Data Science Research Intern

United Nations Development Programme, Istanbul, Turkey

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
31st December, 2019

Job Description


Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD) is one of the UNDP’s six Global Policy Centers. IICPSD supports the private sector and foundations to become transformative partners in development through research, advocacy, facilitation of public-private dialogue and brokering partnerships. IICPSD leads UNDP’s global work on private sector and foundations and supports UNDP’s offices all around the world.
IICPSD offers internship opportunities for outstanding graduate-level students. The research internship programme provides direct exposure to IICPSD's work as a center of excellence for the private sector’s role in development and inclusive markets. The programme is designed to provide support to IICPSD’s applied research and policy advisory services as well as to complement the interns’ practical experience in various issues related to private sector engagement, human capital development, impact investing in the achievement of SDGs and other topics of international development.
The complexity of development challenges requires deploying advanced analytical systems that will harness insights from UNDP's experience and return synthesized and comprehensive information and visualizations for fast action.
The objective of the Data Science Research Internship is to provide the intern with the opportunity to work on how to deploy big data and machine learning approaches on development issues; and particularly to analyze and learn from text-based sources of data using natural language processing algorithms and tools. In particular, the intern will contribute to data acquisition, preparation, analysis, and visualizations efforts.
More information about UNDP’s private sector related work can be found online at The Programme operates under the rules and regulations of the UNDP Internship Policy.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Data Science Research Intern will work under the direct supervision and guidance of the technical specialist. The intern will perform the following functions:

  • Participate in the developing machine-learning research
  • Apply advanced natural language processing techniques to build, maintain, and improve on analytics, organize large datasets to get actionable insights from them;
  • Help communicating findings accurately to different stakeholders
  • Support the implementation of data science projects ;
  • Collaborate with private and public organizations to get access to their databases;
  • Outreach to organizations as well as academic institutions that apply data science to policymaking
  • Provide other support and assistance as required.


Technical/Functional Competencies:

  • Strong programming skills, experience with common data science toolkits, and proficiency in Python is strongly required, proficiency in other data science related software packages is an asset;
  • Excellent data preparation, processing, modelling and visualization skills;
  • Excellent understanding of machine learning techniques and algorithms;
  • Working knowledge of current NLP approaches is a strong plus.
  • Good understanding of neural networks, experience with Keras, Tensorflow or PyTorch;
  • Experience of big data technology and cloud computing platforms is a plus;
  • Good applied statistics skills, such as distributions, statistical testing, regression;
  • Good knowledge in building interactive web based visualizations, suach as d3.js
  • Interest in innovation for development;
  • Excellent ability to write and communicate with accuracy and professionalism;
  • Ability to manage workload with minimum supervision and collaborate with a wide range of colleagues while meeting deadlines;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: being able to listen and collaborate with a wide range of players, being able to work independently, being pro-active and taking initiative;
  • Be able to work both independently and as part of a team.

Personal Competencies:

  • Commitment to UNDP's mission, vision and values;
  • Sensitivity to cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age differences;
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.

Required Skills and Experience


Applicants must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

  • be enrolled in a second university degree programme (Master Degree)
  • be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (Bachelor Degree)
  • have graduated with a university degree
  • in fields such as Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Economics or similar and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation.

Language: Fluent in English with excellent reading and writing skills.


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