Data Science Internship at UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Title: Data Science Intern

Vacancy No: CPH/VN/2022/005

Duty Station: Copenhagen, Denmark

Duration: Six months (possibility of 2 months extension)

Contract Type: Internship

Expected Start Date: March 2022

Closing Date of Applications: 23 February 2022 Midnight CET

Organizational Context

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a Data Science Internship within the Global Data Service in Copenhagen Headquarters in Denmark.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. UNHCR teams are in the field in over 130 countries, using their expertise to protect and care for over 85 million people.

The Statistics and Demographics Section which is located in UNHCR’s Global Data Service (GDS) in Copenhagen, develops statistical definitions and standards, oversees the production of global statistics on refugees and other populations of concern to UNHCR, and applies innovative methods to answer questions related to forced displacement. Access to reliable, timely and accurate data is essential to achieve the aims of the Data Transformation Strategy 2020-2025, that is to position UNHCR as a trusted leader on data and information related to refugees and other populations of concern. The Section develops external products such as the annual Global Trends report, which analyzes the changes in forced displacement and statelessness and deepens public understanding of ongoing crises, and the Refugee Population Statistics Database, which enables humanitarian workers, decision-makers, researchers and many more to quickly access data and information on affected populations. The Section also uses innovative data sources and methods to help solve some challenges faced by the current and future state of forced displacement.

The internship is based in Copenhagen with the Statistics and Demographics Section’s Data Science Team, whose mission is to leverage big data sources and systematize innovative data science techniques into routine statistical activities, thereby helping to build a data science culture in the organization. The intern will work as member of the Data Science Team to contribute to the delivery of advanced analytical products in the field of predictive analytics, in consultation with the relevant operational teams, including field operations.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Intern will be expected to engage with and support the following activities:

• Support the projects of the Data Science Team in applying statistical and data science techniques to global forced displacement and statelessness situations data to improve the understanding of population behavior and vulnerabilities.

• Support the further development of nowcasting models of forced displacement flows between countries, identifying innovative methods and big data sources for the estimation of current situations, and working closely with other members of the data science team on extraction, cleaning, and formatting of data from external sources and APIs.

• Support the development of predictive models of refugee stocks and other forcibly displaced populations.

• Support in the update of data sets on persons of concern, including missing values imputation.

• Support collaborative work with external partners in other agencies, governmental bodies, and academic institutions.

• Support in defining modelling strategies for the impact of climate change on forced displacement.

• Any other related tasks, as needed.

Essential Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience Required

The ideal candidate will:

• Be a recent graduate (completed studies within one year at start date) or current student in a graduate/undergraduate school programme (Statistics, Economics Data Science, Mathematics, Physics or other quantitative field) from a university or higher education.

• Proven understanding of official statistics and operational data, including different data sources (surveys, administrative data and census)

• Knowledge of a (statistical) programming software such as STATA or R is required. Experience with data management tools, e.g. SQL, information sharing platforms and data visualization tools is desirable.

• Experience with applications of statistical and data science models to real-world data.

• Good oral and written communication skills and interpersonal abilities with fluency in English, knowledge of another UN language is an asset.

• Availability to work full time (40 hours) for at least 24 weeks.


In order to be considered for an internship, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

· Be a recent graduate (those persons who completed their studies within one year of applying) or current student in a graduate/undergraduate school programme from a university or higher education facility accredited by UNESCO.

· Have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant or of interest to work of the Organization.

· An individual whose father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister is a staff member of UNHCR, including a Temporary Appointment holder or a member of the Affiliate Workforce, is not eligible for an internship.

Location and Conditions

The successful candidate will be based with the team in Statistics and Demographic Section and work under the supervision of the Associate Data Scientist of the Data Science Team in the UN City Copenhagen, Denmark. The internship is a six-month full-time role with 40 working hours per week, from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The start date is to be determined in accordance with the measures adopted by the Danish government and guidance of UNHCR regarding the COVID-19 situation. Depending on the circumstances, there is a possibility the successful candidate will perform certain duties remotely and/or from at home.

Obtaining and renewing current visas and residence permits including all associated costs, are the responsibility of the intern. Please note that the terms of internship, as defined by UNHCR practice, include the payment of a Food and Local Transportation Allowance (FLTA). In case the intern is sponsored by another source during the internship this will be deducted from the FLTA.

How to apply

Interested candidates should apply online through the MSRP Portal with a Letter of Interest

· Job Opening ID 33704: Data Science Intern**

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

For any technical problems encountered during the on-line application, please contact the Global Service Desk at by allowing sufficient time for the resolution of issue.

The deadline for applications is 23 February 2022 midnight (CET, Central European Time).Country




Career Category

Years of experience