Head of Science in the Technical Support Unit (IPCC WGI)

Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is recruiting the

Head of Science in the Technical Support Unit (IPCC WGI)

for the IPCC Working Group I Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The position is located at the University of Paris-Saclay (France).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide policymakers with rigorous, transparent, and objective scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options. The IPCC is now undertaking its Sixth Assessment (AR6) cycle. The IPCC Working Group I (WGI) assesses the physical science underpinning past, present, and future climate change. The WGI Technical Support Unit (TSU) provides scientific, technical, operational and communications support that underpin and implement the WGI assessment.

The Technical Support Unit (TSU)

The TSU works at the unique IPCC interface between science and policy in the provision of the climate knowledge and information that is relevant for policy needs and decision making. The team is responsible for facilitating and implementing the assessment process undertaken by the author teams and overseen by the WGI Bureau. We are seeking someone who is highly motivated to join a team that spans different areas of expertise including climate sciences (observations, climate processes, global and regional climate modeling), visual design and communication, digital information development and management, and international project management.

The Head of Science Role

We seek candidates that bring a broad understanding of state-of-the-art climate science, international research and coordinated activities, as well as demonstrated experience in team leadership and management. We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic in supporting a high impact and rigorous WGI assessment and promote the value of information on the physical basis of climate change and its accessibility and usability by different communities around the world. Within the AR6, the IPCC has also implemented coordination mechanisms to facilitate handshakes between each Working Group on the exchange of climate knowledge and information for the assessment of impacts, risk and mitigation. This position is a remarkable opportunity to make a significant contribution to informed decision making and climate-related policy development across multiple scales and different communities.

Duties and responsibilities

The Head of Science will be responsible for the delivery and coordination of science-related activities of the Technical Support Unit (TSU) throughout the preparation, review and completion phases of the report of WGI that will be published in 2021. The successful candidate will support the work of the AR6 authors, working closely with the WGI Bureau, they will report to the Head of TSU and the Co-Chairs of WGI.

The Head of Science will play a leading role within the TSU in supporting the development of the assessment, the preparation of the Technical Summary and the Summary for Policymakers, and the synthesis of the assessment findings therein, as well as in the contribution of WGI assessment to the cross-Working Group AR6 Synthesis Report. As Head of the TSU Science Team, the successful candidate will contribute to the overall management and coordination of the full breath of TSU activities in close collaboration with the Head of TSU and Head of Operations.

The TSU Science Team is comprised of Senior Science Officers and Science Officers at the post-doctoral level. It has a distributed structure with staff based at the TSU office at the Universit. Paris Saclay and at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences in Beijing, China. The Head of Science will lead the team, linemanage the Paris-based Science Team, as well as coordinate work done in collaboration with the members based in Beijing. The role will also include mentoring and supervision of projects undertaken with students and interns on science and science-policy analysis.

The Science Team supports the assessment, the robustness, traceability and confidence of the assessment findings based on multiple lines of evidence. The team works on the consistent treatment of climate science topics within the Working Group I report and in relation to the wider AR6 assessment (including Special Reports released in 2018 and 2019 and the other Working Group reports), identifying emerging policy relevant topics, coordinating cross-cutting themes for the successful preparation of the report. The team also supports the author teams in terms of assessed digital information accessibility, reproducibility and curation for the transparency and provenance of the assessment outcomes, fostering open source community practices, data literacy and management.

The Head of Science will be active in consultation, outreach and communication activities of WGI, representing the work of the TSU, Bureau and the assessment of WGI in national and international fora, fostering and maintaining close contact with the IPCC broader scientific and stakeholder communities, also in liaison with WGs II and III of the IPCC.


  • PhD in climate science;
  • A broad overview of climate science;
  • Track record of independent research;
  • Demonstrated team leadership and management of science teams including students and postdocs;
  •  Experience in research project development, resource mobilisation and management;
  • Scientific publications in the peer-reviewed literature;
  • Experience reviewing and editing peer-reviewed literature;
  • Leadership and skills to work in an international team with a common long-term goal;
  • Strong organisational skills to plan and execute complex multi-task projects according to tight time schedules, maintaining good time-keeping and communication across multiple activities;
  • High level of social skills and capability to interact with the international science community and support integration and coordination across disciplines;


  • A highly motivated, independent scientist as well as an active collaborative thinker that seeks and creates opportunities;
  • A strong team player who will support others as needed and who will actively engage with the international climate science community;
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English;
  • Proficiency in French and knowledge of other languages would be an asset;
  • Previous experience of the IPCC or other international activities would be an asset.


This position has now closed.