Temporary position OT-10809

Development of a semi-distributed hydrological model for real-time flood forecasting

92160 Antony

Back to jobs listing

INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France. The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

You will be working within the HYCAR research unit (Influenced Continental Hydrosystems: Resources, Risks, Restoration). It is located on the Antony site of INRAE (close to Paris, France) and gathers about forty scientists including 20 permanent staff. The unit is composed of three teams working on ecological engineering (ARTEMHYS), river hydroecology (HEF) and catchment hydrology (HYDRO). You will be at the heart of a very dynamic unit in the fields of modelling and observation. HYCAR is internationally recognized for its hydrological and ecological models and databases.


Within the HYDRO team, you will be responsible for developing a semi-distributed hydrological model for flood forecasting at the national scale, analyzing its performance and evaluating the sensitivity of its results to various factors (lead time, space and time scales, etc.) on gauged and ungauged catchments. You will rely on the GRSD semi-distributed hydrological model developed within the HYDRO team and on recent results obtained by applying data assimilation schemes (ensemble Kalman filter and particle filter) within this model.

You will be more particularly in charge of:

  • Implementing the GRSD model at the national scale (metropolitan France and Reunion Island) for flood forecasting objectives, ensuring a good flexibility of the model in terms of choice of lead times, time step and spatial discretization;
  • Testing the efficiency of this model in gauged and ungauged contexts on a large sample of catchments using a wide range of event-scale criteria;
  • Carrying out the dissemination of this work by writing one (or more) scientific paper(s), presenting it in an international (and/or national) conference and contributing to writing scientific or technical reports.

If necessary, you may contribute to optimize the code operations to maintain reasonable computation times, typically by proposing variable spatio-temporal resolutions according to the basins or by using parallel computing.

Your work will be part of research actions carried out within the HYDRO team on hydrological forecasting (research project with OSU Réunion and work for the development of operational forecasting systems for the Vigicrues network - www.vigicrues.gouv.fr).

  • Non-frequent business travels, mainly in the context of project meetings and dissemination actions (conferences in particular)

Training and skills


Recommended training:

  • PhD in hydrology, Earth sciences or hydrological modelling

Expected qualifications:

  • Advanced knowledge in hydrology and meteorology
  • Hydrological modelling for forecasting applications
  • Knowledge in data assimilation techniques (like Kalman filter or particle filter)
  • Proficiency in a programming language (R and Fortran highly desirable)
  • Programming on collaborative platforms like GitLab

Experience needed:

  • Experience in the field of flood forecasting and/or data assimilation
  • Experience with distributed or semi-distributed hydrological models

Valuable experience:

  • Experience with operational flood forecasting services

Expected skills:

  • Ability to work and communicate effectively in a team environment
  • Autonomy in exchanges with external research and operational partners
  • Excellent writing and communication skills in scientific English
  • If possible, good level in French

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer advise;
social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

How to apply

I send my CV and my motivation letter

Offer reference

  • Contract: Temporary position
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Beginning: 01/02/2021
  • Remuneration: between 2371,13 and 2919,39 € per month depending on professional experience
  • Reference: OT-10809
  • Dealine: 06/12/2020
Centre Ile-de-France - Jouy-en-Josas - Antony

UR1462 HYCAR 92160 Antony