Those on the scientific ladder are held to a rigorous publication standard. The scientific appointments ladder at NCAR has four levels: scientists I and II are term appointments made by the NCAR divisions and programs, while the scientists III and senior scientist appointments are without term. Advancement or appointment to scientist III or senior scientist is based on a process of confidential review and recommendation that involves both the senior scientific staff and senior management through the Appointments Review Group (ARG).
Scientists must have completed a Ph.D. and have experience as a Postdoc, either at NCAR or elsewhere. NCAR's scientific appointments process provides the institution with the intellectual leadership necessary to identify, direct, and contribute to solving the most important and challenging problems in atmospheric science.
Associate Scientists must have earned a Bachelor's degree and often, a Master's degree is preferred. While the scientific publication standard is not as strict as for a Scientist on the scientific ladder, Associate Scientists make important contributions and lend much-valued support to the scientific missions and goals of NCAR. Associate Scientists contribute to research on topics ranging from air turbulence to aircraft safety and from air quality to greenhouse gases.
Project Scientists are required to have a Ph.D. and are dedicated to individual scientific project work. Often, Project Scientists are hired for term positions of between 6 months and 3 years. Their scientific expertise is valuable to many different divisions, programs and laboratories.