Research Scientist in Biophysical Modeling

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI, USA 🇺🇸


WORKING TITLE: Research Scientist in Biophysical Modeling


WORK LOCATION: Ann Arbor Campus, Ann Arbor, MI






POSTING BEGIN/END DATE: 1/27/2023 – 3/28/2023

SALARY: $75,000.00 – $110,000.00

CAREER INTEREST: Primary Research

How to Apply

Applications are welcomed and encouraged from all qualified individuals regardless of background and identity. Applications must include (a) a cover letter addressing your specific interest in the position and relevant experience and qualifications; (b) CV; (c) a personal statement describing your vision and plans for research and plans for research and collaborating to inform management of the Great Lakes (3-page maximum); (d) a statement on how you have or plan to contribute to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) (1-page maximum); and (e) a list of three academic references with contact information. 

Due to file size limitations, your application materials need to be submitted in two ways:

  1. In the online application system: upload your (a) cover letter and (b) CV as a single file
  2. Via email to Greg Dick ( send your (c) personal statement, (b) DEIJ statement, and (e) list of references

For assistance or for more information, please contact Greg Dick, Director of CIGLR, at


The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) is seeking a full-time Research Scientist in Biophysical Modeling in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) and the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). This position can be filled at the Assistant, Associate, or full Research Scientist rank depending on experience.

You will lead CIGLR’s portfolio of research in biophysical modeling, especially the use of coupled numeric hydrodynamic and ecological models to understand large-scale patterns and develop forecasts for the Great Lakes. Our past research in this area has included a Lake Erie harmful algal bloom forecast (now operational with NOAA), a Lake Erie hypoxia forecast (transitioning to operations), and biophysical forecast models used in support of lake management and international science initiatives. These models are increasingly important for informing adaptive management of the lakes, providing early warning to coastal communities, and assimilating data from observing systems and other sources.

This position complements CIGLR’s ecological and biogeochemical research. Modeling approaches are incorporated into our science enterprise and are a key component of our process of research to operations, which involves hypothesis generation, fundamental science on mechanisms and interactions, model design, model parameterization, skill assessment, and translation to an information product. Our coupled ecological-physical models build on observational and experimental work and incorporate scale and heterogeneity beyond what can be accomplished by monitoring or experimentation. This is of utmost importance for research that will inform management of the lakes, such as the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.  

Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Forecasting effects of nutrients, meteorology, and hydrodynamics on water quality in the Great Lakes
  • Modeling impacts of climate change, invasive species, and land use change on ecosystem function and services in the Great Lakes over mid- to long-term timescales
  • Assimilating data from observing systems, remote sensing, traditional sampling, and ‘omics to inform forecasts and/or models for inference
  • Integration of lake biophysical models with regional climate models, landscape and watershed models, and Earth system models
  • Co-development of information products to meet needs of identified stakeholders (e.g., public water systems, recreation users, lake managers)

You will actively supervise multiple modeling support staff, including those working on projects led by other PIs in a collaborative team environment. You will collaborate with NOAA PIs to develop new research projects. 

Your appointment will be with CIGLR, which is part of the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. CIGLR is a partnership between the University of Michigan and NOAA that brings together experts from academia and government research labs to work on pressing Great Lakes environmental challenges. You will spend the majority of your time at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor and will collaborate closely with colleagues at CIGLR, GLERL, SEAS, and other Great Lakes partners. CIGLR Research Scientists serve as principal investigators and work closely with GLERL investigators to develop new NOAA-supported research projects, oversee execution of ongoing projects at the Institute, and secure project funding from other sponsors. This position is open only to US Citizens or permanent residents due to federal security clearance required for access to NOAA GLERL facilities and resources.

The position comes with a guarantee of full-funding for the initial appointment of three years. During that time, you will be responsible for contributing to the projects supporting their position, while also developing new lines of research based on their interests. After three years, the position will be primarily supported by projects co-developed with NOAA GLERL, our main sponsor.

Mission Statement

The School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) overarching mission is to contribute to the protection of the Earth’s resources and the achievement of a sustainable society. Through research, education, and outreach, the faculty, staff, and students are devoted to generating knowledge and developing policies, techniques, and skills to help practitioners manage and conserve natural resources to meet the full range of human needs on a sustainable basis. To learn more about the SEAS’s mission and activities, please visit

The University of Michigan is consistently ranked among the top American public research universities, and Ann Arbor is routinely ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. due to its natural beauty, preservation of wooded areas, vibrant arts program, and lively downtown.

SEAS and CIGLR are committed to creating an inclusive and equitable environment that respects diverse experiences, promotes generous listening and communication, and discourages and genuinely responds to acts of discrimination, harassment, or injustice. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is rooted in our values for a sustainable and just society.

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

  • Generous time off
  • A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses

Required Qualifications*

Candidates must have a PhD in oceanography, limnology, aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, or a related field. The successful candidate is expected to have a strong record of publication, including first-author publications. Candidates should also have the following:

  • Experience developing hindcasts or forecasts using ecological or biogeochemical models coupled to 3-dimensional hydrodynamic models used in coastal marine or Great Lakes systems.
  • Experience with high performance computing systems and performing deterministic modeling in FORTRAN, Python, R, or similar programming language.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate with diverse experts at CIGLR, SEAS, GLERL, and other partner agencies/institutions/organizations.
  • Ability to effectively communicate, supervise and mentor employees and students, and provide scientific leadership of an interdisciplinary team.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for at least seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

Review of applications will begin March 14, 2023 and will continue throughout the posting period or until the position is filled.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development