Location:          WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Duration of contract:            2-year fixed term renewable contract

WASCAL seeks to hire a Data Science and AI Research Assistant.  This is a local position and shall be based at the WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

WASCAL is a research and education-focused institute designed to provide knowledge and climate services that should help tackle the climate change challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems. It does so by strengthening the research capacity and infrastructure in West Africa related to climate change by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany. The West African countries include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d‘Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Cape Verde.

West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) with support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF) providing environmental and climate services. WASCAL, therefore, seeks to fill the position of Data Science and AI Research Assistant.

The overall role of the Data Science and AI Research Assistant will consist of providing AI and Data Science expertise to assist WASCAL Competence Centre in expanding its scientific and technical expertise to practical implementation of responsible AI-driven climate actions. Working within the Data Management Department (DMD) to provide AI-driven Data Extraction, Quality processing, and Analytics, and reporting to the head of DMD, he will also strongly be working with the Renewable Energy RTC and collaborating with a multidisciplinary team of climate scientists on the practical use and application of AI and data science to Energy and various climate research domains. He will also support efforts to establish and animate a new Data Science and AIoT laboratory at the Competence Centre. The successful candidates will be expected to undertake the following key responsibilities and fulfil the required skills and experience.

Essential Duties:

  • WASCAL Data Curation and Preparation (cleaning, reorganizing, labelling) for Data Science and AI use. This targets first the data from the ONs (basins and the transboundary) and the data from the H2 Atlas could also be considered as well.
  • Knowledge Extraction / Data mining from raw and curated data
  • AI-powered apps development (desktop, web and mobile) on climate and environmental issues (weather, energy, extreme events, deforestation, land degradation, etc.) combining real and climate scenarios data.
  • Development of practical AI courses
  • Support in organizing dedicated workshops on the use of AI in climate and: Economy, Biodiversity, Energy, Water, Agriculture, etc.
  • Support to WASCAL researchers and students in integrating AI in their research.
  • Creation and monitoring of AI community of users in West Africa
  • Contribute to proposals writing and scientific publications related to Data Science and AI for climate actions.
  • Any other duties

General Desired Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree in Computer Sciences, Information Technology, Engineering or a closely related field
  • Practical experience (minimum 2 years) working in a Unix/Linux environment as a Data scientist/analyst, Data[base] Engineer, IT officer
  • Knowledge in the integration of various end user operating systems (i.e. Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, VMWare), and common network protocols (ssh, ftp, etc.)
  • Minimum of two years practical experience in mobile, web and desktop applications development,
  • Minimum of two years practical experience in data acquisition, cleansing and analysis
  • Experience in the operation and administration of relational database management systems such as PostgreSQL, PostGIS, and MySQL
  • Excellent written and spoken communication in English and French.  
  • Knowledge of data management concepts and basic requirements
  • Experience with open Data Management Systems such as CKAN, DKAN, Dataverse, etc. and Content Management Systems such as Drupal, WordPress, Joomla,
  • Knowledge of data backup/recovery

Data Skills:

  • Data Infrastructure and IT Infrastructure deployment
  • Data Science and Machine/Deep Learning Python libs: Pandas, NumPy, Matplotlib, Sci-kit Learn, TensorFlow, etc.
  • Big data tools, such as Hadoop, MongoDB, and Spark
  • Automation, scripting, and coding (Scripting and programming languages such as SQL, C, C++, Python, Java, and R)
  • ETL (extract, transform, and load) systems
  • Knowledge of climate data modelling and computing is a plus

Software skills:

  • Database architecture
  • Agile and Scrum project management
  • Cloud computing
  • Version control
  • Design testing and debugging
  • Knowledge of Internet of Things (IoT) project development is a plus

Application procedure:

Applications including a cover letter (no more than two pages) highlighting the candidate’s experience against the criteria listed above (desired skills and experience), and a curriculum vitae  with names addresses and e-mail addresses of three professional referees should be emailed to candidature@wascal.org. Please indicate the job title in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted up to 31 July 2023. Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please visit www.wascal.org for further information.