2009 Announcement of Research Positions

Please mind that following information is run as a reference. Applications for those positions have been closed.

>>TOP
1. Objectives of FRCGC
Global changes, such as global warming and climatic anomalies, are serious problems which affect the ecosystem of nature and the future of human beings. Predicting global change through better understanding of these global phenomena are pressing issues. At FRCGC we attempt to understand the complicated interactions among the atmosphere, ocean and land surface and to develop models capable of more accurate simulation of global scale phenomena.
To accomplish these objectives, we propose the following research assignments, and invite excellent foreign as well as Japanese Research Scientists ("Senior Scientists", "Scientists", "Technical Scientists" and/or "Postdoctoral Researchers") for an intensive period of research.

2. FRCGC and related organizations
FRCGC is a research center within the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) which was established April 2004 by transformation of the former FRSGC. It is one of the three sister Centers which includes Frontier Observational Research System for Global Change and the "Earth Simulator", Center which was completed in March 2002.
Researchers at FRCGC can access the Earth Simulator, the world's fastest supercomputer.

3. Research Programs and applicants required
We have 6 research programs (Climate Variations, Hydrological Cycle, Atmospheric Composition, Ecosystem Change, Global Warming, Global Environment Modeling).
Please note that after April 1st, 2009, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology will be reorganizing the Agency. Although there will not be any changes in the content or the method of the research, systematic subjects, such as affiliation may change.
In the coming fiscal year, we schedule a few positions as follows:

(1) Climate Variations Research Program
The main goal of Climate Variation Research Program (CVRP) is twofold: one is to understand key mechanisms of natural climate variations such as ENSO, IOD, and climate regime shifts and the other is to study predictability of those phenomena based on the former knowledge. Our research field is global by nature; yet current efforts are being devoted to enhancing our level of understanding of ocean climate variations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific sector. In addition to intensive climate data analyses, we adopt ocean and atmosphere models with various degrees of freedom in our research activities. CVRP is also interested in interdisciplinary climate application studies based on the basic knowledge accumulated so far in order to satisfy societal needs. We invite applications in the following three research areas:

1) As a fruitful collaboration with EU research groups, we developed our SINTEX-F coupled model, which greatly contributed not only to recent IOD prediction but also to short-term climate predictability studies, particularly on ENSO. The prediction/predictability research using the SINTEX-F coupled model and other coupled models needs to be developed, together with activities devoted to model physics improvement.

2) So-called downscaling has become an important research subject for regional climate studies, which has a potential to provide detailed climate information needed by local people. CVRP now plans to develop this line of research activities, together with the ongoing global predictability experiments.

3) As one of core research activities of CVRP, we have an extended Japan Coastal Oceans Predictability Experiment (JCOPE) project. Started from the Kuroshio variability studies, the JCOPE project has gradually developed into a sophisticated prediction system for the oceanic phenomena including an advanced wind-wave model. In conjunction with downscaling research activities mentioned above, we are going to develop this system further to make it as an oceanic environment prediction system that is to be coupled to a regional AGCM.

Qualification for application
Candidates should be those who majored in graduate course in such fields as physical oceanography, meteorology, geophysical fluid dynamics, climate dynamics or related fields in physics. As to the application to item 1, it is highly desirable that he/she is familiar with using an ocean-atmosphere coupled model, in addition to familiarity with the basic climate data analysis methods. Reasonable command of spoken and written English is required in our CVRP program to communicate on a daily basis with colleagues from various nations. Successful candidates will be expected to be involved in CVRP as core members of the ongoing and/or new research activities and be expected to participate actively in international collaborations for enhancing prediction skills for natural climate/ocean variability.

(2) Hydrological Cycle Research Program
Hydrological Cycle Research Program focuses on research activities on the mechanisms of the Asian Monsoon variability and related energy and hydrological cycle, and their impacts on water resources issues. A basic interest includes the issue how the global warming caused by the human activities will cause, or is causing changes changes in hydrological cycle and its feedback to hydro-climate particularly in Asian-Pacific regions.

As for the diagnostic studies, In addition to existing meteorological, hydrological and land-use data and remote-sensing data (TRMM, NOAA, GMS etc.), we fully utilize special data sets obtained through national and international projects related to WCRP, such as GEWEX Asian Monsoon Experiment (GAME).

As for the modeling studies, we basically utilize GCMs and Regional climate models (RCMs). Modeling and prediction studies are made on precipitation and other water cycle parameters in Asian monsoon climate from diurnal, intraseasonal, seasonal and interannual time scales. Special attention is paid to model development and improvement of the following items:

* Meteorological / hydrological modeling with various horizontal scales from the continental to the cumulus-convection.
* Modeling of various land surface processes, such as soil moisture, permafrost, snow, vegetation, change of land-use.
* Modeling of evaporation and precipitation processes at the state of mixture of various land surfaces and complicated configuration of the ground.
* Modeling of transport of stable water isotope and other material.
* Diagnostic studies of global/continental-scale energy and hydrological cycle by using the global reanalysis data and satellite data
* Cooperation with the global climate model in the Global Environment Modeling Research Program, FRCGC.
* Improving land-atmosphere coupled processes for predicting hydrological cycle and development of next-generation regional climate model.

Qualification for application
Scientists who have sufficient background and experience on the following fields, or Technical Scientists who have sufficient experience in handling and programming of models relevant to these fields, are highly appreciated:

* GCM modeling on global/continental-scale hydrological processes and Asian monsoon hydro-climate
* Diagnostic studies on global/continental-scale energy and hydrological processes and Asian monsoon hydro-climate
* Modeling of land-atmosphere interactions in Asia/Eurasian continent by using regional climate models.
* Improvement of land-atmosphere coupled models for prediction of hydrological cycle and development of next generation regional climate model.
* Organization and parameterization of mesoα~mesoγ scale cloud systems by using high - resolution cloud resolving models
* Modeling (Cloud Resolving Model) and data analysis of precipitation/cloud-land surface interactions

(3) Atmospheric Composition Research Program
This program aims at modeling and observational research on the variability of atmospheric composition including both long-lived greenhouse gases such as CO2, CH,4 and N2O, and short-lived atmospheric constituents such as O3, aerosols, and their precursors, that cause climate and air quality change directly or indirectly. Satellite data utilization and development of retrieval methodology for atmospheric trace constituents will be put emphasis.

Qualification for application
We call for Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Scientists who have fundamental knowledge on atmospheric chemistry, and are motivated to modeling studies/satellite data analysis related to climate impact and transport/transformation processes of short-lived species. Applications of scientists from foreign countries are highly welcome.

Possible Research Themes
Climate sensitivity experiment of ozone and aerosols using a global/regional chemical transport/climate model, development of data assimilation technique for observation and modeling of short-lived species, and development of retrieval technique and data analysis of air quality observation satellite.

(4) Ecosystem Change Research Program
The objective of this Research Program is to investigate the structures and the functions of terrestrial and marine ecosystems with respect to climatic and environmental changes on a global scale. In particular, it focuses on the observation and remote sensing of the spatial distributions of the biome-characteristic species, biomass, NPP, etc., and on the modeling of material flows and interactions within ecosystems and between ecosystems and the atmosphere in wide climatic zones.
We are facing the new scientific problem of how ecosystems respond to rapid environmental changes such as increasing CO2 and global warming, and how to accurately predict and assess their response. The Framework Convention on the Climate Change aims to predict, assess and prevent the negative effects of climate change on ecosystems. To achieve these objectives, further development is required for observation and modeling of ecosystem structure and function, and for the integration of such models to atmosphere and ocean circulation modeling.
An overall goal of this research program is to develop models of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and to simulate them with emphasis on carbon cycle.

Qualification for application
Candidates of Postdoctoral Scientist or Scientist having an interest in modeling of ecosystem structures and functions. In particular, candidates having an interest in studies of the vegetation dynamics over continental to global scale terrestrial area, and process studies and modeling of its structure and function by using the remote sensing data. Depending on the study, candidates having a skill for field survey, which is required to the remote sensing, are expected. Otherwise, we invite candidates for Technical Scientist who work on the construction of ecosystem database.

At present we have three research groups in our program as follows:

1) Marine Ecosystem Model Group
Modeling of material cycles in the oceans involving marine ecosystem, and having knowledge for marine biological processes.

2) Ecosystem Spatial Observation and Modeling Group
Remote sensing observations and modeling to improve the understanding and predictability of terrestrial ecosystem spatio-temporal variations and processes, and their relation to a changing global climate system.

3) Terrestrial Ecosystem Model Group
Modeling of matter flow in terrestrial ecosystem and in modeling ecosystem-atmosphere interaction and modeling of vegetation dynamics from single tree level to global level.

(5) Global Warming Research Program
This research program explores the physical, chemical and biological mechanism responsible for global warming and attempt to make quantitative projection of future climate change. It covers three research subjects, i. e., global warming, carbon cycle, and paleoclimate.

1) Global Warming Research
Using a hierarchy of climate models with various complexities and computational resolutions, the future changes of climate and the physical mechanisms, which are responsible for these changes are studied. For example, using general circulation model of the atmosphere with very high computational resolution, we will explore how those phenomena which are important for climate such as tropical and extra-tropical cyclones and El Nino-Southern Oscillation, are affected by global warming.

2) Coupled Modeling Development
Coupled atmosphere-ocean-land model is an extremely important tool used for studying the highly complex climate system. This program will conduct various numerical experiments using the existing coupled model running on the Earth Simulator. The results will be analyzed and compared with the observational data in order to improve understanding the mechanism of the climate and climate variability. Also, the performance of the model, especially its weaknesses will be evaluated in order to improve the model.

3) Paleoclimate Research
Using a hierarchy of climate models with various complexities, the mechanisms which are responsible for past climate changes, in particular, the glacial-interglacial transition of climate are studied. For example, we will explore how the massive continental ice sheets were maintained during the last glacial maximum and why they have been reduced to the modern ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctic Continents. Based on this study we will also attempt to determine the future of these ice sheets.

Qualification for application
The major objective of this program is the predictive understanding of global climate. It seeks those candidates who are interested in modeling study of the research topics identified above. It is desirable that they have basic knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology and the ability to apply them to the study of climate. In particular, the program looks for those who are interested in developing climate models and using them for the study of climate.

(6)Global Environment Modeling Research Program
The mission of this Program is to develop advanced climate models which have a capability to explore new arena of climate simulations by fully utilizing the Earth Simulator which is one of the highest performance computers in the world. The Program has the following three targets of development:

1) Next-generation atmosphere and ocean models
An atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) with a mesh-size less than 5km to treat meso-scale convective system explicitly, and an ocean general circulation model (OGCM) with a mesh-size around 10km to resolve meso-scale ocean eddies are developed. These models are expected to improve the performance of global warming experiments.

2) Integrated Earth system model
An integrated Earth system model (ESM) including physical climate processes, biogeochemical processes and eco-dynamical processes is developed cooperating with other Research Programs. A new phase of the development has started in FY2007 as a part of the MEXT project, Innovative Program of Climate Change Projection for the 21th Century.

3) Ocean data assimilation systems
Four-dimensional variational data assimilation systems, which incorporate satellite and in-situ observational data into numerical models, are developed for the global ocean. The systems can provide realistic initial conditions for adequate prediction and also useful re-analysis datasets for accurate estimation of ocean circulation processes and investigation of the sources and pathways of deep water warming recently observed. A variational-data assimilation system using the adjoint method is the most promising approach in view of the fact that the spatio-temporal coverage of the present measurements for mass and velocity fields which is far from complete.

Qualification for application
Candidates should be those who majored in such fields as meteorology, physical oceanography, geophysical fluid dynamics, climate dynamics or related fields in physics. They should have experiences for atmosphere/ocean modeling and will be in charge the following items.

1)-2) Model development group
Development /improvement of "Integrated Earth System Model" - Development/improvement of the high resolution atmospheric/ocean model

3) Data assimilation group
Improvement of the global ocean data assimilation system by using the variational approach (e.g., the adjoint method), creation of a dynamically self-consistent dataset that covers the entire depth, and identification of the sources and pathways of deep water warming. - Research and development of high resolution data assimilation system utilizing satellite data and in situ data (TRITON/TAO, ARGO), together with development, processing and analysis of high-quality data set, which enable us to trace the time evolution of El Nino and other seasonal to interannual phenomena.


4. Research resources and equipments
A computer system with a multi-purpose server as well as a high performance server capable of vector calculations has been set up at FRCGC. In addition, a network system with access to super computers at Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology has been constructed. All FRCGC Research Scientists are eligible for applying for using Earth Simulator.

5. Qualification for application

1) Senior Scientist: A person who has results in the related fields, who can contribute to subordiante's guidance and Agency affairs.
2) Scientist: A person who has a Ph.D. in related fields. We also welcome applicants who have the equivalent research experiences.
3) Technical Scientist: A person who is expected to work in the field of R&D, such as development of simulation model, arrangement of data.
4) Postdoctoral Researcher: A person who received a Ph.D. on and after April 1, 2003, or who is expected to complete the degree by the date of employment,
5) Any nationality, any sex, and any age could be applied. FRCGC has the principle of equality of men and women as it relates to the recruitment of all staff. With a view to achieving a more equitable balance of men and women in all positions, we would like to particularly encourage qualified women to apply.


6. Work place
Frontier Research Center for Global Change,
3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa
Yokohama 236-0001 Japan

7. Contract period

In principle, maximum contract term of each position will be as follows;
-Senior Scientist: Five Japanese fiscal years, and the contract can be renewed once (The total contract term is ten Japanese fiscal years).
-Scientist: Five Japanese fiscal years. A screening to be promoted to Senior Scientist is conducted before the contract expires.
-Technical Scientist: Three Japanese Fiscal years, and the contract can be renewed once (The total contract term is six Japanese fiscal years). A new contract term will be concluded, if the person passes the screening to stay the same position or to be promoted.
-Postdoctoral Researcher: Three Japanese fiscal years.

Contract period will be concluded according to fiscal year. Period of employment is from April 1st 2009 to March 31st 2010. Employment contract is renewable every fiscal year.


8. Treatment
(1) Payment will be decided according to the JAMSTEC regulations.
(2) Traveling expenses will be provided according to regulations.
(3) The participant and JAMSTEC will share the premiums for social insurance and labor insurance according to the current statutory proportion.
(4) Housing lease service is available through the JAMSTEC housing scheme. Eligibility for the housing scheme is subject to the JAMSTEC regulations. (Always excepting for the postdoctoral researcher.)
(5) A commutation allowance will be provided.
(6) Holidays and vacations: Saturday, Sunday, public holidays, the year-end and the beginning of the year are holidays. There are annual vacations with pay, special vacations, leave of absence for care and maternity leave.
(7) Other:
i) There are various kinds of subsidy system for personal interests/welfare.
ii) The Execution of Special Business Type Working Hour System is adopted for a full-time research scientist by the labor-management agreement with a worker representative.

9. Method of application

(1) Required documents
a. One copy of research proposal including the research program which you desire to participate in (A4 size, 1 page). Please identify to which position (Senior Scientist, Scientist, Technical Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher) you are applying in the document.
*Please write research program(s) which you will apply. If you apply more than one research programs, please submit one research proposal for each program.

b. References (recommendations) written by two senior research scientists.
The references should be sent directly from them to Research Promotion Office, Frontier Research Center for Global Change (see 9. (3))
Applicant's name should be written on the envelope.

c. One copy of a resume. (with your email address for contact)

d. One copy of publication list including thesis titles.
Please separate those with referred journals from other publications.
Please include a technical reports list when applying for a Technical Scientist.

e. One copy of a list for competitive funds from some kind of research institution in JAPAN.
(Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, any funded research from Japan Science and Technology Agency, etc)

(2) Submission
Documents for the application should be sent by POST before the deadline.
*We accept only by POST.

(3) Address
Frontier Research Center for Global Change
FRCGC in charge of Human Resource
3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku
Yokohama 236-0001 Japan
TEL: 81-45-778-5672
FAX: 81-45-778-5497
(E-mail:koubo-frcgc@jamstec.go.jp)


10. Closing date for application
September, 12th, 2008 (must be postmarked by the closing date)

11. Selection and employment
1) Screening of application materials and interviews will be conducted. After the screening of application materials, it is scheduled that will make interviews by the beginning of November 2008, and the result will be done by the end of December 2008.
2) Interviews will be conducted in Japanese or English.
3) The position we offer is likely to change from the one you applied based upon the agreement between successful candidates and us.

12. Screening
1) Incomplete applications may not be accepted.
2) Submitted documents will not be returned to the applicant. The personal information we get through this recruitment is to be used only for our screening and our procedures accompanying. We deal with it safely and properly based on the personal information protection law. After our screening and procedures, we shred documents.
3) A health certificate should be submitted when the employment is informally decided.
4) A letter should be submitted if the applicant withdraws.

13. Notes
1) If you have further inquiries, please refer to Frontier Research Promotion Office (see 9. (3)).
Related information is available on the following home page URL:
http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/eng/(FRCGC)
http://www.jamstec.go.jp/e/ (JAMSTEC)
2) There may be additional announcement of opportunities in the future.
3) JAMSTEC became "Independent Administrative Institution, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology" in April 2004.