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Internship, Research Facilitation and Knowledge Management Team UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Grade: Internship, Intern
Job Expired 1 Apr 2021
Added 3 months ago
Job Description

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, Research

The Office of Research-Innocenti is the dedicated research office of UNICEF. It undertakes and commissions research on emerging or current issues of relevance for children in order to inform the strategic directions, policies and programmes of UNICEF and its partners. The office explores emerging issues, identifies research gaps, and brings together existing researchers to support or undertake new research, data collection and analysis to address critical questions. The Research Facilitation & Knowledge Management unit within which this internship is located plays a leading role in building a knowledge culture across UNICEF and beyond by providing essential guidance and tools to strengthen generation, communication and use of evidence in decision-making.

The purpose of this position is for an intern to assist the Best of UNICEF Research project manager with the 2021 exercise.

‘Best of UNICEF Research’ is an annual competition undertaken by Innocenti since 2012 to collect, share and recognise the research that takes place within UNICEF. Research in UNICEF is carried out and commissioned by Country Offices, Regions, Headquarters and, increasingly, by National Committees and is often undertaken with external partners.


This annual exercise calls upon all relevant sections of UNICEF to submit their best examples of high-quality research carried out either directly by UNICEF or with partners and completed in the past two years. Specifically, as part of this exercise, Innocenti is interested in receiving research that is:

• Likely to have an impact on national, regional or global policies for children, including national strategies and legal frameworks;
• Innovative and explores how programmes on the ground can be enhanced towards improved results, with respect to equity, effectiveness and efficiency, and the participation of children;
• Contributes to national, regional or global advocacy efforts in a way that has shifted programme horizons or explores a neglected area of children’s lives deserving of further inquiry; and
• Developing a robust or innovative methodology.

Innocenti screens all submissions for eligibility and assesses them according to standard criteria. A shortlist of the highest rated pieces (approx. 10) is shared with an external review panel, who identify the top pieces deserving of recognition. An annual publication is then produced, highlighting the research of all finalists.


This internship is to support the ‘Best of UNICEF Research 2021’ exercise. The intern will assist the Best of UNICEF Research (BOUR) project manager, based in the Research Facilitation and Knowledge Management team and other UNICEF-Innocenti colleagues in the overall management of the exercise including keeping track of all entries, allocating reviewers to different research pieces, updating the project database, providing regular updates to entrants, supporting the screening and assessment of the submitted research, supporting co-ordination of a publication on the top submissions, identifying promotional opportunities for the publication, including on social media and writing a ‘facts & figures’ document based on information collected from the submissions at the end of the exercise.

The intern will be supported to strengthen and demonstrate good project management and organisational skills. They will develop UNICEF Core Competencies in Communication, Working with People and Driving for Results. They will also develop Functional Competencies in Deciding and Initiating Action (taking responsibility for actions and projects, taking the initiative and working under their own direction where appropriate); Relating and Networking (building wide and effective networks and relationships across UNICEF staff and with external partners) and Analysing (analysing numerical and other data to identify pattern, trends and relationships and to develop further understanding of the issues).


In addition to development of these competencies, the intern will also increase their understanding of the way that research is conducted in an international UN organisation and how both ethical evidence generation and quality assurance are attained. They will gain broad exposure to the science communication process from a high-profile publication conceptualisation, peer review, conflict resolution, editing and design through to promotion, social media engagement and impact. They will also get a chance to apply their own specialist technical expertise and/or to develop theoretical expertise in the child rights area. Significant on-the-job training will be provided, and the intern will also be able to participate in office seminars and events as a full member of the office. The internship would suit an individual considering a career in science communication, child rights or the UN system.

How can you make a difference?

The intern will work under the supervision of the Chief, Research Facilitation and Knowledge Management at the Office of Research - Innocenti in Florence, Italy. Day to day supervision will be provided by the Best of UNICEF Research project manager. The main responsibilities/tasks will include:

• Agree a workplan supporting management of the ‘Best of UNICEF Research 2021’ project phases in consultation with the project manager.
• Monitor and follow up each phase interacting with Country Offices/Regional Offices/National Committees/Headquarter divisions, the External Review Panel and Innocenti colleagues, under the guidance of the project manager.
• During the internal assessment phase: Monitor the review process and provide assistance as needed, participate in reviewing the submitted research, collate all results and communicate them to the submitting offices and divisions, produce a ‘facts & figures’ summary of the key features of the 2021 research submissions.
• During the external assessment phase: Support the project manager in coordination of the selection of the top 10 pieces including the review by the external panel; communicate regularly with the submitting offices and divisions.
• During the publication and communication phase: Work with the project manager and the Communications team to support and answer queries during the writing, copy-editing, design, publication and promotion process; liaise and send feedback to submitting offices and divisions as requested.
• Support the Chief, RFKM and the project manager in other tasks associated with implementation of strategic innovations and future direction of Best of UNICEF Research, drawing upon ideas identified in the Best of UNICEF Research Retrospective publication and previous years exercises.
• Support the Chief, RFKM and the Director’s Office in production of PowerPoint presentations and similar outputs summarising Best of UNICEF Research and other research-related data upon request.

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

  • The candidate should:

    • Be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree programme at an accredited institution, preferably in the Social Sciences, Public Administration, International Relations, Business Administration, Public Health, Education, Development Communication or other fields related to the work of UNICEF (or be a recent graduate within the past two years);
    • Be Fluent in English. Knowledge of other UN working languages is considered an advantage (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish).
    • Have strong academic performance as demonstrated by recent university or institution records or, if not available, a reference letter from an academic supervisor
    • 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 which the intern will report to.
    • Have a visa which allows the applicant to complete an internship in Italy (UNICEF does not arrange visas for interns).
    • Have comprehensive health insurance coverage for the duration of the internship.
    • Applicants must be at least 18 years old


    Required competencies:

    • Technical – strong research and analytical skills, including a strong grounding in qualitative and quantitative research design and methods and an ability to synthesize concepts and material into clear and concise thoughts.
    • Technical - excellent understanding and knowledge of software such as, but not limited to, Microsoft Office applications, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Teams, etc.;
    • Technical - good data analysis and data visualization skills, with very good command of MS Excel. Basic statistical analysis and reporting skills (percentages, means, and drawing of charts).
    • Technical - ability to assess research in at least one of the following thematic areas: health, education, child protection, social inclusion, gender, water and sanitation, nutrition or research that cuts across a number of thematic areas/disciplines.
    • Managing resources – be self-sufficient, comfortable organizing and managing time and information to achieve defined goals and optimum results and able to work to strict deadlines.
    • Communication – capacity to effectively present ideas including complex technical concepts, in a clear, concise manner. Ability to edit and ensure quality of plain language summaries based on academic texts with accuracy and precision. Ability to communicate fluently and with diplomacy both verbally and in writing.
    • Flexibility – able to work effectively on multiple assignments simultaneously and to adapt to changing demands and circumstances.
    • Working with others - Ability to work both independently and as part of a team in face-to-face and in virtual environments. Excellent cooperation and teamwork skills.


    • Possess some research publications in a peer-reviewed scientific journal/s.
    • Have knowledge of and experience with the academic peer review process.
    • Possess some knowledge of Italian

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.

Phone Interviews: Week commencing 19 April 2021


Working hours: Full time Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:30pm CEST (flexible based on agreement) for both remote or onsite. If remote-based in a different time zone, some flexibility in working hours may be required to enable participation in meetings held during Florence office hours. Please note that due to COVID-19, staff presence in the office is currently restricted and so it is highly likely that the internship will at least start remotely.

Duration: 6 months, to start preferably on 10 May 2021 and conclude on 9 November 2021. A slight flexibility in dates and duration is acceptable.

Funding: The internship will be paid at a rate of US$1,200 per calendar month on a full-time basis. Whilst a full-time intern is preferred, a part-time position could be considered, in which case the monthly stipend will be paid on a pro-rata basis. In addition, the actual costs of return travel, up to a maximum of US$1,000, may be reimbursed for onsite interns selected from outside of the commuting distance of the duty station, as agreed in advance. All other accommodation and living expenses are to be covered by the intern or the sponsoring entity.

Eligibility: Interns are personally responsible for obtaining any required visa, covering the entire period of their internship. UNICEF can provide relevant documents such as proof of internship but is unable to support the visa application process any further.

Medical Insurance: Interns must demonstrate proof of medical insurance prior to the beginning of the internship. UNICEF accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance of the intern or costs arising from accidents and illness incurred during the internship.

Leave: Interns are allowed up to 2.5 days per month off work for any reason, including for medical reasons, based on a full-time internship. The paid stipend will be reduced for absence beyond this quota. This quota is cumulative over the duration of the internship, but there will be no compensation for unused leave days at the end of the internship


This internship opportunity is advertised on the UNICEF employment page and UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti employment page with the title “UNICEF BOUR Internship Application 2021”. Please fill in your resume and attach a cover letter. The application deadline is 31st March 2021with online interviews tentatively scheduled for the week of 6th April 2021.


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. Candidates who are nationals of low and middle-income countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

This job is no longer available.