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Research Call 2021

Met Éireann Research Call 2021 is a competitive research call for proposals, open to all Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. Two research topics are of specific interest and are described below. For each topic, Met Éireann is looking for a team of at least one PhD student supervised by an established researcher to carry out a 4-year Project. A maximum budget of €600k per Project has been allocated.

Met Éireann Research Call 2021 – Topic #1: Climate Modelling Project

Improving EC-Earth’s modelling of the North Atlantic Ocean-Atmosphere system

Ireland’s climate is dominated by the influence of the North Atlantic Ocean-Atmosphere system. Variations in large-scale modes of atmospheric variability such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) drive climate variability in north-western Europe. The Atlantic Ocean also plays a crucial role in influencing Ireland’s climate. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) transports vast quantities of warm surface water poleward, which in turn exerts a strong influence on the climate of the North Atlantic and Europe.

The core aim of this Project is to investigate and improve the representation of the North Atlantic Ocean-Atmosphere system in the EC-Earth Earth system model. EC-Earth is developed by a Europe-wide consortium and is closely aligned with ECMWF’s seasonal forecasting system, in which the IFS atmospheric model is coupled with the NEMO ocean model. This Project will contribute to the on-going development of EC-Earth, in particular the next version of the model, EC-Earth v4.

It is envisioned that work in this area will focus on one or more of the following topics:

  • EC-Earth’s representation of the AMOC from 1850 to the present;
  • EC-Earth’s representation of surface cooling in the North Atlantic from 1850 to the present;
  • Improving EC-Earth’s modelling of the AMOC, which may include improving the model’s representation of the Greenland Ice Sheet, sea ice processes, and air-sea interactions;
  • High-resolution model runs to investigate the impact of resolving more small-scale atmospheric and oceanic processes;
  • The impact of EC-Earth model improvements on modelling Ireland’s climate;
  • Downscaling EC-Earth v4 output to the North Atlantic and Ireland using a range of regional climate models.

It is also envisioned that the successful applicant will liaise closely with the EC-Earth consortium and establish links with the relevant EC-Earth working groups in the key areas identified here.

While contributing to the development of the EC-Earth model will constitute the core technical work of the Project, it is envisioned that the main output will be scientific research in the form of peer-reviewed publication and presentation at scientific conferences. Effective communication of the Project’s findings will also be an essential component, as this has the potential to attract considerable public and media interest.

Funding will be provided on a discretionary basis by Met Éireann to a Grantee on the terms and subject to the conditions set out in Met Éireann Research Call 2021’s Terms and Conditions to undertake a Project for a maximum of 4 years and a maximum budget of €600k.

Met Éireann Research Call 2021 – Topic #2: Model Coupling Project

Developing a fully coupled atmosphere-wave-ocean model system for Ireland

As an island nation where 40% of the population lives within 5km of the coast, accurate coastal weather forecasts are crucial for public safety (e.g. in terms of wind and wave forecasts, coastal flooding and surge forecasts). In the context of climate change, the expected increased impacts of extreme weather events and the continuation of offshore resource assessment studies also depend on an increase in near-surface parameter forecast accuracy (e.g. fluxes, precipitation, winds).

A fully coupled atmosphere-wave-ocean model is crucial in such developments and the aim of this Project is to build a coupled atmosphere-wave-ocean model based on the prototype co-funded by SEAI, the Marine Institute and Met Éireann. Thorough evaluations and verification will be expected to make the system pre-operational for Ireland. This research will require extensive testing and evaluation in order to ensure the robustness of the system both scientifically and technically.

The outputs of the SEAI, Marine Institute and Met Éireann funded research Project to develop a coupled atmosphere-wave-ocean model prototype will be made fully available to the research team. It is envisaged that the successful applicant will liaise closely with Met Éireann’s Numerical Weather Prediction research team.

Some of the expected work of this research Project to deliver clear improvements in the HARMONIE-AROME model for Ireland include:

  • Extensive testing of the coupled system across all seasons and for a wide range of case studies including winter storms, sea fog and other high impact weather;
  • Tuning of parameters in surface and upper-air physics parametrisations;
  • Getting the system running pre-operationally or in an e-suite;
  • Involvement in international collaboration (e.g. HIRLAM and ACCORD consortia);
  • Publishing scientific articles and comprehensive documentation.

While contributing to the development of HARMONIE-AROME model in the key areas identified will constitute the core technical work of the Project, it is envisioned that the main output will be high-quality scientific research as a result of this contribution in the form of peer-reviewed publication and presentation at scientific conferences. Effective communication of the project’s findings will also be an essential component, as this has the potential to attract considerable public and media interest.

Funding will be provided on a discretionary basis by Met Éireann to a Grantee on the terms and subject to the conditions set out in Met Éireann Research Call 2021’s Terms and Conditions to undertake a Project for a maximum of 4 years and a maximum cost of €600k.

Met Éireann’s Weather and Climate Research Programme

At the end of 2017, Met Éireann launched its 10-year strategy “Making Ireland Climate and Weather Prepared”. Within the strategy, the following six strategic goals are identified:

  • Enhance support for impact-based decision making for weather events;
  • Provide climate information services which promote the safety of citizens and supports economic and environmental resilience;
  • Deliver a high quality national flood forecasting service;
  • Continue to provide an effective authoritative voice on meteorology in Ireland;
  • Maintain and support an expert, professional workforce;
  • Lead a modern, integrated meteorological infrastructure and support an enterprise environment for weather and climate services.

Research funding, a key component of Met Éireann’s 10-year strategy, is driven by the Programme for Government commitments, including investments required to support a research programme focused around addressing the societal challenges of climate change and extreme weather in a warming world.

Met Éireann’s Weather and Climate Research Programme underpins the expertise and knowledge needed to enable the delivery and continuous improvement of national predictive capability in the areas of weather, climate and hydrology and to ensure that, particularly in the climate context, research outputs provide the evidence and tools necessary to inform government policy.

Met Éireann’s Weather and Climate Research Programme’s mission is to contribute to the development of national capacity and to address key scientific questions in response to the challenges and opportunities facing Ireland from an extreme weather and changing climate’s perspective.

Met Éireann Research Call 2021 in particular is aimed at increasing national modelling capacity (e.g. climate modelling) and contributing to improvements in our understanding of climate change and its impacts and to the provision of high quality weather forecasts to key users and sectors.

Met Éireann welcomes research in the spirit of diversity, inclusivity, cooperation, co-creation, collaboration, open data and multidisciplinarity.

Met Éireann Research Call 2021 – Requirement

The host organisation will be requested to hire a PhD student to receive training / gain expertise in modelling techniques and conduct research with the proposed research team for the duration of the Project. The PhD student’s supervision will be requested to be provided by at least one member of the host organisation’s staff (not necessarily the applicant). Collaboration with leading international experts is desired.

Met Éireann Research Call 2021 – Estimated Budget (per annum, per Project)

Established Researcher (recruitment + research consumables) €100k
PhD Researcher (stipend + fees + research consumables) €30k
Other research consumables (e.g. computing time) €20k
Total €150k

 

Met Éireann Research Call 2021 – Governance Structure

To ensure each Project is implemented in line with best practice, Project steering committees of experts will be established. Prior to this, Project evaluation boards will be established to select the most appropriate research proposals.

Met Éireann Research Call 2021 – Indicative Project timelines

The following are Met Éireann Research Call 2021’s indicative timelines:

Q3 2021 Publish Research Call 2021
Q3 2021 Evaluate proposals
Q4 2021 Award contracts
Q1 2022 Successful applicants hire staff and begin Projects
2022 – 2025 Projects ongoing
Q4 2025 Projects delivered

 

Dates

  • Call open: Thursday 16th September 2021.
  • Call deadline: Friday 22nd October 2021 at 17:00.
  • The system will automatically prevent application submission after the deadline.
  • Results expected: December 2021.

Submission platform

Please use the Met Éireann grant platform to submit your application (best with Edge, Firefox or Chrome), following the instructions therein: https://meteireann.grantplatform.com/.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions before submitting your application.

Appeals process

The Met Éireann Research Call Programme’s appeals process is available here.

Reviewers code of conduct

The Met Éireann Research Call Programme’s reviewers code of conduct is available here.

Support

If you have any questions on the application process, please contact Met Éireann’s Research Funding Office by email to researchfunding@met.ie.

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