Internship: Data Science for Epidemics in Urban Settings, Office of Innovation, New York or remote

Closing date: Saturday, 26 January 2019

Job no: 519140

Position type: Internship

Location: United States

Division/Equivalent: Field Results Group

School/Unit: Office of Global Innovation

Department/Office: Office of Global Innovation, New York

Categories: Innovation, Internship

UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, innovate...

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children's rights are critical to improving their lives.

The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.

UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:

  • Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
  • Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
  • Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.

The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs - and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively.

Our team

We're an interdisciplinary team around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling new technologies and practices. With our partners, we focus on convening and collaborating on new and different solutions, low- and high-tech, by:

  • Looking at the 2-5 year horizon to evaluate emerging and trending technologies and to see how UNICEF can work with the private sector on doing better business while improving essential services for children;
  • Investing in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the 0-2 year future including the Venture Fund that invests in open source technology solutions from start-ups based in UNICEF's programme countries;
  • Identifying proven solutions that can be implemented at national scale in multiple countries - taking the ideas that help thousands in one country, bringing them to dozens of countries across multiple sectors, and impacting the lives of millions of children.'

We are looking for an intern to join the Data Science team - a team that does research and support product development with non-traditional data (aka Big Data) and methods (aka Computer Science). It does so by combining several disciplines such as network science, complex systems, natural language processing, data mining, machine learning, remote sensing and artificial intelligence looking into programmatic problems such as epidemiology, sudden onsets, urbanization, migration, human dynamics, vulnerabilities, poverty, inequalities and bias.

The Science Team interacts with world class scientists, on the ground responders, private sector data holders and tech leaders to push the Data Science and AI agenda towards the problems that affect the most vulnerable children. It is a key part of the MagicBox project, working together with Software developers, project managers and country offices and divisions looking forward to streamlining breakthroughs and working methodologies into operational tools that can make a real impact. More info at https://www.unicef.org/innovation/Magicbox

How can you make a difference?

What could be a better way to spend your winter than trying to help develop and streamline lifesaving innovations in UNICEF - one of the world's largest organizations serving children? The UNICEF Internship Programme offers eligible/qualified students the opportunity to acquire direct practical experience in UNICEF's work under the direct supervision of experienced UNICEF staff.

As a UNICEF Innovation Intern you will:

  • Get to work on a specific project of strategic value to the team. You'll get to present your ideas and outputs to the team at the end of the summer.
  • Receive dedicated mentorship from a member of multidisciplinary team related to your project and your career and development plans
  • Be part of a dedicated induction programme to UNICEF and UNICEF Innovation
  • Have a fun and inspiring internship experience

Main responsibilities will be:

  • Modeling epidemic spread in urban contexts, outcome: scientific paper and/or a technical paper that can be implemented in within our big data platform
  • Supporting the team in exploring new geospatial datasets
  • Developing methodologies and pipelines to generate insights from human mobility data.
  • Supporting the team in getting a deeper understanding of the available data, e.g. representativeness, bias, etc.
  • Supporting the team in building models to: estimate population density, debias mobility flows, forecast the risk of spread of infectious diseases, etc.
  • Visualizing, interpreting and communicating findings to the team, UNICEF country offices, and the broader public.

To qualify as an advocate for every child, you will…

  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. programme in computer science, physics or related field, or have graduated within the past two years. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Have excellent academic performance as demonstrated by recent university or institution records.
  • Have no immediate relatives (e.g. father, mother, brother, sister) working in any UNICEF office.
  • Have no other relatives in the line of authority which the intern will report to.
  • Additional consideration will be given for any past experience.
  • Have expertise in data science, network science, complex systems and/or machine learning
  • Have experience with geospatial data analysis and visualization (including shapefile/raster mapping)
  • Have excellent programming skills: Python (preferred) or R.
  • Fluency in English is required.

Conditions

  • Individuals must fund their own travel and living expenses.
  • Selected candidates will receive a monthly stipend (unless already in receipt of support for the internship from a third party).
  • Individuals must have proof of medical insurance covering their time at the duty station.
  • Individuals are responsible for arranging any visa or immigration requirements.
  • Individuals are expected to provide their own laptop.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

Remarks:

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Duty Station: New York or remote

Duration: 12 weeks

Advertised: Jan 11 2019 Eastern Standard Time

Application close: Jan 25 2019 Eastern Standard Time

Source: UN Jobs

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Deadline/closing date: 
Friday, January 25, 2019