Working with CCSI

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Jobs

Economics and Policy Researcher

This position will collaborate with the Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the head of CCSI’s workstream on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development to develop and execute the Center’s applied research agenda, primarily in the domain of energy, extractive industries and sustainable development. Specifically, the incumbent will lead research on the economic and policy frameworks shaping investments in oil, mining and gas globally, and their impacts on sustainable development. The incumbent will also focus on implications for investment of the energy transition, for corporations, governments, investors, and other stakeholders. The researcher will engage with global norms, trends and comparative approaches related to local content, infrastructure, fiscal regimes, community rights, environment and other related policy issues.

The researcher will also engage with the technical advisory work of CCSI, working with select governments, corporations, multilaterals and other stakeholders on projects in Africa, South America, and Asia; teach at trainings in New York and around the world; design and organize conferences, seminars, trainings and workshops; and work on the various publications of the Center.

Requirements/Qualifications

Masters Degree or equivalent degree in Economics, Development, or other related field, and relevant experience.  Relevant experience includes, but is not limited to, the ability to carry out collaborative research projects in domains related to the Center’s work, such as energy, economic analysis, fiscal modeling and sustainable development. Preference will be given to applicants with 7-10 years of post-graduate experience.

This position also requires willingness to learn new areas and to work in a highly interdisciplinary, flexible, and dynamic environment. Excellent interpersonal, organization and communication skills required as well as initiative, motivation and ability to think strategically.  The ideal candidate will work under limited supervision on complex assignments that require him/her to exercise a high degree of adaptation and independent judgment. Additional language skills strongly preferred.

Application

Interested applicants should apply at this link. Please note that the description of the position at the application link is outdated; the above description accurately describes the role. The incumbent will be expected to start in January 2020.


Internships

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. 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 (NSipor@law.columbia.edu), 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: 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 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).

Internship opportunities available for Spring 2020:

Unpaid internship: Political Economy Analysis of Government Incentives for Advancing Transparency in the Context of Land-based Investments

CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with research into the motivations, agendas and disincentives governments who host land-based investments face concerning calls for the advancement of transparency and meaningful community participation in decision-making. This analysis will feed into ongoing research on a demand-driven approach to land investment transparency. The intern will work closely with CCSI researchers and conduct detailed desk-based research, with a focus on political economy and other social science literature and analysis that can help illuminate how political will for meaningful reforms concerning transparency and participation can be achieved in practice. Preference will be given to students with strong research and analysis skills in the social sciences, including the ability to use academic databases and other online search techniques. Some knowledge or experience with the field of business and human rights and/or responsible land-based investment is also desired. Fluency in French or Spanish is an asset but not required. Note: time commitment is 8-15 hours per week. Early applications for this internship are encouraged and will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Paid internship: Advocating for Increased Financing for Community Support in the Context of Multi-stakeholder Initiatives

CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with preparing a written submission to a multi-stakeholder initiative that is currently undergoing a review of its certification standards for member agribusinesses. This is a key moment to influence corporate behavior by advancing CCSI’s pioneering work on innovative solutions for financing the legal and technical support that investment-affected communities need to protect their human rights and meaningfully participate in decision-making. The intern will work closely with CCSI researchers and potentially take the lead in drafting written submissions to the multi-stakeholder initiative on the topic of financing. Preference will be given to students with strong analysis and drafting skills, and a familiarity with the field of business and human rights, and/or multistakeholder initiatives aimed at promoting responsible business conduct. The majority of work will take place in January, February and March. Early applications for this internship are encouraged and will be assessed on a rolling basis.

Paid internship: The Politics of Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Latin America

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research and writing on the politics of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the context of extractives projects in Latin America. The project explores the politics of FPIC and community consultation—how the distribution of power across different actors, the (mis)alignments of their interests, and characteristics of political systems and broader structures affect whether and how FPIC processes unfold. Preference will be given to applicants who are native or fluent in Spanish and/or Portuguese, have strong research and writing skills, and prior experience working on relevant topics.

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 that govern 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.

Paid internship: Investment Incentives that Support Responsible Investment in Agriculture

CCSI seeks a graduate student to conduct research and support the preparation of a UN technical guide on investment incentives. The guide will aim to support policy makers in designing and implementing 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, and/or responsible investment guidance is a plus. 

Unpaid internship: Climate Change and Land

CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with research relating to the actual and potential impacts of climate change on land use, land rights, and human rights. The internship may include research on responsible investment and development of renewables projects. 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: Legal Assistance for Designing an Effective Environmental Regulatory Framework for Mining in Guinea

CCSI is seeking a JD or LLM student to assist with legal research for a project consisting of designing an effective monitoring and enforcement system for Guinea. With reference to international good practice and the domestic context in Guinea, the intern will assist CCSI in studying whether the Guinean government can adapt its regulatory framework and practices for conducting improved, consultative, independent and decisive environmental impact assessments (EIA), environmental management plans (EMP) and environmental audits to minimize mining operations’ environmental harm. Fluency in French is required. Experience with EIA regulations is preferred.

Paid internship: Petroleum Contract Review

CCSI seeks a JD or LLM student to assist with legal research on petroleum contracts. Knowledge of petroleum contracts is preferred but not required. Preference will be given to students who are detail-oriented and diligent. There may be opportunities to work on additional research projects on extractive industry contracts.

Paid internship: The Political Economy of Extractive Industries

CCSI is seeking a graduate student or advanced undergraduate student 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: Mapping Stakeholders in International Investment Governance 

CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with mapping the roles of different stakeholders in shaping key parts of international investment governance with an objective of understanding how legal frameworks and institutional structures impact voice, power and accountability, and thus outcomes. This project is part of a larger project in which CCSI seeks to understand the ways in which international investment governance can be better aligned with, and promote, sustainable development objectives. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to international investment and sustainable development. A legal degree program is not required for this position.

Unpaid internship: Third-party Funding in Investor-state Dispute Settlement

CCSI seeks a JD or LLM student to assist with ongoing legal research related to the nature and prevalence of third-party funding in investor-state dispute settlement. Tasks will include legal research writing. 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 international investment law.

Unpaid internship: The Financial Map of an Investment Treaty Dispute

CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with exploring and mapping the financial flows involved in investor-state arbitration disputes. Tasks will include research on identified case studies to consider the ways in which money flows from the pre-dispute period through the successful enforcement of an ISDS arbitration award. This project will involve written and visual outputs. Familiarity with investor-state dispute settlement, as well as knowledge or experience with Microsoft Visio or other programs to create process design diagrams is a plus. Legal experience is desirable but not a requirement.

Unpaid internship: Tax Treatment in Investor-state Arbitration Damage Awards

CCSI seeks a JD or LLM student to assist with legal research for a project looking at the ways in which investor-state arbitration awards treat issues surrounding taxation and how taxes are considered in damage calculations. Tasks will include legal research and producing a memorandum on this topic. 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 tax law and international investment law.

Paid internship: Emerging Market Firms and the SDGs

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic and detail-oriented graduate student to assist with a variety of tasks relating to CCSI’s work on emerging market firms and sustainable development. Duties will include working with CCSI staff to manage and update the emgp.org website; provide research support as needed; and support coordination for various events and meetings related to this project. The ideal candidate will have academic or professional experience related to research on emerging market multinational enterprises; be highly organized and responsive; have strong time management and writing and communication skills; and have an interest in corporate conduct and sustainable development. Students currently undertaking degrees in business, finance, or public affairs are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Unpaid: 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 2019 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 2020 – June/July 2020. 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 Friday, January 10, 2020.

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. (pcunha@law.columbia.edu).

Internship opportunities available for Summer 2020: (additional positions will be posted in the coming weeks)

Unpaid internship: Responsible Land and Agriculture Investments

CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to various projects being undertaken by CCSI’s Land & Agriculture team. While the internship will be tailored to the intern’s interest and ongoing team needs, work could include conducting research on, for example: (i) how communities and civil society influence “investment approval processes,” such as impact assessments and government allocation of permits and licenses; (ii) redressing harms to communities in the context of project failure; (iii) how investment incentives can be designed to support more responsible investment; and/or (iv) how responsible land investment practices can be better integrated into existing international standards and certification bodies. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills. Early applications for this internship are encouraged and will be assessed on a rolling basis.


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

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 ccsi@law.columbia.edu.