications to support
  • findings
  • Advanced ability to network with other federal and non-federal partners to build collaborations
  • Ability to lead a diverse and multi-disciplinary team.

Applicant Notes:

  • This position is subject to work location requirements for obtaining access to facilities and research systems. These requirements may include a combination of national security checks, credit checks, fingerprinting, or other security clearance or work authorization requirements.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Required Experience
15+ years
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