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CIRES/ NOAA SWPC Forecast Product Scientist (Research Scientist)

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences invites applications for a Research Scientist position at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The successful applicant will work with the Space Weather Follow On - L1 (SWFO-L1), Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U (GOES-U) Compact Coronagraph, and Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) teams.

The primary responsibility will be the development of experimental space weather forecasting applications for the benefit of forecasters and customers. This Research Scientist will also investigate related satellite missions including the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) and Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) for their use in creating new space weather applications. Together, these missions are critical to ensuring the highest quality space weather forecasts and it is expected that the applications developed using these missions will be used to improve and enhance SWPC’s geomagnetic and radiation storm forecasts. The individual selected will help prepare these missions, ground systems, and forecast products for post-launch, real-time operations.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

As part of NOAA’s National Weather Service, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) operates 24/7 to provide real-time monitoring and forecasting of solar and geophysical events, which impact satellites, power grids, communications, navigation, and other technological systems. SWPC customers include the general public, industry and government agencies.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Develop operational forecasting applications:
    • Investigate applications related to solar wind and coronagraph data that could be beneficial to SWPC forecasters and/or customers.
    • Determine application utility vs cost and work with SWPC to establish priorities.
    • Create testbed versions of high-priority applications, with appropriate documentation, and within an appropriate software framework, to facilitate a successful transition to real-time space weather forecasting operations.
  • Conduct self-directed research directly related to SWPC’s space weather priorities.
  • Present results and ongoing efforts through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at professional meetings and conferences.

What You Should Know

  • Please note that those applicants requiring visa sponsorship now or in the future will not be considered for this position.
  • Applicants must be currently authorized to legally work in the United States on a full-time basis.
  • Please note that while the position details the requirements in the "minimum qualifications" and "what you will need" sections, we want applicants to be aware that they do not need to have all the skills and experience from the "what we would like you to have" section to be considered for this position. If you meet the requirements, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305.
  • If you are the selected finalist you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $66,000 - $114,500k.
  • Relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be brilliant. Be proactive. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Education:
    • Ph.D. required (Physics or Engineering fields preferred; other related fields may be considered).
  • Experience:
    • Candidates must successfully complete the required federal clearance process.
    • Applicants must be currently authorized to legally work in the United States on a full-time basis.
    • Please note that those applicants requiring visa sponsorship now or in the future will not be considered for this position.

What You Will Need

  • Knowledge of Heliophysics, space weather, and/or similar fields.
  • Experience with data analysis and programming skills in Python, IDL, or similar languages.
  • Ability to implement mathematical models and algorithms as computer programs.
  • Ability to work in a mission-focused, operational environment.
  • Ability to think critically and make independent decisions.
  • Ability to work well in a team and to build strong interpersonal relationships which facilitate cross-team knowledge sharing.
  • Strong communication skills, demonstrated through peer-reviewed articles and oral presentations.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Familiarity with solar coronal and/or solar wind physics.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience using data assimilation or ensemble modeling techniques.
  • Experience with or knowledge of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) modeling of the solar wind.
  • Ability to contribute to a diverse and inclusive workforce at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA/SWPC.
  • Knowledge and/or experience in modern software management paradigms and tools (e.g. git, bitbucket, etc.).
  • Experience developing high-quality and insightful visualizations of scientific datasets.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV.
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. Be prepared to submit a list of 5 professional references. If you are selected as a finalist, we will contact you through email for this list (2 of whom must be/must have been supervisors) to complete a SkillSurvey on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online automated reference check solution. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.
If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version (if applicable) as an optional attachment.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Posting will remain active until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Hazel Bain

Posting Contact Email: