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RE-STORM: Extra-tropical cyclone predictability for revised decision making

Project Description

Reference number: CENTA20-LU5
Start date: 1 October 2020
Closing date: 10 January 2020
Interview date: Week beginning 3 February 2020

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project Detail:

Severe extratropical cyclones (ETCs) are one of the largest, most disruptive risks for the UK and Europe, causing flooding (coastal, pluvial) and/or wind damage.

RE-STORM will use a state-of-the-art hindcast approach and seasonal forecasts (e.g. SEAS5) to better understand the occurrence and predictability of severe wind storm events capable of damage. Excitingly, it has recently been shown that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) cannot be the only controlling influence. The challenge is to determine what meteorological variables or metrics (e.g. NAO, storm count) give predictability to estimates of loss in the upcoming storm season and understand why the skill exists in terms the controlling atmospheric processes. Related opportunities include understanding when the predictive metrics should have attention paid to them (e.g. at extremes of NAO, and for which geographic locations).

The insights from physical science will feed into practical considerations, such as investigating how predictions about the season ahead will make most difference to reinsurance decision-making. So, as well as leading scientific debate, the PhD student will learn data science skills and engage with (re)insurance sector, potentially enhancing their post-PhD job prospects. A placement/internship is envisaged.

Find out more:

For further information on this project, please see the main CENTA website ( or contact Dr John Hillier () or Prof. Gregor Leckebusch ().

Entry requirements:

Applicants will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Geography, Earth Science or Environmental Science. Applicants with a numerical/computational degree (e.g. Engineering) will also be considered. A Master’s degree and/or experience in a related area associated with the research will be an advantage.

How to apply:

To apply:

1. Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word format (available from or here).
2. All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select “Geography and Environment”. During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.

Please quote CENTA20-LU5 when completing your online application.

Funding Notes

Funding information:
The studentship is funded for 3.5 years and is intended to start in October 2020. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum (in 2019/20) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,327 in 2019/20) and a research training support grant of £8,000. Please note that due to restrictions imposed by the funder, only students with a UK/EU fee status will initially be considered for this position.

Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms and Conditions: View Website

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