Working with CCSI
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. 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: Legal Research on Mining and Petroleum Contracts
CCSI is seeking LLM or JD student interns to assist with legal research, writing, and other activities using ResourceContracts.org, an online repository of oil, gas, and mining contracts. This paid legal internship will focus on identifying key contractual terms in mining and petroleum contracts and providing related research and writing support. Preference will be given to candidates with strong legal research and writing skills, experience working with complex contracts, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to extractive industries.
Unpaid internship: Community Development Agreements, Dispute Resolution, and the Right to Development
CCSI is seeking an LLM or JD student intern to assist with research, writing, and other activities that focus on community development agreements in the context of extractives projects. Tasks include: reviewing community development agreements from different countries and conducting related legal and policy research. Preference will be given to applicants with strong legal research and writing skills, and candidates who have experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to extractive industries, community development, and human rights.
Unpaid internship: Innovative Solutions for Supporting Communities to Protect their Land and Natural Resources
CCSI is seeking law or other graduate students to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to our efforts to engage the private sector to put its money where its mouth is on the topic of financing legal and technical support to communities affected by resource investments. Work might include tasks such as conducting research on private sector incentives for contributing to an independently administered basket fund for community support, identifying relevant convenors of groups of resource investors, and studying and summarizing case studies and other useful examples or insights. To the extent possible, work will be tailored to the intern’s interests and experience, and the intern will work closely with CCSI legal researchers on this project, which aims to achieve real world change by increasing the ability of communities to access the support they need. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research, writing and strategic analysis skills (e.g. power mapping), and experience in business and human rights, advocacy and/or working with or engaging private sector actors such as mining or agribusiness companies or their financiers. All work will likely be done remotely.
Paid internship: Understanding the Transparency Needs, Demands, and Uses of Local Communities and Host Governments in the Context of Land Investments
CCSI seeks a graduate student to assist with research and other activities relating to research on a demand-driven approach to transparency of land investments that investigates—both at the international level and in two specific country contexts (Cameroon and Liberia)—what is the most important and useful information to disclose and why, in order to inform strategies to strengthen land governance around investment projects. Transparency here is interpreted to focus on how local actors can use information to achieve different objectives (protect their human rights, hold investors to account, make informed decisions regarding proposed investments, etc.) The intern will work closely with CCSI researchers and conduct detailed desk-based research on the transparency needs, demands and experiences of affected communities and host governments, among other questions. Other assistance may be required in the lead up to the publication of various strategic outputs aimed at different stakeholder audiences. Preference will be given to students with strong research and analysis skills, including the ability to use academic databases and other online search techniques. Some knowledge or experience with the fields of business and human rights, responsible land-based investment, land rights, political economy, and/or transparency is also desired. Fluency in French or Spanish is desirable but not required.
Time commitment: 35 hours per week for a total of 5 weeks (or fewer hours per week over a longer period), totalling 177 hours during the summer. For the right candidate, this internship may be combined with the “Green Energy Transition and Human Rights: Incentivizing the Respect of Local Communities by Renewable Energy Producers” internship (below) to form a full time summer internship for a total of 11 weeks.
Paid internship: The Green Energy Transition and Human Rights: Incentivizing the Respect of Local Communities by Renewable Energy Producers
CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research on the land-related impacts of renewable energy generation (especially solar and wind), with a specific focus on local communities affected by such investments. Research will contribute to (i) a future company-facing tool on the legal risks for renewable energy companies in not adequately engaging communities and respecting their rights and (ii) other relevant topics touching on the human and land rights impacts of renewable energy generation. The student will conduct desk research and, potentially, confidential informant interviews to explore different sources of legal risks and better understand company incentives for improving business practices to better respect the rights of local communities who often bear the brunt of negative impacts of such projects. Skills required / highly preferred include: strong research and analysis skills, including the ability to use academic databases and other online search techniques for legal and social science research; the ability to adapt findings and research approaches to the incentives of different types of actors, including the private sector; some knowledge or experience with the field of business and human rights and/or responsible land-based investment, and/or any sectoral knowledge of the wind and solar energy generation sectors. All work will likely be done remotely.
Time commitment: 35 hours for 6 weeks (or fewer hours per week over a longer period), totalling 210 hours during the summer. There may be the potential to combine this internship with another (such as the “Understanding the Transparency Needs, Demands, and Uses of Local Communities and Host Governments in the Context of Land Investments” internship, above) to fill out the entirety of the summer semester. This internship is funded by the Earth Institute and therefore has a different application process. To apply, please visit the EI’s internship page, where the position will be posted. Applications close April 19, 2020.
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.
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: International Investment Law and Policy
CCSI is seeking JD and LLM students to support a number of projects requiring research and analysis of international trade and investment treaties, treaty-based investor-state arbitration claims, and debates around reform of the investment treaty regime. Familiarity with international investment law is required. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.
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: 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.
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.