Working with CCSI
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is hiring a new Special Assistant to the Director to begin in late spring/early summer 2019.
CCSI, a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is an applied policy research center dedicated to the study and practice of sustainable international investment. CCSI supports governments and a range of other organizations to establish the requisite legal and policy frameworks to maximize benefits and mitigate harm from foreign investments. This work is wide-ranging, including research and advisory projects on: the management of natural resources; expanding protection and enforcement of human rights, including the right to healthy environment; shifting roles and responsibilities of institutional investors; reforming international trade treaties to promote sustainable development; and empowering communities in negotiations with investors, among many other subjects.
Reporting to the Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, the incumbent will support a wide range of research, operational and administrative responsibilities. The nature of the position involves substantial hands on mentorship and is ideal for those considering future work in law or policymaking, especially regarding the relationship among governments, corporations, and citizens.
Candidates should be organized, driven, and detail-oriented, with excellent writing and communications skills and a desire to work in a collaborative, collegial, and fast-paced environment.
Please visit the Columbia Jobs Portal for a complete job description and to apply for the position. Contact Nathan Lobel (Nathan.email@example.com) with any questions. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Application deadlines are as follows:
- Fall semester: September 15
- 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. Candidates must commit to at least 10-15 hours per week for Spring or Fall internships, 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.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. If you are applying for a paid internship, please indicate if you are work-study eligible (preferred but not required).
Internship opportunities currently available for Spring 2019:
Unpaid internship: Investment Law – UNCITRAL ISDS Reform Work
CCSI is seeking a JD or LLM student intern to assist with CCSI’s work surrounding the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group III mandate on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform. CCSI seeks research and writing assistance as well as organizational and logistical support related to CCSI’s broad engagement with this process. The intern will work closely with CCSI legal researchers. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills who are law students. Familiarity with international investment law is preferred.
Unpaid internship: Public-Private Partnerships
CCSI is seeking a JD or LLM student to assist with CCSI’s work analyzing domestic PPP laws, particularly in Belt and Road countries. The student will work closely with CCSI legal researchers. Preference will be given to applicants with strong organizational and writing skills who are law students. Familiarity with public-private partnerships is not required.
Unpaid internship: Human Rights and Investment
CCSI is seeking JD or LLM student interns to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to various projects on the topic of investment and human rights. Specific issues of focus could include:
- Access to justice and international investment
- Home governments’ extraterritorial obligations in the context of outward resource investments;
- Squaring investment and human rights frameworks, including the interaction between international investment agreements and human rights;
- Understanding investment impacts in the articulation of land as a human right; and/or
- Human rights impact assessments
The intern will work closely with CCSI legal researchers and, where possible, work will be tailored to the intern’s interests and experience. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills who are law students or who have significant legal experience. For most of these projects, familiarity with international investment law and/or human rights law preferred.
Unpaid internship: International Investment Law & Policy – Ongoing Developments and Reform in Africa
CCSI is seeking a graduate (JD/LLM) student intern to undertake research regarding regional and national reform of investment laws and policies across the African continent. Research will involve mapping ongoing treaty negotiations and reform processes and identifying key substantive issues relevant to reform discussions at national and regional levels. Preference will be given to applicants who are French-speaking and familiar with relevant regional institutions and trade & investment agreements.
Unpaid internship: Human Rights Arguments for Community Rights to Consent, Information, and Consultation
CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research, writing, event organization, and other activities concerning international human rights law bases for free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and rights to information, participation, and consultation. This relates to CCSI’s work on incorporating FPIC and consultation into investor-state contract negotiations, and building rights based arguments for transparency and consultation for all people in land-based investment. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills who are law students or who have significant legal experience. Preference will also be given to Spanish speakers, especially those with previous experience reading and analyzing opinions of the Inter-American Commission on, and Court of, Human Rights.
Paid internship: Improving Smallholder Coffee Producers’ Income
CCSI and advisory board chair Professor Jeffrey Sachs are working with the World Coffee Producers Forum to assess the impacts of the evolving coffee value chain on farmers, and to provide proposals for augmenting farmers’ incomes and well-being. CCSI is seeking a graduate student to support the project with research that focuses on ways to leverage opportunities to improve coffee producers’ income in the future. This will likely include a focus on avenues for creating greater accountability within the coffee industry and interventions aimed at improving coffee grower wellbeing and achieving a living wage.
Unpaid internship: Legal Support Gaps in the Context of Land Investments
CCSI is seeking graduate students to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to our project on legal support gaps in the context of land-based investments. Work could include conducting research on (i) financing solutions for legal support to communities; (ii) redressing harms to communities in the context of project failure; (iii) community-investor interactions and negotiations; and (iv) moments during the investment lifecycle at which communities and civil society can exert influence, such as during impact assessments and government allocation of permits and licences for proposed investment projects. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.
Unpaid internship: Renewable Energy Investments, Climate Change and Land Rights
CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research relating to the actual and potential impacts of renewable energy projects and climate change on land rights, human rights, and land use more generally. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.
Unpaid internship: Promoting Targeted and Effective Land Transparency
CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with a new research project concerning a demand-driven approach to transparency of land-based investment, such as agriculture and forestry. Work would include desk research on the operation of existing transparency initiatives in other sectors (such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) and tasks associated with qualitative interviews with experts and stakeholders. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.
Paid internship: Legal Research on Mining Contracts
CCSI is seeking a highly motivated JD or LLM student to support an advisory project on a model Mining Development Agreement. Tasks may include review of relevant laws and regulations, and supporting research on specific contract clauses and best practices in Mining Development Agreements. Preference will be give to candidates with strong legal research and writing skills, and candidates who have prior experience working with mining contracts.
Unpaid internship: Legal Research on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development
CCSI is seeking LLM or JD student interns to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to various projects in CCSI’s extractive industries work stream. Tasks may include: performing legal research on the legal frameworks governing extractive industries in different countries and assisting with cross-cutting research on land and extractives. Preference will be given to candidates with strong legal research and writing skills, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to extractive industries.
Unpaid internship: Negotiation Support Portal — Translation Interns
CCSI is seeking interns to assist with regular small amounts of French, Spanish, Portuguese and or Russian language translation and research tasks associated with the Center’s Negotiation Support Portal project. The intern will assist with translating additions to the Portal and with researching additional tools for host governments available in each language. Native French, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian speakers preferred.
Paid internship: Global MOOC on “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance”
CCSI teamed up with the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the SDG Academy, and the World Bank to create a 12-week massive open online course (MOOC) on “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance.” The course, in which we expect thousands to enroll, introduces students from around the world to key elements of the governance framework that will help ensure that natural resources translate into sustainable development benefits for communities and governments.
CCSI is seeking a student intern to provide day-to-day administrative and operational support to the course during its next running from April through July. 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. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in online education platforms and fluency in Spanish and/or French (though not required). This internship is due to begin in April 2019 and run through July. This position is only open to students who will be enrolled in courses at Columbia over the summer.
Paid internship: Spanish Language MOOC on “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance” for the Latin America and Caribbean Region
CCSI teamed up with the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the SDG Academy, and the World Bank to create a 12-week massive open online course (MOOC) on “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance.” CCSI and partners will work to adapt, edit, and contextualize the existing MOOC to better align with the areas of interest of stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The product of this collaboration will be a standalone 6-week MOOC adapted for a massive online audience in the LAC region.
CCSI is seeking a graduate student intern to assist with both the adaptation of the existing MOOC, and, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, the day-to-day administration of the course once launched. Tasks may include: drafting and editing video transcripts in English and Spanish, sourcing Spanish language readings, assisting in filming logistics including liaising with experts and scheduling, reviewing videos, responding to student questions, and coordinating and running weekly expert Q&A sessions. 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. Fluency in Spanish is required. The internship period will run from January 7th-late May/early June. Please apply for this position as soon as possible, but no later than December 28, 2018.
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. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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: CCSI seeks interns to fill specific programmatic and administrative needs. Ideal candidates should have an interest in at least one of CCSI’s workstreams – extractive industries, land and agriculture or investment law and policy. 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 email@example.com.