Working with CCSI

Jobs  Internships  Fellowships





Internships: We offer a limited number of unpaid and paid research and administrative internships for undergraduate and graduate students (including graduate students in law, business, international affairs, and environmental studies) during the fall, spring and summer. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, and writing sample, all together in a single file, in that order. The cover letter should include a distinct list of which internships you are applying for (you may include as many as you’d like). Please submit materials to Nancy Siporin (, unless otherwise specified.  

Application deadlines are as follows (although applications will be considered on a rolling basis):

  • Fall semester: September 15
  • Spring semester: January 15
  • Summer: Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis; interns can work remotely

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 Summer 2020:

Paid internship: Investment Approval Processes 

CCSI is seeking a graduate student (preferably JD, LLM, or SIPA student) to support and contribute to research regarding investment approval processes for land-based investments, with a particular focus on agricultural investments and climate services. The research will include: (i) identifying the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders in investment approval processes; (ii) assisting in the preparation and synthesis of interviews with government officials, and (iii) identifying opportunities to incorporate climate services and best practices on responsible investment to current approval processes. Candidates need not have familiarity with this specific issue area in order to be considered. However, those familiar with climate forecasting, agricultural production and land-based investment approval processes will be preferred. Candidates with fluency in French preferred.

Unpaid internship: Alternative Dispute Resolution and Dispute Prevention 

CCSI is seeking a JD or LLM student to support research regarding mechanisms for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and measures being adopted by states that seek to identify and prevent investment disputes. Familiarity with international investment law is preferred. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills. 

Unpaid internship: Sustainability Impact Assessments of Investment Treaties 

CCSI is seeking a JD, LLM, or SIPA student to support research on sustainability impact assessments (SIAs) of investment treaties and investment chapters in free trade agreements. The research will examine processes employed to date; barriers to additional uptake of SIAs; and options for improving the methodology, content and utility of SIAs. Familiarity with impact assessments and international investment law is preferred. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills. 

Paid internship: Responsible Corporate Citizenship

At CCSI we are working to define what it means for business practices to align to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); we are defining the appropriate standards that capture critical areas of business activity, reporting metrics that align with those standards, and implications for company management as well as investors. We base our approach on a Four Pillar Framework (product, operations, value chain, and corporate citizenship), reflecting four defining aspects of business activities and impact. We are currently seeking a law student to help elaborate the framework and corresponding metrics and uses; the focus initially will be on the “corporate citizenship” pillar, including standards and developments in the fields of tax law, corporate lobbying practices, corporate governance, and the responsible use of litigation. The research will include a landscape analysis of organizations and frameworks that address each of these areas, and research and interviews to hone in on specific standards and metrics. The research will also look more deeply at how internal governance structures and external engagement practices affect these outcomes. The position is optimal for students interested in the role of the private sector in achieving the SDGs and/or how the interaction between the private sector and the law, including how the former shapes and influences the latter.

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. (

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