European Union External Action

EEAS Vacancy Notice : Contract Agent FG IV post in the Strategic Communications Division Information Systems Officer - Data scientist EEAS Headquarters

09/01/2019 - 14:43
Contract agents

The closing date for the submission of applications is 29 January 2019 at 18.00 (CET). Late applications will not be accepted.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) supports the work of the High Representative in her tasks of conducting the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy and chairing the Foreign Affairs Council. It also supports the High Representative in her capacity as Vice President of the Commission with regard to her responsibilities within the Commission in the external relations field including the coordination of other aspects of the EU’s external action. The EEAS works in close cooperation with Member States, the Council and relevant services of the European Commission.

The EEAS Strategic Communications Division (Stratcom) leads the European Union's communication on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as well as its external action more broadly. It provides around-the-clock professional support to the HR/VP in all her public diplomacy activities. This includes integrated communication campaigns and media relations, web-based communication and social media, speeches, articles, graphic design and audio-visual materials. StratCom provides tailor-made communications guidance and support to the EU's network of 140 Delegations and offices around the world, as well as to the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations, and is responsible for allocating and ensuring proper control of communications budgets both at headquarters and in the field. It is also responsible for internal communications to EEAS staff.

On 5 December 2018 the College of the European Commission adopted an Action Plan against disinformation (JOIN(2018) 36 final), which was presented jointly by the Commission and the High Representative. The plan outlines concrete actions to bolster EU capabilities to detect, analyse and expose disinformation and strengthen coordinated and joint responses between the Union and Member States. In this context, EEAS will strengthen its Strategic Communications capacity, and in particular the Stratcom Task Forces for East, South and Western Balkans. This will be done bearing in mind the growing scale and importance of disinformation activities in those regions and the need to raise awareness about the adverse impact of disinformation. The Task Forces will also step up proactive strategic communications in the EU's neighbourhood and continue supporting independent media in cooperation with the relevant Commission services.

WE PROPOSE:  

One Contract Agent FG IV position for an Information Systems Officer - Data scientist to be based within the EEAS Strategic Communications Division. The data scientist will work with all three dedicated regional Task Forces (for the EU's Eastern Neighborhood, Middle East and Northern Africa and Western Balkans) as well as with relevant EEAS and EU services. S/he will: (a) contribute to the implementation of the EU Action Plan against Disinformation, and in particular with data mining using social and online media, and other data sources; (b) support EEAS disinformation experts in detection of disinformation patterns and trends; (c) provide data analyses reports and visualisations upon request, including the ones received through the Rapid Alert System (d) manage existing analytics tools and support the three regional Task Forces in the implementation of a more data-driven approach to communication, including developing better targeted communication campaigns, data-driven audience analysis, KPI-based monitoring and message testing, (e) support best practice exchange on countering disinformation and digital communications.

Functions and Duties:   

The Contract Agent will:

  • Support the three Task forces in conducting regular data mining using social and online media, and other data sources and also work in close cooperation with the EEAS IT team;
  • Detect disinformation patterns and trends using relevant data analysis tools;
  • Work on selecting features, building and optimizing classifiers using machine learning techniques;
  • Prepare enhancing data collection procedures to include information that is relevant for building analytic systems;
  • Support processing, cleansing, and verifying the integrity of data used for analysis and creating automated anomaly detection systems and constant tracking of its performance;
  • Prepare data analyses reports and visualisations and manage existing data analytics tools;
  • Manage existing analytics tools and support the three regional Task Forces in the implementation of a more data-driven approach to communication, including developing better targeted communication campaigns, data-driven audience analysis, KPI-based monitoring and message testing,
  • Support exchange of best practices on the detection, analysis and countering of disinformation;
  • Advise Delegations on the development of state-of-the-art data analytics and digital communications approaches.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Knowledge and Experience:       

Candidates should be able to demonstrate good knowledge and experience in the following areas:

  • Working experience of at least three years in data analysis, including skills in data-driven communications;
  • Knowledge on creating media analytical scripts and databases;
  • Proven experience in liaising with ICT providers and social media platforms;
  • Sound understanding of digital information space and the transformation of the media systems;
  • Understanding of the EU's strategic communications objectives in the European Neighbourhood and beyond;
  • Knowledge of EU institutions and decision-making processes, the EU's external action and EU enlargement policies would be an asset.

Skills:

Linguistic skills: English and/or French is required.

Knowledge of languages in the respective regions (e.g. Russian, Arabic or one of the languages of the Western Balkans) would be an asset.  

Communication skills: Capacity to work and communicate under time constraints in a multilingual international diplomatic environment. Creativity and flexibility.

Interpersonal skills: Teamwork and capacity to coordinate with other teams and multiple stakeholders.

Intellectual skills: Solid analytical capability as well as excellent drafting and reporting skills. Rapid grasp of problems and capacity to identify issues and solutions.

Computer skills:                              

Good scripting and programming skills: 

  • Excellent understanding of machine learning techniques and algorithms, such as k-NN, Naive Bayes, SVM, Decision Forests, etc.
  • Experience with common data science toolkits, such as R, Weka, NumPy, MatLab, etc. Experience with data visualisation tools, such as Gephi, D3.js, GGplot.
  • Proficiency in using query languages
  • Experience with NoSQL databases
  • Good applied statistics skills, such as distributions, statistical testing, regression, etc.

Social media skills:

  • Knowledge of Twitter and Facebook  and social media analytics is a key asset.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

Candidates for a contract agent FG IV post should:

  • - (i) have passed a valid EPSO CAST in FG IV ; or

- (ii) be registered in the EPSO Permanent CAST in FG IV  https://epso.europa.eu/apply/job-offers_en?keyword=&contract=37&grade=All&institution=101&location=All

  • have completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma;
  • have the capacity to work in languages of CFSP and external relations necessary for the performance of their duties. Knowledge of other EU languages would be an asset.
  • Be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union and enjoy full rights as a citizen

PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT

Brussels, Belgium

SPECIFIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:

The successful candidates will be required to undergo security vetting if they do not already hold security clearance to an appropriate level (EU SECRET), in accordance with the relevant security provisions.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Contract agent position (Function group IV); renewable contract for a maximum duration of 6 years (with a valid CAST exam). Initial contract: 1 year.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCEDURE[1]

Candidates should send their applications (CV and motivation letter - in English or French) to the mailbox: STRATEGIC-COMMUNICATIONS-RECRUITMENT@eeas.europa.eu

The closing date for the submission of applications is 29 January 2019 at 18.00 (CET). Late applications will not be accepted.

The selection panel will make a pre-selection on the basis of the qualifications and professional experience described in the CV and motivational letter, and will produce a shortlist of eligible candidates who best meet the selection criteria for the post.

The candidates who have been preselected will be invited for an interview by a selection panel. The panel will recommend a shortlist of candidates for a final decision by the Authority Empowered to Conclude Contracts of Employment. The Authority may decide to interview the candidates on the final shortlist before taking this decision.

Starting date: March/April 2019 in EEAS HQ (Brussels).

 

[1] Your personal data will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EC) 45/2001b, as implemented by Decision of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy of 8 December 2001. The privacy statement is available on EEAS zone (http://intragate.ec.europa.eu/eeas/eeaszone/?q=node/26891 ) and on the EEAS website

( http://eeas.europa.eu/jobs/contract_agents_hq/index_en.htm).

 

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