ACDI Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Extreme Weather Event Attribution


Attribution of Human Influence on High Impact Weather and Seasonal Climate Extremes in Southern Africa

Closing Date: 15 August 2017 | Start Date: negotiable, but not later than 1 November 2017

The AXA Research Chair Programme in African Climate Risk at the ACDI aims to (i) quantify the relative contribution of climate change and landscape management impacts of weather and seasonal climate extremes and (ii) estimate the social and economic benefit of different adaptation options to reduce the impacts these extreme events.  The initial focus of the programme is on impacts and responses in water and agricultural systems.

ACDI therefore wishes to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDRF) in Probabilistic Weather and Seasonal Climate Event Attribution.  The PDRF will be part of a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Cape Town and University of Oxford spanning climate, hydrological, ecological and economic and adaptation science.  The PDRF will lead a discrete area of research in weather/climate attribution in the Southern African context and also contribute to research that integrates across climate, biophysical and socio-economic impacts.

The PDRF will work closely with counterparts in Oxford and will be required to make a number of research visits to Oxford.

Academic / experience criteria:  


  • A PhD, awarded within the previous five years, in an academic discipline relevant to weather/climate attribution, such as atmospheric physics or meteorology.
  • Has strong scientific programming/scripting skills, as well as data processing and analysis skills
  • Has practical experience of interpreting the outputs from climate models and large climate datasets.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce peer-reviewed research articles.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Experience, or a desire to build experience, in communicating research to diverse non-expert audiences.


  • Has experience working with the Met Office Hadley Centre's Unified Models.
  • Has experience of running regional climate model experiments.
  • Has experience in statistics, including time series analysis, spatial statistics and stochastic processes.
  • Has expertise in African meteorology and/or climatology.
  • Experience of supervision or co-supervision of PhD and/or Masters level research projects.

Conditions of award:

  • Applicants must have completed their doctoral degrees within the past 5 years and may not previously have held a full-time permanent professional or academic post.
  • No benefits or allowances are included in the Fellowship, but the fellowship stipend is tax free.  
  • As part of their professional development, the successful candidate may be required to participate in a limited capacity in other ACDI activities, such as teaching and/or student supervision.  
  • The successful applicant will be required to register as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town immediately and will not be considered a UCT employee.
  • The successful applicant will be required to comply with the university’s approved policies, procedures and practices for the postdoctoral sector.

Value and tenure:

  • The value of the fellowship is ZAR 250,000-300,000 depending on experience and is tenable for 24 months with the possibility of extension for further years subject to satisfactory progress.

Application requirements:

Applicants should submit (i) an application letter that includes a short description of their expertise and research interests and how these relate to the position, (ii) a CV including a publication list, (iii) copies of academic transcripts and/or certificates, and (iv) email addresses of at least two references who been directly involved in their PhD and/or previous postdoctoral research.  

Applications should be emailed to: before 15 August 2017.

Selection process:

  • Only eligible and complete applications will be considered by the selection committee.
  • Interviews will take place the week of 21st August and the successful candidate is expected to start the as soon as possible thereafter.  

Closing date:

Applications received before 15 August 2017 are guaranteed to be considered. Applications received thereafter may be considered if the position has not been filled.

Contact details for submission of applications: Noma Somatube at

Contact details for enquiries about the fellowship topic and ACDI:

Additional information on ACDI and UCT can be found at: /


The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications. The University of Cape Town also reserves the right to change the conditions of the award or to make no awards at all.