Job Opening

Posting Title: 2018 Competitive Examination for Computational Linguists, P2, P3
Job Code Title: Computational Linguist
Department/Office: Office of Human Resources Management
Duty Station: NEW YORK; VIENNA;
Posting Period: 10 August 2018 - 09 September 2018
Job Opening Number: 18-Language-DM OHRM-101975-L- (L)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

• These positions are located at United Nations Headquarters in New York in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) and in the United Nations Office at Vienna.

• These positions are under the general supervision of the Senior Computational Linguist in the Documentation Division of DGACM.


Within delegated authority, the Computational Linguist will be responsible for the following duties:

•Facilitate delivery of gText and related language support services in order to ensure efficient processing of multilingual documentation;

•Provide support for users of gDoc and gText and related services and help to expand and improve the effectiveness of these services;

•Assist the Senior Computational Linguist in implementing the Division's workplan and overall Departmental policy relating to dDoc and gText services;

•Manage the performance and assist in supervising temporary contractors; and

•Perform other duties as required.


• Professionalism: Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

• Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

• Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.


Applicants must hold at least a three-year first-level degree or an equivalent qualification from a university or institution of equivalent status.

Work Experience

No experience is required; two or more years of practical experience as a computational linguist or in planning, design, development, implementation and maintenance of conference language technologies, products and systems or a related area is desirable, preferably within the United Nations system or similar international organization. Experience with PRINCE2 and ITIL methodology is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the posts advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of one or more additional UN official languages is an advantage.


• Applications will be assessed and screened on the basis of how well applicants meet the education, work experience and language requirements listed above, and only those applicants deemed qualified will be convoked to part one of the examination, which will consist of a written test.

• The written test will be administered online through a dedicated platform and is likely to comprise:

(i) questions covering fundamental concepts and/or algorithms in computational linguistics and natural language processing, and

(ii) computational problems involving programming and/or computational data analysis, both on subjects such as computer-assisted translation and terminology, machine translation, workflow operations and management of multilingual document or meeting services, and/or multilingual information exchange and retrieval.

• Details regarding the exact timing and arrangements will be sent to the candidates convoked for this first part of the examination. Details of any changes to the format of the test will be posted on the “Competitive examinations for language professionals” section of the United Nations Careers Portal ( Please check it regularly.

• On the basis of the results of part one of the examination, the Board of Examiners will invite selected examinees to take part two of the examination, which will include a competency-based interview. The interview is to assess whether the candidate possesses the competencies required for the position and is an integral part of the examination. Examinees who are invited to take part two of the examination should not assume that they will be automatically placed on a roster or offered an assignment.

• All examinees will be informed by email of the Board's final recommendation in respect of their candidature. The Board's recommendations are final and not subject to appeal. The Board does not release individual scores or results.

Special Notice

• The purpose of the present job opening is to invite applications to sit the competitive examination for Computational Linguists, which will be held in two parts (see “Assessment Method” below). Each part of the examination is eliminatory: only those successful in part one will be convoked to part two, and only those successful in part two will be placed on the roster for recruitment. Part one of the examination is tentatively scheduled to take place on 9 November 2018 and will be carried out entirely online.

• Candidates wishing to sit this competitive examination must submit an application through Inspira, the United Nations Secretariat’s online recruitment platform. They can start this process by clicking on the “Apply” or “Apply Now” button in the electronic version of this Job Opening. Applications must be submitted in English, referring to the English version of the Job Opening, accessible under the English version of the UN Careers Portal. The process is described in the "Competitive examinations for language professionals" section of the United Nations Careers Portal (

• When filling out their applications in Inspira, applicants should write in the cover letter section (step 7) approximately 150 to 200 words in English explaining how their experience, qualifications and competencies match the position for which they are applying.

• Applications that are incomplete (including those submitted without the required evidence of language skills or without the cover letter requested in steps 6 and 7, respectively, of the Inspira application form) and applications that are submitted or received after the deadline specified in Inspira will not be considered.

• All applications will be reviewed by the Board of Examiners. In instances where a large number of applications are received, the Board of Examiners reserves the right to admit to the examination only the most qualified applicants based on a review of qualifications over and above the minimum criteria (see education, work experience and language requirements below). All applicants will be notified by email of the Board’s decision in respect of their application. The Board’s decisions are final.

• On the basis of the overall results of the examination, the Board will recommend to the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management the names of candidates who qualify for inclusion in a roster of successful examinees.

• Present and future vacancies for Computational Linguists will be filled from the roster of successful examinees, subject to the requirements of each section or service in terms of expertise and language combinations. There are Computational Linguist posts in the language services of the United Nations Secretariat in New York and Vienna.

• Successful examinees selected from the roster to fill vacancies are normally offered an initial fixed-term appointment at the P-2 level for a trial period of two years. Upon satisfactory completion of this trial period, they may be promoted to the P-3 level. Fully qualified Computational Linguists with several years of internationally recognized professional language experience and demonstrated ability to perform high-quality work may be recruited at the P-3 level. After two years of satisfactory service on a fixed-term appointment, the candidate will be considered for a continuing appointment. Fixed-term appointments of those whose performance proves unsatisfactory will not be extended after the trial period of two years.

• It should be noted that successful candidates are expected to serve a minimum of five years in a language post and may, after the two-year trial period, be called upon to serve at a different duty stations according to the needs of the Organization. They should also note that, in accordance with the needs of the service/section, they may be called upon to work outside normal working hours, including weekends and holidays.

• Successful candidates who receive an offer of appointment are strongly encouraged to accept it, as declining may affect their prospects of receiving a subsequent offer.


• The competitive examination for Computational Linguists in 2018 is open to internal applicants at the P3 level and below who meet the eligibility requirements, as well as qualified external candidates, in accordance with the provisions of ST/AI/1998/7 and ST/AI/2000/1, as amended by ST/AI/1998/7/Amend.1 and ST/AI/2003/1, respectively.

• It should be noted that the requirement for a university degree or its equivalent from a university or institution of equivalent status (set forth in “Education” below) may be waived for staff members who, in the judgment of the Board of Examiners, have adequate post-secondary educational qualifications from a university or institution of equivalent status and adequate secondary educational qualifications, in addition to five years of continuous service with the United Nations Secretariat by 31 December 1989.

• The assignment of staff members of the United Nations who are successful in the examination and are selected to fill vacancies will be subject to the following conditions:

• Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be assigned as Computational Linguist for a trial period of two years according to the staff rules in force. Staff members below the P-2 level or in the General Service category will receive a special post allowance to the P-2 level. Staff members at the P-2 and P-3 levels will be assigned at their respective levels.

• Staff members with a special post allowance to the P-2 level and those already at the P-2 level who successfully complete the trial period and are recommended by the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management and the Office of Human Resources Management may be promoted to the P-3 level. Staff members already at the P-3 level who successfully complete the trial period will be confirmed in their functions at the P-3 level. After two years of satisfactory service on a fixed-term appointment, the candidate will be considered for a continuing appointment. This means that the candidate must demonstrate within that time that he or she possesses the requisite qualifications to serve as a career staff member of the United Nations in order to receive such an appointment. Staff members who do not successfully complete the trial period will be reassigned to posts at their previous levels, and any special post allowance will be discontinued.

• Staff members from subsidiary organs of the United Nations and staff members whose service is limited to a particular organ, fund or programme of the United Nations or a special mission are considered external candidates for the purpose of this examination. Such candidates, if successful in the examination, will be offered a new appointment with the United Nations, subject to normal United Nations recruitment procedures and standards.

• Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be recruited as Computational Linguist according to the staff rules in force.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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