Scientific Expert on Extreme Value Statistics

80%-100%, Zurich, fixed-term

Extreme value analyses of climatological parameters are necessary to determine warning thresholds, for the design of critical infrastructure, and to classify extreme events. New warning thresholds based on extreme value statistics are expected to improve warnings for the population, as well as for cantonal and national authorities, in the case of severe weather events. As part of the OWARNA2@MCH program, you will develop station-based and spatial extreme value statistics for parameters such as wind speed, snowfall and precipitation. You will evaluate and integrate the needs and constraints of weather service, climate service, and numerical weather forecast, to derive warning thresholds for society-relevant applications.

The position is available as of January 1, 2023 (or as soon as possible thereafter). The appointment is limited to 2 years. The working place will be split between MeteoSwiss (Zurich airport, easily accessible by public transport) and ETH Zurich. The position will remain open until filled.

Job description

We are seeking a motivated Expert on Extreme Value Statistics. The main tasks of the successful candidate will be to

  • review existing warning thresholds with available station-based or spatially distributed extreme value datasets,
  • develop novel spatially distributed warning thresholds for parameters such as wind speed or snowfall,
  • accompany the project team with the implementation of the new warning thresholds.

You will also evaluate, apply and/or develop extreme value statistical methods for the climate division’s operational duties. You will utilize your knowledge to support the climate information team with extreme-value analyses. You are expected to transfer science into portable, documented, testable and performant software according to modern coding standards.

Your profile

You have a university degree with a dissertation in natural sciences, mathematics, physics or a comparable course of study. You bring in-depth knowledge of extreme value statistics and you have an affinity for the topics of weather and climate. It is mandatory to have good programming skills in R with Linux experience, Python knowledge is a plus. Good knowledge of modern software development is an advantage (e.g., unit testing, peer-programming, software quality assurance, versioning systems, mixing compiled and scripted code and automated documentation). You are used to working independently, thinking analytically and you are goal-oriented, enthusiastic and a real team player. You have very good oral and written skills in German or French and in English.

Your workplace

Your workplace




We offer

This is an engaging position, which provides the opportunity to work on the science of high societal relevance. The position aims to bring applied research in extreme value statistics to 24/7 operation through the production of quality software products. The position plays within a motivated interdisciplinary project team encompassing the climate service, weather service and numerical weather forecast. 
ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • a letter of interest
  • a CV
  • copies of relevant certificates
  • the names and contact information of two references

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about C2SM can be found on our website www.c2sm.ethz.ch. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Reto Stöckli reto.stoeckli@meteoswiss.ch; 058 460 9273 (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • a letter of interest
  • a CV
  • copies of relevant certificates
  • the names and contact information of two references

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about C2SM can be found on our website www.c2sm.ethz.ch. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Reto Stöckli reto.stoeckli@meteoswiss.ch; 058 460 9273 (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.