Working with CCSI
Project Lead: Food Sector and the Sustainable Development Goals
We are recruiting a researcher to lead on our nascent program to develop a robust conceptual framework to rigorously define the contours of SDG-aligned corporate conduct in the food sector. This framework aims to benchmark SDG-aligned corporate standards, helping to guide the activities of corporations and supporting the engagement of corporate stakeholders, including investors, consumers, and policy makers. This sector-specific Framework considers: (1) the impacts of corporate products, (2) the impacts of corporate practices and operations, (3) responsibility for corporate supply chains, value chains, and downstream use, and (4) corporate governance and corporate citizenship.
The researcher will be responsible for finalizing the framework, in coordination and consultation with partners and other stakeholders; developing additional outputs that build off the framework; and organizing events and other programmatic activities for the project. The researcher will also be integrated more generally into our broader activities related to responsible investment in agriculture, land, and food systems.
For more details and to apply, please see here.
Please do not send application materials directly, but for any questions about the position or application process, please contact us.
Application deadlines are as follows (although applications will be considered on a rolling basis):
- Fall semester: September 18
- Spring semester: January 15
- Summer: March 31
Candidates must currently be enrolled in a degree program, have astute research, analytical and writing skills, and enjoy working on a team. Only students currently enrolled at Columbia University are eligible for paid positions. Candidates must commit to at least 10-15 hours per week for Spring or Fall internships unless otherwise indicated, but more hours are possible. Summer internships are full-time (35-40 hours per week), unless otherwise noted. Continuation into subsequent semesters is possible, and course or academic internship credit can be granted in limited cases.
If you are applying for a paid internship, please indicate if you are work-study eligible (preferred but not required).
(Remote) Internship opportunities available for Spring 2021:
Paid internship: Community Based Environmental Impact Tracking for Bauxite Mining in Guinea
Guinea has the world’s largest bauxite deposits. Much of its rural population is employed in agriculture and fresh-water fisheries, both of which are disrupted in mining regions by mining-produced dust. We seek to reduce these impacts with better enforcement of existing regulations using remote sensing, field evidence submitted by affected communities via smartphones, and a legal review of best practices. Because travel is not possible during the Covid epidemic, the Columbia researchers involved in the project are working with project sponsor UNDP Guinea to collaborate with a network of researchers, all students at the College of Mines in Boké, who are trained in GIS. This proposed collaboration may include:
- surveys that help to describe the local cultural context relative to mining and mining impact tracking;
- collection of soil samples and photographs to help ascertain the extent of mining dust propagation in the region;
- testing of an app under development to help record and geolocate dust that is suspected to contain bauxite;
- comparison of local knowledge and awareness of bauxite dust behaviors with and without the app;
- other considerations relevant to the development and hand-off of the app and guidance on the legal context in which environmental impacts may better be tracked.
We are seeking a French native-speaker undergraduate or graduate student to help organize work with local participants who will execute fieldwork in Guinea’s Boké region on behalf of our project. The research assistant will:
- establish and maintain contact with UNDP officers regarding their networks in Boké;
- support Columbia researchers in design of interviews and testing protocols;
- assist in arranging participant contact, training and stipends;
- write and maintain French language meeting minutes as needed;
- attend research team meetings (currently monthly but may be scheduled biweekly depending on project phase).
Unpaid internship: Institutional Investors, ESGs and the SDGs
CCSI is looking for a graduate student to assist a research project seeking to provide insights into the role of the investment community (asset managers, asset owners, and intermediaries) in the achievement of the SDGs and regarding how ESG strategies might differ from SDG-alignment ones. Preference will be given to students with experience in the financial sector and a strong understanding of the ESGs and the SDGs.
Paid internship: Global Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Natural Resources and the Energy Transition”
Despite the important implications for natural resource investments and resource-rich governments, the world still lacks a coherent vision to guide global actors in shifting the course of natural resource investments and the provision of energy in a way that leads to deep decarbonization, addresses the development needs of resource-dependent, low-income countries, and respects the rights and interests of impacted communities. CCSI, together with partners, is developing a massive open online course (MOOC) on “Natural Resources and the Energy Transition.” The course will build awareness, understanding, and relevant technical capacity among a wide range of government officials, development partners, civil society representatives, business leaders, and others concerning the role of and implications for extractive industries in light of the urgent and necessary energy transition.
CCSI is seeking a student intern to provide administrative, operational, and technical support to the course development. The ideal candidate will be highly organized and responsive, have strong time management, writing and communication skills, and an interest in natural resource management and sustainable development.
Paid internship: The Political Economy of Extractive Industries
CCSI is seeking graduate students or advanced undergraduate students to assist with research, writing and other support related to CCSI’s Executive Session on the Politics of Extractive Industries, a project devoted to grappling with and addressing the ways in which political realities shape the outcomes of work intended to foster good governance of extractives. The ideal intern would have a background in political science or development, be self-motivated and an excellent writer.
Paid internship: Responsible and Rights-respecting Land Investments
CCSI seeks a JD, LLM, or other graduate student (or a motivated and high-performing undergraduate student) to support the Center’s research and advisory work on responsible and rights-respecting land-based investments. The internship will involve working closely with senior staff on priority projects requiring research, analysis, and writing. These projects may include monitoring and responding to emerging risks in land-based investments due to COVID-19; and supporting the development of innovative responses and resources addressing key challenges for communities, governments, the private sector, and other stakeholders. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills and the ability to read French. Knowledge or experience of issues relating to responsible land-based investment, land rights, government policymaking related to investments, and/or community rights in the context of resource investments is desirable. (This internship is also available during Summer 2021).
Paid internship: Enabling Communities’ Meaningful Participation in Investment-related Decision-making
CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with research and other activities relating to research on two questions. First, how communities can be enabled to better access and use investment-related information to protect their rights. Second, how norms can be developed to clarify the responsibility of the private sector to pay for independent technical support to such communities. The intern will work closely with CCSI researchers and conduct detailed desk-based research on international frameworks and industry standards, among other questions. There may also be the opportunity to contribute to strategy development for a private sector advocacy effort. Other assistance may be required in the lead up to the publication of various strategic outputs aimed at different stakeholder audiences. Preference will be given to students with strong research and analysis skills, including the ability to use academic databases and other online search techniques. Some knowledge or experience with the fields of business and human rights, responsible land-based investment, ESG, and/or political economy is also desired.
CCSI is working with the African Development Bank and the FERDI institute to develop a capacity building program in fiscal modeling for 8 African countries. CCSI is seeking a graduate student from SIPA or Columbia Business School with strong fiscal or financial modeling capabilities, with a preference for students with experiences in the mining and petroleum sectors.
Student Editors for Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy
The Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy is an annual publication published by Oxford University Press in association with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. It draws on the guidance of a distinguished Advisory Board and ongoing engagement by an Editorial Committee consisting of leading academics in the field of investment law and policy. The Yearbook addresses legal and policy issues in the area of international investment from national, regional, and international perspectives. It monitors current developments in international investment law and policy, focusing (in Part One) on recent developments and trends in international investment treaties and treaty policy; investor-state dispute settlement; institutional developments; and developments relevant to particular regions or countries. Part Two examines central thematic issues in the contemporary discussions on international investment law and policy.
The Yearbook is currently recruiting student editors for its 2020 edition. Student editors review articles for, in particular, coherence, proper use of sources, and spelling or grammatical errors and footnotes. The work will take place from February 2021 – June/July 2021. Student editors will be recognized in the Yearbook. Applicants who are familiar with OSCOLA are preferred but not required. Applications for this position, including a 2-page CV and a short note explaining your motivations, should be sent by January 22, 2021 to Nancy.Siporin@columbia.edu.
Paid internship: Operations Assistant (work study)
CCSI is seeking an undergraduate or graduate work-study student to assist with a variety of substantive operational tasks. The work-study position primarily will entail helping with business and administrative tasks related to the operational functioning of the center, with an opportunity to specialize in one of several areas including business operations, editing, communications, events or workstream support, assisting one of the three CCSI workstreams in Extractive Industries, Land and Agriculture or Investment Law Policy. Preference will be given to responsible, detail-oriented undergraduate or graduate students. Those with long-term availability are preferred. To apply for this Operations Assistant position, please send a cover letter and resume to CCSI’s Director of Operations, Paulo Cunha. (email@example.com).
(Remote) Fellowship opportunities available for Spring 2021:
Recognition of Autonomous Protocols and Community By-Laws in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa
Building on the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment’s (CCSI) research on the political economy of indigenous and tribal communities right to FPIC in the context of extractives projects, we are engaged in action- and policy-oriented research that explores opportunities to further socialize and promote the recognition of and adherence to community protocols and community by-laws in different contexts. See more about the project here.
The Fellow will work closely with CCSI researchers and focus on detailed desk-based research on autonomous protocols and community by-laws. This may include literature reviews and analysis, and interviews with external organizations working in the field of land governance and indigenous rights. Strong research and writing skills (including the ability to use academic databases and other online search techniques) are desirable, as is some knowledge or experience in the field of business and human rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, and/or responsible land-based investment.
The Institute for the Study of Human Rights is generously supporting this Human Rights Research Fellowship. Students who receive the Fellowship are expected to complete approximately 80-120 hours of research assistance during the academic year. ISHR will award one research stipend per opportunity in the amount of $1,500. Priority will be given to HRSMA and UHRP students. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Applicants are requested to submit a cover letter, resume, and unedited writing sample (all together in a single pdf) to Nancy Siporin at email@example.com by January 15, 2021.
(Remote) Internship opportunities available for Summer 2021:
Paid internship: Responsible and Rights-respecting Land Investments
CCSI seeks a JD, LLM, or other graduate student (or a motivated and high-performing undergraduate student) to support the Center’s research and advisory work on responsible and rights-respecting land-based investments. The internship will involve working closely with senior staff on priority projects requiring research, analysis, and writing. These projects may include monitoring and responding to emerging risks in land-based investments due to COVID-19; and supporting the development of innovative responses and resources addressing key challenges for communities, governments, the private sector, and other stakeholders. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills and the ability to read French. Knowledge or experience of issues relating to responsible land-based investment, land rights, government policymaking related to investments, and/or community rights in the context of resource investments is desirable.
What CCSI offers: Through the internship experience, interns can expect to make substantive contributions to research and/or administrative activities at CCSI. The internship experience is a mutually beneficial one, and provides interns with opportunities for professional growth and learning. CCSI develops specific terms of reference for every intern each semester, with clear tasks and timelines.
What CCSI looks for: Ideal candidates should be detailed-oriented, well-organized and responsive, and prioritize and carry out tasks with minimal supervision. Candidates should also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Our interns have included both undergraduate and graduate students from Columbia College, Columbia Law School, the School of International and Public Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Columbia Business School. We also occasionally accept Interns from outside the university.
Fellowships: Our range of Fellows include Visiting Scholars, Fellows and Senior Fellows. Visiting Scholars can include international scholars, professors, judges, practitioners, and government officials, as well as doctoral students at the start of their scholarly careers. Visiting Scholars must apply through Columbia Law School’s Visiting Scholars Program. Applications for Visiting Scholars are reviewed three times during the year, corresponding with three program intakes, as follows:
- Fall semester: applications due no later than April 1.
- Spring semester: applications due no later than September 1.
- Summer semester: applications due no later than March 1.
Fellows and Senior Fellows are CCSI advisors who provide programmatic and operational advice and support to the Center. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.