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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Climate Model and Computational Scientist

Job ID 2917 Date posted 11/19/2021

Brookhaven National Laboratory ( delivers discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation’s future. Brookhaven Lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory with seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, 37 R&D 100 Awards, and more than 70 years of pioneering research. The Lab is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) operates and manages the Laboratory for DOE. BSA is a partnership between Battelle and The Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University. BSA salutes our veterans and active military members with careers that leverage the skills and unique experience they gained while serving our country. Our organization fully supports service members transitioning from active duty to civilian life and pledge’s our commitment to actively hire veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Military personnel who have been formally trained or have relevant experience obtained while in service may meet educational requirements and are encouraged to apply for job opportunities at BSA.

Organizational Overview

The Environmental & Climate Sciences Department (ECSD) ( at Brookhaven National Laboratory focuses on a wide range of theoretical, experimental, and field studies in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's climate and energy research agendas. Work is supported by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) User Facility (, an observations-based program that measures aerosols, clouds, precipitation, radiation, and atmospheric dynamics; the Atmospheric Systems Research Program (, and the Environmental System Science Program ( This work is pursued with the ultimate goal of improving predictability and reducing the uncertainty in global and regional climate models. The department research portfolio also includes development of environmental technologies and applications for renewable energies, urban science, and national security.

The Computational Science Initiative (CSI) ( provides a laboratory-wide umbrella for computational modeling and data science, among other activities, bringing together computer scientists, applied mathematicians, and domain scientists to carry out leading-edge research, convert research results into practical solutions that advance domain science, and provide the necessary computing infrastructure services and training to support efficient operation. CSI’s Applied Mathematics group conducts research on a variety of applied science and engineering problems involving methods such as optimal experimental design, uncertainty quantification, decision making under uncertainty, modeling and simulation, surrogate and reduced order modeling, extreme-scale data analysis, and scientific machine learning.

Position Description
The Environmental and Climate Sciences Department seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work closely with the Computational Science Initiative’s Applied Mathematics Group on coupled aerosol/land-atmosphere models for optimal experimental design via coupled model-data integration, uncertainty quantification, and observing system simulation experiments. The successful candidate will have a strong interest in atmospheric and/or land-surface process modeling, and in the climate science application of artificial intelligence/machine learning techniques. This position has a high level of interaction with an international and multicultural scientific community.

Current model-data operating paradigms for climate prediction rely on cumbersome and ad-hoc approaches to both observing system design and the assimilation of observing system data into models. BNL’s new Four-dimensional Atmospheric Sensing and Simulation (FASSt) Initiative aims to establish a new observational and modeling paradigm that directly addresses large uncertainties in climate prediction with new model-guided observational requirements and approaches (FASSt-Sensing) coupled with advanced computational methods (FASSt-Simulation) defining optimal observation networks and rapid model-data assimilation. In this project, we are leveraging our combined expertise in coupled land-atmosphere/aerosol systems (ECSD) and advanced computational methods (CSI) to build a novel, adaptable, and scalable computational framework for rapid model-measurement assimilation, leading to advances in climate model predictability, shortened timelines between observation and discovery, and optimal observational network design.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Model-data integration and parameter estimation
  • Evaluation of model calibration on predictive uncertainties
  • Optimization of observational systems to reduce identified model uncertainties
  • Publish in peer-reviewed journals
  • Present at national and international meetings

Position Requirements
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ph.D. in atmospheric science, ecosystems science, aerosol science, or a closely related field
  • Experience with using atmospheric and/or land-surface process models and model-data integration
  • Clear and concise verbal and written communication and collaboration skills
  • Ability to develop and pursue independent research ideas
  • Ability to work well in a diverse team across cultures and experiences

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Computational capabilities for developing Optimal Experimental Design or other optimization solutions
  • Climate science applications of artificial intelligence/machine learning techniques
  • Uncertainty quantification
  • A record of publication in high quality, internationally recognized journals


  • BNL policy requires that after obtaining a PhD, eligible candidates for research associate appointments may not exceed a combined total of 5 years of relevant work experience as a post-doc and/or in an R&D position, excluding time associated with family planning, military service, illness or other life-changing events.
  • Review of applications begins immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
  • The initial term appointment will be one year, subject to renewal contingent on funding and performance.
  • Research will be under the direction of Drs. Chongai Kuang (ECSD), Shawn Serbin (ECSD), and Nathan Urban (CSI)

At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Care Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Paid Time-off and Leave Programs (vacation, holidays, sick leave, paid parental leave)
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Tuition Assistance, Training and Professional Development Programs
  • Employee Fitness/Wellness & Recreation:  Gym/Basketball Courts, Weight Room, Fitness Classes, Indoor Pool, Tennis Courts, Sports Clubs/Activities (Basketball, Ping Pong, Softball, Tennis)

Brookhaven Science Associates requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for all employees.Proof of full vaccination as recognized by the CDC and/or WHO, inclusive of the two-week waiting period, is required either by November 17, 2021 or at the start of your employment if after November 17, 2021.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer that values inclusion and diversity at our Lab.We are committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

BNL takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.We ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment.Please contact us to request accommodation.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

Brookhaven employees are subject to restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation at the time of hire for review by Brookhaven. The full text of the Order may be found at:

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