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FASTA Development Manager

Are you a weather/ climate researcher looking to move into a more innovation and development-facing role, or an innovation development professional looking to focus on climate and weather services in one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities? Would you like to advance the strategy and direction of our African storm forecasting system FASTA, and support the delivery of the project’s strategic objectives? Are you interested in pro-actively seeking funding to expand the delivery to African users, and foster African private-sector development? Would you like to be part of an experienced team and have the opportunity to contribute to capacity-building with African partner organisations?

FASTA has developed solutions to deliver 1 - 6 hour warnings (“nowcasts”) of high-impact African storms. African users and organisations receive our storm warnings within minutes, giving them an hour or more in which to take action. Through the application of innovative meteorological research to harness satellite data, we aim to provide capabilities for African national weather services to enhance their delivery of these weather forecasts and ensure access to high-quality weather information for African populations. Ultimately, better preparedness and informed decision-making using nowcasting information improves climate resilience and saves lives and livelihoods.

We are looking for a Development Manager to lead the expansion of uptake of FASTA through partnerships in Africa. You will be working as part of a team including experienced academics and researchers who have been part of the app development from the start, and existing partners in Africa and internationally.

As FASTA Development Manager, you will contribute to the development and uptake of the FASTA nowcasting system (already being used by African weather services and publicly available in Kenya). In particular, you will support transdisciplinary development of the project, engaging with scientists, forecasters, users and customers to enable better decision making.

A priority will be obtaining funding to support sustainable delivery of the system in Africa, including commercial funding or sponsorship, or project funding. You will take a lead on engagement with public and private-sector African partners. This will include assisting in the preparation and submission of bids for commercial sponsorship as well as collaborative proposals in response to external funding opportunities.

In the first instance, the role will contribute to the WISER Early Warnings for Southern Africa (WISER-EWSA) project in Southern Africa, in which FASTA products are being trialled with disadvantaged user groups in urban areas.

This role offers the opportunity to work with the Director and other team members to define the strategy and direction of FASTA, and support the delivery of that strategy. You may need to deputise for the Director in relation to FASTA, where necessary. You will develop a network of African and international partners and clients (building on our wide existing network), and you will take leadership of the interactions with external partners and clients.


To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Professor Doug Parker, Science Co-ordinator for NCAS at Leeds

Email: doug.parker@ncas.ac.uk 


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:  National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS)
Category:  Professional & Managerial
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £37,099 to £44,263 per annum
Working Time:  40-100% FTE will be considered
Post Type:  Full Time/Part Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (for 12 months (secondments welcome) due to the need to complete specific time limited work)
Release Date:  Thursday 11 January 2024
Closing Date:  Thursday 15 February 2024
Interview Date:  Wednesday 13 March 2024
Reference:  ENVNC1017
Downloads:  Candidate Brief  

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