Internship – AI Research Assistant, Remote, Office of Innovation, 4 months


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.

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?

We seek a strong self-motivated candidate with AI research experience who can maintain strong research sensibilities even under tight time constraints, who can work with a diverse team to create innovative AI solutions based on heterogenous dataset including satellite imagery and other spatial and non-spatial dataset. This candidate will support the data science team on various AI – initiatives to help actualize Giga’s ambitious goal of connecting every school, and every community to the Internet.

The team is looking for a candidate with some experience of developing scalable object detection AI models from satellite imagery and ability to carry out exploratory data analysis to prepare model training and validation datasets. The ability to develop scientific research manuscripts is an advantage and desirable.

Your main responsibilities include:

  • Work closely with the data science team to support exploratory data analysis on both vector and raster datasets.
  • Support the process to create, train, test and validation imagery and non-imagery datasets for AI model development.
  • Assist in conceptualizing and implementing various AI models for school location detection at scale.
  • Assist in building Machine Learning and AI models for predicting various connectivity variables.
  • Assist in putting together articles and scientific AI research manuscripts for publication.

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

  • Be enrolled in a graduate degree programme  in Computer Science, Engineering or other relevant field or have graduated within the past two years.
  • Experience with data visualizations
  • Experience with data modelling
  • Understanding of AI algorithms such as deep learning, UNET
  • Experience with geospatial data processing
  • Technical experience in:
    • Languages: python, Jupyter Notebooks, R,
    • Cloud services: Azure, AWS, etc
    • Geospatial DBs, libraries and data structures
    • Data visualization libraries
    • Sql and NoSQL database systems
  • Experience with git, pull requests
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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.



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

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. The candidate may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).


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