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Giga Data Science Interns, Office of Innovation, Giga, Switzerland, 6 months (remote work-Frascati, Rome) *2


  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Remote | Geneva
  • Grade: Internship - Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
  • Closing Date: Closed

We are seeking two data science fellows/Assistants to support data and mapping priorities for the Giga initiative, a partnership between UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). These fellows/Assistants will collaborate closely with the Φ-lab at the European Space Agency (ESA) to process geospatial data and develop AI/ML algorithms based on Earth Observation and geospatial data. The research fellows/Assistants will play a key role in supporting the objectives of the Giga initiative through their expertise in data science and machine learning.

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 fulfil 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, Innovation!

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.

UNICEF and ITU have launched “Giga”, a new initiative to connect every school to the internet, and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice. It also serves as a platform to create the infrastructure necessary to provide digital connectivity to an entire country, for every community, and for every citizen.

Providing connectivity to the world remains a challenge. According to the ITU, nearly 3.7 billion people remain unconnected from the internet, and by extension, unconnected to digital products and services that could dramatically improve their lives. Approximately 29% of 18-24-year-olds, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, do not have digital access (~360m people) and thereby lack access to the same information, opportunity, and choice as their more-connected peers. Unless things change, a big part of this rapidly growing group of young people is in danger of being left behind, excluded from the modern digital world. 

Closing the digital divide requires global cooperation, leadership, and innovation in finance and technology. Giga leverages data, innovative finance, and new technologies to bring the power of meaningful connectivity to fast-track young people’s access to educational resources and opportunities.

How can you make a difference?

You will work with the data science team on various initiatives to help actualize Giga’s ambitious goal of connecting every school, and every community to the Internet.

You will work with a diverse interdisciplinary team to help us scale our data processing pipelines, perform critical analysis and visualization, and build statistical and machine learning models to generate insights for the Giga project.

Your main responsibilities will be:

As a data science fellow/Assistant for the Giga initiative, you will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Collaborating with the Giga data science team and scientists at the Φ-lab, located in Frascati (IT), ESA’s Centre for Earth Observation to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to their current joint activities.
  •  Conducting exploratory data analysis on various data types and sources.
  • Supporting the processing of datasets, particularly geospatial and Earth Observation derived data on topics such as education, socio-economic conditions, population estimates, and infrastructure, as input for algorithm development.
  • Assisting in the creation of articles and scientific AI research manuscripts for publication.
  • Developing data visualizations and stories for analysis and communication purposes.

Description of assignment                    




Time Frame


Review on the research topic

Draft a proposal on the use of cutting-edge AI/ML algorithms to address the research topic.

Month 1



Supporting the development of research questions and hypotheses

Building a data pipeline for model implementation and preparing necessary data, including training and validation data


Codes for the data pipeline

Summary of research objectives and work plan

Preliminary of a clean and structured training and validation data for the model development

Month 2


Support the Development of  AI/ML models and documenting the research process and codebase


Codes for AI/ML model in GitHub

A draft of a document with details of research process and code/model development

Month 3-5


Assisting in the creation of articles and scientific AI research manuscripts for publication

Final handover report with documentation of data sources, data processing packages & pipelines, model, and the research process.

Month 6


  • Monthly report summarizing work and achievements.

Every month

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

  • Completed graduation within last 2 years or are currently enrolled in Computer Science, Machine learning, Data Science, Geospatial Sciences, or other relevant graduation programs (PhD degree is preferred but not required).
  • Published or open-sourced relevant data science projects or papers.
  • Knowledge of data quality and processing pipelines.
  • Deep interest and understanding of AI and Machine learning.
  • Experience with dealing with geospatial data (vector or raster).
  • Experience with Earth Observation data (preferred)
  • Technical experience in:
    • Languages: Python (required)
    • Data visualization libraries
    • Cloud services: Azure, AWS, etc. (preferred)
    • Geospatial DBs, libraries and data structures
    • SQL and NoSQL database systems
    • Experience with git
  • Be proficient in at least one of UNICEF's working languages: English, French or Spanish.  Fluency in the working language of the office you are applying to is required. Giga and ESA Φ-lab’s working language is English.
  • 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; and have no other relatives in the line of authority that the intern will report to.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
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 is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. 

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

This vacancy is now closed.
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