Working with CCSI
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 Fall 2020:
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. 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.
Paid internship: Incentivizing and Promoting Responsible Investment in Agriculture
CCSI seeks a graduate student to support work on incentivizing and promoting responsible investment in agriculture; a primary focus of the internship will be to conduct research and provide support in the preparation of a UN technical guide on investment incentives. The guide will aim to support policy makers in designing, implementing, and monitoring incentives (including but not limited to tax incentives) that support responsible agricultural investment and contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. The intern will work closely with CCSI researchers, including the Head of Land and Agriculture. Preference will be given to students with strong research skills. Familiarity with incentives, agricultural investments, monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and/or responsible investment guidance is a plus. Time commitment: 8-15 hours per week for one semester.
Internship (Paid or for credit): Aligning the Food Sector to the Sustainable Development Goals
CCSI seeks a graduate student to support its work on aligning the food sector with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This work will include conducting research and analysis related to the various ways through which businesses, particularly in the food sector, can affect achievement of the SDGs. The intern will work closely with CCSI researchers, including the Head of Land and Agriculture. Preference will be given to students with strong research and writing skills. Familiarity with the food sector is a plus. This internship can be done for class credit or as a paid internship.
Paid internship: Advisory on Decarbonization
CCSI is seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented SIPA/CBS/ Engineering school graduate student with strong experience in developing energy policy to assist on several advisory projects helping countries in their planning for decarbonization. The candidate should understand the challenges of the transition of an energy system and be able to articulate practical recommendations. The candidate should also have quantitative and analytical skills.
Paid internship: Legal Research on Mining and Petroleum Contracts
CCSI is seeking LLM or JD student interns to assist with legal research, writing, and other activities using ResourceContracts.org, an online repository of oil, gas, and mining contracts. This paid legal internship will focus on identifying key contractual terms in mining and petroleum contracts and providing related research and writing support. Preference will be given to candidates with strong legal research and writing skills, experience working with complex contracts, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to extractive industries. The ability to read French and/or Portuguese is required for this position.
Paid internship: Operations Assistant – CCSI Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture (Students with work study eligibility and French language strongly preferred)
Over the past several years, CCSI has trained over 100 policy-makers and practitioners from around the world at annual Executive Trainings. CCSI is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student intern to provide operational and administrative support for a training taking place in a Francophone country, and potentially to provide similar support for additional trainings as needed. The intern will primarily be responsible for assisting with administrative, logistical and operational aspects of the training, including through communicating updates and liaising with speakers, participants, translators and interpreters, assisting with preparation and distribution of materials, and assisting with the operation of remote video software.
The ideal candidate will have some administrative experience or interest; good organizational, analytical, and project management skills; advanced level French language, and an interest in sustainable investment or sustainable development. They will also have a strong work ethic, good attention to detail, strong communication and writing skills and work well within a team structure.
Unpaid internship: The Green Energy Transition and Human Rights: Incentivizing the Respect of Local Communities by Renewable Energy Producers
CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research on the land-related impacts of renewable energy generation (especially solar and wind), with a specific focus on local communities affected by such investments. Research will contribute to (i) a future company-facing tool on the legal risks for renewable energy companies in not adequately engaging communities and respecting their rights and (ii) other relevant topics touching on the human and land rights impacts of renewable energy generation. The student will conduct desk research and, potentially, confidential informant interviews to explore different sources of legal risks and better understand company incentives for improving business practices to better respect the rights of local communities who often bear the brunt of negative impacts of such projects. Skills required / highly preferred include: strong research and analysis skills, including the ability to use academic databases and other online search techniques for legal and social science research; the ability to adapt findings and research approaches to the incentives of different types of actors, including the private sector; some knowledge or experience with the field of business and human rights, responsible land-based investment, and/or any sectoral knowledge of the wind and solar energy generation sectors.
Unpaid internship: International Investment Law and Policy
CCSI is seeking JD and LLM students to support a number of projects requiring research and analysis of international trade and investment treaties, treaty-based investor-state arbitration claims, and debates around reform of the investment treaty regime. Familiarity with international investment law is required. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.
Unpaid internship: Dispute Prevention and Alternative Dispute Resolution
CCSI is seeking a JD or LLM student to support research regarding mechanisms for investor-state dispute prevention and mitigation, dispute management, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Familiarity with international investment law is preferred. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.
Unpaid internship (credit possible): Community-Investor Agreements and Access to Justice
CCSI is seeking an LLM or JD student to assist with research, writing, and other activities that focus on community-investor agreements tied to land based investments (extractives, agriculture, forestry, and renewables). Tasks include: reviewing community-investor agreements and conducting related legal and policy research on dispute resolution mechanisms and access to justice. Preference will be given to applicants with strong legal research and writing skills, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to land-based investments, community development, and human rights.
Unpaid internship (credit possible): Autonomous FPIC Protocols
CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research on the use of autonomous protocols by indigenous and local communities in the context of land-based investments. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to the rights of indigenous and local communities.
Unpaid internship (credit possible): Climate Change and Land
CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with research on climate change, land use, land rights, and human rights. The internship may include research on responsible investment and development of renewables projects, and deforestation in the context of land-based investments. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills. Knowledge or experience of issues relating to land rights, climate change, and/or responsible land-based investment is desirable.
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.
Unpaid internship: Mining Sector Obligations to Build Community Resilience to Climate Change
CCSI is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student intern to assist with economic, legal, and policy research, writing, and other activities. The internship will focus on how mining companies can contribute to increasing resilience to climate change in communities affected by mining activities and on how climate adaptation commitments by companies could be worded in contractual provisions in state–investor agreements, community development agreements (CDAs), or both. Preference will be given to applicants with strong legal research and writing skills; fluency in French or Spanish (or both); and knowledge, experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to the mining sector, community development, and climate change adaptation.
Unpaid internship: Working on Carbon Accounting Methods for the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency (COMET)
CCSI is seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented SIPA/CBS/ Engineering school graduate student with strong experience in climate policy to support research and writing for the COMET initiative in partnership with MIT’s Sustainable Supply Chains initiative, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Colorado School of Mines which seeks to harmonize carbon accounting methods across the material sector and their value chains. Currently, the lack of harmonization is blocking bolder climate action. The candidate should have demonstrated analytical skills and preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills, experience working with carbon accounting, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to climate policy and energy/extractive industries.
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).
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.