Job Opening

Posting Title: Data Scientist (Drugs and Crime), P3
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 27 August 2021 - 08 October 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Data Analytics and Management-UNODC-162127-R-Vienna (E)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Data Development and Dissemination Section (DDDS), Research and Trend Analysis Branch (RAB), Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Vienna. The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Programme Officer (Drugs Monitoring Platform) and the overall guidance of the Chief, DDDS, with an additional reporting line to the Chief, Information Technology Service (ITS), Division for Management (DM), United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) or his/her designated mandated representative.

For more information on unodc, please visit


Within assigned authority, the Data Scientist will be responsible for the following duties:

•Mine and analyze open data sources to enhance the collection of subject domain data.
•Assess the comprehensiveness, validity and accuracy of new data sources and data gathering techniques; explore sources to determine their effectiveness and accuracy for use and assess their suitability for actionable output.
•Develop custom data models and algorithms to apply to drug and crime data sets.
•Use predictive modelling to increase and optimize Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) outcomes.
•Coordinate with different functional teams to implement models and monitor outcomes.
•Develop processes and tools to monitor and analyze model performance and data accuracy.
•Liaise with technology stakeholders to access infrastructure, software and services needed to develop and deploy data science products.
•Develop products, tools and processes to periodically validate the effectiveness of data science products and their expected and observed benefits; iteratively improve models based on findings (test model quality) and undertake regular model maintenance.
•Design and build predictive data science products, such as visualizations, models or AI/ML algorithms for initial simulations or prototypes, and subsequent ingestion into mainstream software applications.
•Manage and maintain existing production code (e.g. Azure, AWS), progress and optimize existing code for adaption to other thematic areas and evolving project objectives.
•Develop and maintain comprehensive and well-structured documentation of algorithms, models and code.
•Develop methodological guidelines for dissemination purposes on selected topics including on reproducibility, deduplication and use of social media; maintenance and updating of data harvesting and ML model technical documentation.
•Maintain and regularly update the central repository of sources used for ‘web scraping’ activities used to develop datasets.
•Organize quantitative information extracted from the web into a structured and consolidated dataset(s) (compliant with the DMP data structure) by integrating text normalization for drug/crime lexicon and ensuring harmonization with UNODC definitions and classifications; address anomalies in the information.
•Ensure consistency with the United Nations’ Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN OICT) policies, standards and security measures implemented in close coordination with the Information Technology Service (UNOV/DM/ITS).
•Contribute to the development, implementation, and management of Drugs Monitoring Platform and cloud-based databases and application, and the dissemination of these data.
•Organize and participate in seminars, working groups and expert meetings as a technical resource person.
•Ensure coordination with field offices, respective programmes and other stakeholders to promote activities in the field and globally.
•Foster partnerships with other entities with a data science mandate to improve information and knowledge-exchange.
•Contribute to expanding short- and long-term data science strategy for the Branch and provide data-driven recommendations.
•Work within cloud framework for the deployment of models.
•Serve as Branch focal point on all data science-related matters.
•Perform other work-related duties, as assigned.


Professionalism: Has knowledge of the data analysis life cycle from ingest and wrangling to analysis, visualization and presenting findings. Has excellent knowledge of statistical and computational methods, such as clustering, classification, correlation, dimension reduction, forecasting, machine learning, detecting outliers, and regression. Is able to provide effective advice on concepts and approaches relevant to data science. Has good research and problem-solving skills in analytical and statistical reasoning, planning and organization, communication and project management. Has knowledge of statistical principles and methods. Has knowledge of statistical techniques to analyze data. Is able to produce methodological guidelines and international statistical standards. Is able to identify issues, formulate options and make conclusions and recommendations. 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.

Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments. Adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in data science, computer science, information management, statistics, economics, or related field, is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience in data science, big data analytics, applied research methods, machine learning, data mining, deep learning or related area are required.
Experience with data science tools such as Matlab, Julia, KNIME and data analysis through Statistical Programming Languages (Python) including libraries (e.g. NLTK and Spacy) is required.
Experience in managing large datasets, particularly, unstructured data, software development, including iterative design and execution with focus on text classification and named entity recognition is required.
Analytical work experience based on quantitative methods, preferably in data science methods and qualitative and text analytics approaches (e.g. natural language processing) and in developing methodological standards are required.
Experience with using data science methods and tools for the production of statistical information and analyses is desirable.
Experience with database management systems, including SQL, MongoDB and coding and with continuous development using Git, Jenkins, Docker and AzureDevOps is desirable.
Experience with cloud framework for the deployment of models, production code (e.g. Azure, AWS) development environment is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of a second official UN language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This is a project post. Filling of this position is subject to funding availability and the initial appointment will be for a period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of funds.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Vienna is classified in the H category (family duty station).

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, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, 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. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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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