Category Host entity Country
Data Science Specialist Int. Specialist UNODC Austria

Data Science Specialist

Data Science Specialist

International Specialist
Host entity
Location, Country
Vienna (AUT)
Language skills
Expected Starting Date
3 months with possiblity of extension
Application deadline
Eligibility criteria
Minimum age: 25 years old. Nationals of the country of assignment are not eligible, except the assignments in Headquarters duty stations.
Description of task

Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of Drug Control and Crime Prevention Officer of the Data Development and Dissemination Section or his/her designated mandated representative(s), the UN Volunteer Data Science Specialist will:

  • Expand and refine terminology ‘dictionary’ key word search terms to improve data harvesting algorithms results and expand event identification with a focus on high frequency crime and drug statistics to monitor the impact of drug trafficking.
  • Develop software to access live unstructured data with pre-defined frequency and put in place necessary infrastructure for subsequent data handling and extraction.
  • Maintain and regularly update a central repository of sources used for ‘web scraping’ activities used to develop datasets.
  • Support communication and coordination with data harvesting providers and assist with the refinement of existing data sources.
  • Design and develop software applying Machine Learning techniques (including Natural Language Processing) for extracting quantitative information and other relevant variables from unstructured data (textual articles publicly available on the web); ensuring a high-quality output through ‘noise’ elimination’ and de-duplication from within the resulting dataset; conduct iterative testing of software.
  • Adapt Machine Learning models to account for multiple language text and drug/crime lexicon.
  • Ensure software’s full text extraction capabilities from relevant internet pages and related sources.
  • Maintain and regularly update the central repository of sources used for ‘web scraping’ activities used to develop datasets.
  • Set up categorial codes creations to convert text into qualitative information; utilize standardized vocabulary to parse expressions which indicate quantitative information.
  • Collaborate with DMP team members working on Platform front end production to define data schemas, including provision of insight on possible data structure changes needed, for automatic uploading of resulting datasets into the Platform and ensure quality assurance prior to Platform visualization.
  • Conduct in-team and inter-section capacity building on data science practices as needed.
  • Any other related tasks as may be required or assigned by the supervisor.

Required degree level
Master degree or equivalent
Educational additional comments

Advanced higher degree (Master’s or equivalent) in a relevant area, e.g. data science, statistics, mathematics, computer science and social sciences; a first-level university degree or equivalent in combination with relevant training and/or professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree;

Required experience
36 Months
Experience remark

At least 3 years of professional work experience at the national and/or international level in research methods and applied knowledge of big data analytics and artificial intelligence such as machine learning and data mining is required; experience working in the UN or other international development organization is an asset;

Experience in managing large datasets, software development, including iterative design and execution, and data analysis through programming languages (R or Python);

Knowledge of the concepts related to database management systems, including SQL and coding;

Experience manipulating and analyzing complex, high-volume, unstructured data from varying sources;

Language skills
  • English(Mandatory), Level - Fluent
Area of expertise
Database design, administration and maintenance
Area of expertise details

Excellent programming, statistical reasoning, analytical, planning and organizational skills;

Excellent oral and written skills; excellent drafting, formulation, reporting skills;

Excellent interpersonal skills; culturally and socially sensitive; ability to work inclusively and collaboratively with a range of partners, including grassroots community members, religious and youth organizations, and authorities at different levels; familiarity with tools and approaches of communications for development;

Demonstrated skills in research, communication and project management are an asset;

Ability to communicate complex quantitative analysis in a clear, precise, and actionable manner;

Experience in analytical work based on quantitative methods, preferably in data science methods, drug and or crime data and quantitative analytic approaches (e.g. natural language processing);

Ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel;

Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment; Extensive experience with statistical packages (R and/or Python);

Self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines;

Have affinity with or interest in drugs, crime and related issues, volunteerism as a mechanism for durable development, and the UN System.

Fluency in spoken and written English is required;

Working knowledge of another United Nations official language is an advantage;

Driving license
Competencies values
Adaptability and Flexibility, Commitment to Continuous Learning, Communication, Integrity, Planning and Organizing, Professionalism, Working in Teams
Application procedure
* Not yet registered in the UNV Talent Pool? Please first register your profile at https://vmam.unv.org/candidate/signup. Important: After creating your account, complete all sections of your profile and submit it. Then go to ‘My Page’ at https://vmam.unv.org/candidate/mypage and click on the ‘Special Calls’ hyperlink. Lastly, select the special call to which you would like to apply. * Already registered in the UNV Talent Pool? Please first update your profile at https://vmam.unv.org/candidate/profile. Then go to ‘My Page’ at https://vmam.unv.org/candidate/mypage and click on the ‘Special Calls’ hyperlink to select the special call for to which you would like to apply. Application deadline: 28-09-2021