Short-term International Consultants on STEM Literacy Assessment Tools, Beijing, China

Job no: 556715
Position type: Consultant
Location: China
Division/Equivalent: Bangkok (EAPRO), Thailand
School/Unit: China
Department/Office: Beijing, China
Categories: Education

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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, Care 

The Education Section works with the Government of China and our partners, communities and parents, to provide the country’s most disadvantaged children with learning opportunities that will change their lives. We help to strengthen China’s education system, so that it addresses the needs of the most excluded and vulnerable children, including those with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and rural and urban poor, while ensuring that girls and boys have the same opportunities. We also promote nurturing environments that ensure that children develop into well-rounded individuals, by meeting their physical, cognitive, creative and social and emotional needs.

The 2015-2025 education program also embraces key strategic shifts and will have a renewed focus on upstream engagement and policy work. It will strategically focus on evidence generation and research, policy analysis, advocacy for children’s rights and adaptation of international evidence to China’s context. There will also be a shift from child-friendly schools to child-friendly education systems, scaling-up of adolescent programs, particularly integrating life skills into the secondary technical and vocation education & training (TVET) reform process and expanding alternative learning pathways for out-of-school adolescents.

How can you make a difference? 

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education) is increasingly regarded as a vehicle for innovation and social-economic development worldwide. In China, Science and Innovation has been defined as a national strategy and driver for future growth.  The country aims to develop cohorts of young talents with scientific competencies and mindset, as well as sufficient digital skills and life skills to prepare for their future.

Since the 1980’s, UNICEF has been working with China Association of Science and Technology (CAST) to support adolescents, especially girls and those from the most vulnerable groups, to develop STEM and life skills. CAST has a national remit to improve access to and quality of science learning, complimenting the formal school system with a readily available network to reach out to leading Chinese scientists and rural schools.

For the 2021-2025 program cycle, UNICEF and CAST will embark on an exciting new project: Inspiring the Future – STEM Education for Rural Adolescents. The project aims to deliver in four thematic areas:

  1. inform policy  on China’s STEM talent pipeline development
  2. capacity build rural STEM teachers
  3. inspire and support STEM learning for rural adolescents (girls in particular), and
  4. upskill grassroots STEM centres to provide alternative learning pathways

One major output of the project under thematic area one is to develop a STEM competency framework and its accompanying assessment tools in order to provide a set of systematic tools to capture the STEM learning outcomes in China, which feeds into the first thematic area to inform policy and thinking through generating evidence-based insights

The National Institute of Educational Sciences (NIES) has been commissioned to lead the development of the STEM literacy framework, drawing on its years of solid experiences working with schools to deepen STEM learning.

 The international consultants will:

  • Provide several rounds of technical comments and reviews to the assessment tool (methodological and analysis framework, questions), help verify and assess the relevance, validity, effectiveness and feasibility of the assessment tool, help ensure it is academically robust and ethically compliant.
  • Compare and align, where possible, the tool with international practice and tests to maximize the compatibility and comparability with established international tests (for example, PISA and TIMSS).
  • Provide technical advice on the development of the digital platform to help refine the detailed platform development plan to ensure the technical specifications best reflect and deliver on the purpose the assessment.

The two consultants will work closely with the NIES expert team and two other international experts on STEM literacy framework to join technical briefings and discussions, while carrying out and providing several rounds of independent reviews and individual analysis to help ensure different perspectives can be brought into the work.

For details of the assignment, please refer to Download File TOR on International consultancy on STEM Assessment Tools.pdf

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have

Qualifications required and disciplines:

Master’s degree in education, social research, social science and/or other relevant disciplines, specialized STEM education background will be a plus.

  • Knowledge/Experience/Expertise/Skills required:
    • Minimum ten years of experience in STEM education related field
    • Hands-on experience on developing competency-based assessment tools and adaptive assessments, STEM education research, STEM teaching and learning strategy and/or competency-based education assessment.
    • Proven experience of international consultancy experience working with overseas countries and/or international organizations.
    • Excellent writing and speaking skills in English.
    • A good team player, able to work within deadlines.
    • Understanding of China education context.

The following are considered strong assets:

    • Previous technical roles with established national and international educational research projects (i.e. PISA, TIMSS etc.) is an asset.
    • Previous international consultancy experiences with UN agencies and/or China related projects.
    • Strong connection and existing engagement with China in the STEM education field.

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS). 

  To view our competency framework, please visit here

  UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

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. 

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws. 


Advertised: China Standard Time
Application close: China Standard Time

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