Postdoc researcher, environmental sciences, Grenoble, France

The Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement, University Grenoble Alps, France, seeks a candidate for a 1.5-year postdoc position in the frame of the research project IDEX Trajectories. This postdoc position aims to study the "high-impact climate events in a changing climate" and requires skills in atmospheric sciences and regional climate modeling.


Established researcher (researchers who have developed a level of independence) in Environmental Sciences; Geosciences; Computer Sciences; others.

Main objectives of the work: High-Impact (climate) Events (HIE) such as floods, windstorms, hot waves, etc. are highly destructive natural hazard causing widespread impacts on socio-ecosystems (e.g. life loss, damage to infrastructure and crops, economic deprivation). In the context of climate change, the frequency and intensity of these events are expected to change, which constitutes an increasingly relevant issue for the public and insurance companies. However, processes leading to such events are still poorly understood, which limits reliable prediction. This remains a priority challenge for the scientific community and stakeholders (IPCC reports, 2013 and Future Earth program).

This postdoc position proposes to improve the prediction of such events though an in-depth understanding of the triggering atmospheric processes and their use as predictors. The study will focus on the Arve catchment area.


Objective 1: Identify and analyse the atmospheric processes under which High-Impact Events (HIE) have occurred in the past (1850-2015)
- Focus on HIE defined in WP1. In WP1, HIE will be identified based on observations, historical impacts, and societal perceptions as defined by stakeholders and other partners of the Trajectories project (e.g. What is the minimal discharge for which an hydrological event is considered as highly impacting for society? What are the wind characteristics for which a wind event is considered as highly impacting for the forestry community? etc.)
- Analysis of past HIE in climate reanalyses and MAR outputs (1850-2015). Atmospheric conditions will be analyzed from climate reanalyses and outputs from the atmospheric regional model MAR (c.f. Trajectories sub-project from Gallee et al.). The analyse of models outputs will allow a deeper understanding of the atmospheric processes involved.

Objective 2: Identify atmospheric predictors (1850-2015)
- Atmospheric features that can be used as predictors will be selected using the ANALOG method on climate reanalyses and models outputs. This method identifies all days showing atmospheric conditions similar to the ones associated with the identified HIE. The atmospheric features of the days which preferentially lead to HIE will be retained as predictors.

Objective 3: Estimate the evolution of these HIE through time (1950-2050)
- The atmospheric conditions simulated in the MAR scenario will be used as atmospheric predictors to create a new climate index. The HIE index quantifies the probability for a HIE to occur through time, and hence, allow to evaluate how it may change in the future.


- Focused analyses (important variables and key diagnostics) of the atmospheric situations associated with the HIE of interest (1850-2015).
- Set of atmospheric predictors for the HIE of interest.
- Recurrence of HIE in the future (1950-2050).

References to support the work

Bichet A., D. Folini, M. Wild, and C. Schaer (2014). Enhanced Central European summer precipitation in the late 19th century: a link to the Tropics. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 140, 111-123.

Chardon J., B. Hingray, A.-C. Favre et al. (2014). Spatial similarity and transferability of analog dates for precipitation downscaling over France. Journal of Climate, 27(13), 5056-5074.

IPCC (2013) Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth, Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley(eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY,USA, 1535 pp.

Mélo A., B. Wilhelm , Ch. Giguet-Covex, et al. (2015). Construire une chronique d’inondations: événements hydrologiques et histoire climatique dans le bassin de l’Arve (Alpes du Nord, France) entre les XVIIIe et XXI e siècles. Dans: L’homme et son environnement: des lacs, des montagnes et des rivières. Bulles d’archéologie offertes à André Marguet (ed. P.J. Rey et A. Dumont). Revue Archéologique de l'Est : 407-416

Wilhelm B., F. Arnaud, P. Sabatier, O. Magand, E. Chapron, T. Courp, K. Tachikawa, B. Fanget, E. Malet, C. Pignol, E. Bard, J.J. Delannoy (2013). Paleoflood activity and climatic changes over the last 1400 years from lake sediments of the NW European Alps. Journal of Quaternary Science 28(2): 189–199.


Languages: French and English.

Applicants must hold a PhD degree or have a university degree equivalent to a European PhD (8-year duration); must have a background in atmospheric sciences; regional climate modeling.


This is a temporary position, full-time, 35 hours per week.

Offer starting date: 1 October 2017


Application deadline is 31 August 2017 at 1200 (CET).

Applicants must send their last diploma and their cv to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. prior to the deadline. Letters of recommendation are welcome.

Applications will be evaluated through a three-step process:
1. Eligibility check of applications 4 September 2017
2. 1st round of selection: the applications will be evaluated by a Review Board 5 September 2017. Results will be given 5 September 2017.
3. 2nd round of selection: shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview session in Grenoble on 8 September 2017.