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. 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:

  • 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 Fall 2018:

Paid internship: Private Sector Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals

CCSI is seeking graduate students for three projects that will assess how mining and petroleum projects are impacting the SDGs, and how these investments can be leveraged to improve development outcomes. Quantitative skills are a prerequisite for these internships. Portuguese and Spanish speakers are encouraged to apply.

Paid internship: Mine of the Future

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to support the team in updating the Mining a Mirage Report (see here the report). Students with an economics or engineering background that have strong quantitative skills are encouraged to apply.

Paid internship: Improving Smallholder Coffee Producers’ Income

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to support the coffee project, which is led by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (see here for a more detailed project description). The student will be working with the team to develop a global demand and supply model. Quantitative skills and knowledge of STATA are prerequisites.

Unpaid internship: Due Diligence Guide for Governments

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to help develop a manual for governments on how to do due diligence on prospective extractive industry investors. The guide will be developed in partnership with a leading global due diligence company. The intern will be responsible for researching and drafting sections of the guide. Excellent writing skills are required.

Paid internship: Land, Agriculture, and Human Rights

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated, organized, and detail-oriented undergraduate or graduate student intern to assist with research, operational, and other activities relating to various projects being undertaken by CCSI’s Land & Agriculture and Human Rights & Investment teams. Tasks may include: carrying out background research and writing on topical issues related to land, agriculture, and human rights; editing and formatting publications; supporting the planning and coordination of events and webinars; assisting with the maintenance of, an online repository of land, agriculture, and forestry contracts; performing general communications tasks; and carrying out other research, operational, and programmatic tasks as needed. Preference will be given to candidates with work study eligibility, though this is not required.

Unpaid internship: Human Rights Arguments for Community Rights to Consent, Information, and Consultation

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating international human rights law as it applies to 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.

Unpaid internship: Access to Justice

CCSI is seeking JD or LLM students to support research that seeks to assess the implications of the international investment regime for access to justice for investment-affected rights holders. Further information about the project can be found here and here. Applicants with experience in investment law and human rights law are strongly encouraged to apply.

Unpaid internship: Investment Treaty Analysis

CCSI is seeking JD or LLM students to work on investment treaty analysis. This unpaid internship will involve working with CCSI staff to collect and analyze recently drafted investment treaties in order to identify and comment on notable trends in investment law. Interest in investment law is required, and applicants with experience in public international law are strongly encouraged to apply.

Unpaid internship: International Trade and Investment Law and Policy

CCSI is seeking JD and LLM students to support a number of projects relating to policy analysis surrounding international investment treaties, treaty-based investor-state arbitration, and trade law. Students should be presently enrolled in law school. Familiarity with international trade and/or investment law is desirable, but is not required.

Paid internship: Emerging Market Firms and the SDGs

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic and detail-oriented undergraduate or 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 review, edit and finalize background and summary documents; providing research support as needed; and supporting coordination for various events and meetings related to this project. The ideal candidate will: have academic or professional experience related to the issues; be highly organized and responsive; have strong time management and writing and communication skills, and an interest in corporate conduct and sustainable development. Students currently undertaking degrees in business, finance, or public affairs are strongly encouraged to apply.

Unpaid internship: Local Content Research

CCSI is seeking an LLM or JD student intern to assist with research writing and other activities relating local content laws and policies in the petroleum sector in select South East Asian countries. 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: 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; assisting with maintaining the Negotiation Support Portal, an online portal to support resource-rich countries plan, prepare for, negotiate, monitor, and implement large-scale investment projects; 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: Administrative Assistant – (Students with work study eligibility strongly preferred)

CCSI is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student with a keen eye for detail to: (i) review transcriptions of scanned contracts for accuracy, and (ii) assist with the management of certain administrative tasks associated with CCSI’s website. Strong preference will be given to candidates native or fluent in French. (Time commitment: 5-15 hours per week).

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