Working with CCSI

Jobs  Internships  Fellowships

Jobs

LLM Fellowships

CCSI is accepting applications for two short-term paid fellowships for 2017 graduates of Columbia Law School’s LLM program, to begin after graduation. LLM Fellows will work closely with CCSI’s land, agriculture, and human rights team on projects related to legal support gaps and transparency in the context of land-based investments. While the work will be tailored to Fellows’ interests and goals, it will primarily involve research, writing, and strategizing. The work may also include assessing contracts and other activities in support of the projects. Fellowships are for 12 weeks and come with a $12,000 stipend; acceptance does not preclude opportunities to apply for other fellowships offered by Columbia Law School. More information about the fellowships is available here. If interested, please send a cover letter, CV, and writing sample to NSipor@law.columbia.edu. Applications are due April 14.


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 send a cover letter, CV, and writing sample to Nancy Siporin (NSipor@law.columbia.edu), unless otherwise specified.

Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall semester: September 15
  • Spring semester: January 18
  • Summer: April 7, unless otherwise noted

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 Summer 2017:

Unpaid internship: Legal Support Gaps in the Context of Land Investments

CCSI is seeking law students (JD or LLM) to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to our project on legal support gaps in the context of land-based investments. This will include support in developing guidance resources for communities interacting with investors (a collaborative project between CCSI and Namati), and in assessing the current state of community-investor agreements around land. The internship may also include research on other topics: for example, addressing legal support gaps in the context of project failure, or scoping out other solutions for strengthening the legal support available to communities and to host governments around land investments. Where possible, work will be tailored to the intern’s interests and experience. The intern will work closely with CCSI legal researchers. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.

Unpaid internship: Building the Case for Transparency of Land Investments

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to our project on transparency in land-based investment. This may include research and writing focused on: addressing commonly perceived challenges of transparency, developing a robust human rights argument for transparency, articulating the benefits and challenges of transparency for specific sets of stakeholders, and/or tracking and assessing evidence and lessons learned related to land contract disclosure. The intern may also provide limited support to OpenLandContracts.org, the world’s first repository of publicly available land, agricultural, and forestry contracts. 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 or who have significant legal experience.

Unpaid internship: Land Rights and Land Investments for Climate Mitigation

CCSI is seeking a student intern to assist with research focused on the land rights implications of land-based projects aimed at climate change mitigation, such as renewables and carbon credit projects. This work will build off of the discussions at CCSI’s November 2016 conference on natural resource investment and climate change, and will focus on helping to develop and articulate a more nuanced understanding of the issues and possible solutions. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills who have a demonstrated interest in, or experience with, the topic.

Unpaid internship: Sustainable Investments in Land and Agriculture

CCSI is seeking graduate students to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to various projects within the Center’s Sustainable Investments in Land and Agriculture focus area. Specific projects may include, for example: writing primers on key topics related to sustainable investments in agriculture; researching adverse possession laws in the context of land concessions; or exploring agricultural investments undertaken by certain subsets of investors. Where possible, work will be tailored to interns’ interests and experience. Interns will work closely with CCSI legal researchers. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills who are law students or who have significant legal experience.

Unpaid internship: Investment and Human Rights

CCSI is seeking 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:

  • Incorporating free, prior and informed consent into contracting processes;
  • 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
  • Collaborative human rights impact assessments
  • Access to remedies for stakeholders (including project affected communities) in the context of international investment

Where possible, work will be tailored to the intern’s interests and experience. 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 or who have significant legal experience.

Unpaid internship: Comparative Analysis of Extractives Contracts

CCSI is seeking law students to assist the Center in undertaking a comparative analysis of extractives contracts entered into in the post-colonial era, with those entered into more recently after the liberalization of 80’s and 90’s. Pre-liberalization, such contracts tended to contain terms more favorable to host countries; this project will seek to identify trends in contractual terms and the comparative analysis undertaken will feed into a research paper on the topic. Preference will be given to students who are familiar with complex extractives contracts, or who are native/fluent French speakers. Preference will be given to those who are able to commit for both the spring and summer.

Unpaid internship: Climate Change Investor Engagement: The Next Step

Increasing pressure is put on coal, oil and gas companies by investor engagement groups looking for more accountability by these players in relation to climate change. Less focus has been placed on investor advocacy on major consumers of fossil fuels – including car manufacturers and utilities. However, these actors may be more susceptible to investor pressure given that their business model is not solely based on selling fossil fuels. This internship will explore strategies that investor engagement groups could follow in order to put pressure on these actors.

Unpaid internship: Mining for the Energy Transition

This project will analyse how the energy transition will change the extractive industry landscape by assessing which commodities will see demand increase in a low-carbon global energy system and in which countries these minerals are located based on currently known reserves. The likely consequences on investment and trade flows, as well as resource dependency of countries will be reviewed. Preference will be given to postgraduate students with advanced knowledge or working experience in the energy policy space.

Unpaid internship:  Downstream Beneficiation and Development

Downstream beneficiation is often considered by developing countries as an opportunity to develop the domestic economy by creating jobs, enhancing skills and diversifying the economy. Yet little has been written about the prerequisites for such policies to succeed and the extent to which downstream beneficiation achieves the intended economic and social goals. This research project aims to fill this gap. CCSI has already written the case studies of Australia, Oman, South Africa and Ukraine that assess the economic prerequisites and policy measures that have been used to attract investment in the steel industry. CCSI is looking for a student with strong analytical and writing skills to write a paper summarizing the findings from these case studies.

Unpaid internship: Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development

CCSI is seeking a law student (JD or LLM) to assist with research, writing, and other activities related to various projects within the center’s Extractive Industries work stream. For example, research and writing may focus on oil, gas, and mining contract analysis or comparative analyses of relevant laws and practices across multiple countries. 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.

Unpaid internship: International Trade and Investment Law and Policy

CCSI works on a number of projects relating to international investment treaties, treaty-based investor-state arbitration, and trade law, and is seeking student interns to assist on a variety of tasks for this workstream. Students should be presently enrolled in law school. Familiarity with international trade and/or investment law is desirable, but is not required.

Unpaid internship: Investment Treaty Analysis

CCSI is seeking a law student (JD or LLM) 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: Documenting Trends in International Economic Law

CCSI is seeking a law student (JD or LLM) to analyze recently concluded investment treaties, and also follow and documenting other developments in international economic law. Interest in international trade and/or investment law is required, and applicants with experience in public international law are strongly encouraged to apply.

Paid internship: Government Revenue Losses from Extractive Industry Projects Due to Tax Treaties

Tax avoidance and evasion has recently been in the news due to the Panama papers. Tax treaties have long been used by international investors to shift profits and minimize the tax burden of multinational companies. This is particularly problematic for resource rich countries that rely on tax payments by international oil, gas and mining companies. CCSI, in partnership with the Natural Resource Governance Institute, is looking to analyze the government revenue implications from extractive industry projects resulting from tax treaties. We are looking for graduate students with strong quantitative skills to work on this project over the summer. Interns should be available for at least 100 hours of work, though more may be possible. Knowledge and experience with tax planning and/or international tax treaties is preferred. The deadline to apply for this position is May 20, 2017.

Paid internship: Leveraging Mining Power Demand to Support the Development of Renewable Energies

Mining and its downstream applications can be power intensive. When mines can’t connect to the grid, they power their own needs with self generation. This is an opportunity to promote the deployment of renewable energies as a main source of decentralized energy. This would help expand access to energy while keeping with the imperative to go greener. What operational models work? Which ones are sustainable? What are the right incentives to make it happen? CCSI is looking for motivated students with prior knowledge in mining/ energy/ development to explore these questions.

Paid internship: Administrative Assistant on International Law, 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 international law, emerging market firms, and sustainable development. Duties will include working with CCSI staff to review, edit and finalize background and summary documents; coordinating travel and logistics for various meetings held at Columbia and elsewhere; and handling communications with participants, organizers, and hosts. The ideal candidate will be highly organized and responsive in high pressure situations, have strong time management and writing and communication skills, and an interest in international investment and sustainable development. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in website development.

Paid Internship: Political Economy of Natural Resources

CCSI seeks graduate students for a project on the political economy of natural resources. Students will be asked to carry out literature reviews and other background desk research for deliverables such as the following: a review summarizing the findings of all available assessments of major global initiatives to reform the governance of natural resources (e.g. EITI, Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, etc.); an annotated bibliography of relevant literature broken down by sub-topics generated in collaboration with CCSI; a summary of the most recent academic literature related to the governance of natural resources; and other supportive research and analysis as needed. Candidates should possess strong research, writing and analytical skills and be able to work well independently. Background in political economy required. Preference will be given to candidates with knowledge of the “resource curse” literature.

Paid internship: Conducting Surveys (For students with work study eligibility)

CCSI is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student with interviewing skills to test the impact of CCSI’s executive trainings on past alumni.

Paid internship: Communications and Publications

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with communications and publications tasks related to the Center’s work on Land & Agriculture and Human Rights & Investment, in addition to general communications work. This paid internship will involve working with CCSI staff to develop online video content, design marketing material, plan and manage marketing and outreach efforts, and develop and implement a social media strategy. Prior communications experience, either professional or academic, is required. Applicants should also have experience in developing short video content and designing publications (flyers, reports, etc.), and should be familiar with Adobe Pro, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Paid internship: Administrative Assistant (for students with work study eligibility)

CCSI is seeking an undergraduate or graduate work-study student to assist with a variety of administrative and operational tasks. The work-study position primarily will entail helping with administrative tasks related to event planning and the day-to-day operational functioning of the center (e.g., drafting administrative forms, managing website and tracking website activity, preparing newsletters and other mailings, assisting with event preparation, etc.). The intern will also be expected to assist with editing and formatting center publications, preparing expense reports and invoices, and coordinating travel and accommodations for CCSI staff members and guests. Prior administrative experience a plus, but not required. Attention to detail is a must. Those with long-term availability are preferred. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to CCSI’s Associate Director of Operations, Paulo Cunha (pcunha@law.columbia.edu).


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.