Working With CCSI

Scroll down to see descriptions and application links for the following open positions:

Senior Legal Researcher, Investment Law and Policy

Senior Legal Researcher, Land, Agriculture and Food Systems

Legal or Policy Researcher, Land, Agriculture & Food Systems

 


Senior Legal Researcher, Investment Law and Policy

CCSI is hiring a Senior Legal or Policy Researcher to work on our Investment Law & Policy portfolio of projects. This position will collaborate with CCSI’s Director and Research Staff to execute the Center’s applied research agenda on the laws, policies, and practices that shape international investment and its alignment with sustainable development and human rights. 

Specifically, the Senior Researcher will contribute to CCSI’s ongoing work to better understand how international investment governance affects sustainable development at global, national, and local levels, and how different investment treaty approaches can strengthen alignment between those instruments and broader economic, social, environmental, and governance objectives outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals, human rights law, and climate frameworks. While much of CCSI’s work takes a global focus, certain programs or projects also involve and require expertise in specific regional or national frameworks and laws.  

This position also supports CCSI’s technical advisory work with select governments, inter-governmental organizations, and civil society organizations. The incumbent will contribute to ongoing projects, including through project and advisory work, desk research, stakeholder consultations, organizing and facilitating events and trainings, establishing and maintaining strong relationships with collaborators, and helping to develop materials for publications, among other possible activities. Requires a high degree of initiative and independent judgment. 

This position is based at Columbia University in New York. Full-time remote work is not possible.

For details on the role and on required qualifications, please see a more detailed description here.

Please apply at this link. Note that the link is for an open-rank position; your cover letter should indicate that you are applying for the position working on investment law and policy and speak to your qualifications from the above criteria. The deadline for applications is May 21, 2022, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

(Please do not apply directly to CCSI's email account).


Senior Legal Researcher, Land, Agriculture and Food Systems 

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is seeking a Senior Legal Researcher to work on our Land, Agriculture & Food Systems portfolio of projects. The position will support research, advisory work, and the organization and delivery of capacity building programs related to CCSI’s work on strengthening the governance of land-based investment (including agriculture, extractive industries, renewable energy projects, and nature-based solutions). 

Specifically, the incumbent will supervise and contribute to ongoing advisory, research, and technical support projects with the goal of advancing more responsible and rights-respecting laws, policies and practices in land and resource investments (e.g. agriculture, renewable energy and mining projects) at the local, national and international level. While much of CCSI’s work takes a global focus, this role also drives CCSI’s technical advisory work with select governments and civil society organizations, as well as CCSI’s engagement of the private sector.

The position will contribute to ongoing projects, including through project and advisory work, desk research and informant interviews, organizing and facilitating events and trainings, establishing and maintaining strong relationships with collaborators, and helping to develop materials for publications, among other possible activities. It requires a high degree of initiative and independent judgment.

This position is based at Columbia University in New York. Full-time remote work is not possible.

For details on the role and on required qualifications, please see a more detailed description here.

Please apply at this link. Note that the link is for an open-rank position; your cover letter should indicate that you are applying for “Senior Legal Researcher: Land, Agriculture & Food Systems,” and speak to the above requirements. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a hard deadline of May 30, 2022.


Legal or Policy Researcher, Land, Agriculture & Food Systems

CCSI is hiring a Legal or Policy Researcher to work on our Land, Agriculture & Food Systems portfolio of projects. This position will collaborate with CCSI’s Director and Research Staff to execute the Center’s applied research agenda on the laws, policies, and practices that shape international investment and its alignment with sustainable development and human rights. Specifically, the incumbent will contribute to ongoing projects and research related to trends and developments in international investment policy and legal frameworks, and alternative policies and practices related to international investment, particularly with respect to the Center’s focus on natural resource investments (e.g. land, agriculture and mining), the energy transition, human rights, and finance. This position also supports CCSI’s technical advisory work with select governments, companies, and civil society organizations. The incumbent will contribute to ongoing projects, including through project and advisory work, desk research, stakeholder consultations, organizing and facilitating events and trainings, maintaining contact with collaborators, and helping to develop materials for publications, among other possible activities. Requires a high degree of initiative and independent judgment. In addition to the specifications in the job description linked below, the following qualifications are preferred:

  • French or another second language 
  • Interest in and knowledge of international investment law and policy, international human rights law, developments in the field of business and human rights, climate change, and/or land governance 
  • Experience collaborating with Global South-based actors, governments, civil society, and/or UN agencies
  • Experience convening events

This position is based at Columbia University in New York. Full-time remote work is not possible.

For further details, and to apply, please see here. Note that the link is for an open-rank position; your cover letter should indicate that you are applying for “Legal or Policy Researcher: Land, Agriculture & Food Systems,” and speak to the above requirements. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a hard deadline of May 30, 2022.

(Please do not apply directly to CCSI's email account).


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 ([email protected]), unless otherwise specified.  

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

  • Fall semester: September 15
  • Spring semester: January 15
  • Summer: March 1

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).


Internship opportunities available for Fall 2022 (remote possible):

(Additional positions will be posted throughout the summer as they are confirmed)

Unpaid internship: International and Domestic Legal and Policy Frameworks for a Just Transition

CCSI seeks a highly motivated and high-performing LL.M. or J.D. student to support the Center’s research on international and domestic legal and policy frameworks for a just energy transition. The intern will conduct a desktop-based literature review and primary research into relevant initiatives and legal instruments under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and other international organizations, as well as relevant legal and policy frameworks in both developing and developed country jurisdictions. The outcome of the project will be a report cataloging, analyzing, and comparing various legal and policy approaches and strategies—including skills development, economic diversification, social support, governance, and financial mechanisms—to accelerate the transition away from coal, oil, and fossil gas to renewables, and to support workers and communities most affected by and vulnerable to both climate and transition impacts. Preference will be given to candidates with strong legal research and writing skills. Knowledge and experience or demonstrated interest in issues related to extractive industries, climate change, and a just transition is desirable.

Paid internship: Translation of French Documents into English (and vice-versa)

CCSI is looking for bilingual students with professional translation capabilities to translate documents from English to French and vice versa. Undergraduate or graduate students will be accepted. An understanding of tax-related issues and concepts is a plus. Time commitment is about 80 -100 hours total during the summer + beginning of fall; Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

Unpaid internship: SDG-Aligned Finance and Investing

CCSI seeks to strengthen the alignment of global finance and investment with the Sustainable Development Goals. On one hand, there remains a substantial financing gap for the investments needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including the global energy transformation. On the other hand, despite the widespread recognition of the risks to, and opportunities for, investors and other financial actors with respect to the SDGs, existing practices, standards, disclosure frameworks, and metrics are not sufficient to meaningfully shift practices or to address the major financing needs. CCSI seeks one or more students to conduct research and analysis to support its work in this area. Preference will be given to students with experience or familiarity with ESG and other investing frameworks and reporting standards, banking and investment products (e.g. debt, equity, bonds), objectives and trends in responsible business practices, investment promotion and screening, among other areas. 

Paid internship: Arabic-Speaking Researcher on Sustainable Finance

CCSI seeks a law or policy graduate student (or a motivated and high-performing undergraduate student) to support the Center’s research and advisory work related to sustainable finance. In particular, the research will support an analysis of the alignment of Islamic Finance with ‘ESG investing,’ and other selected sustainable finance frameworks. The researcher will also support broader research on how investments or projects might be assessed, selected, and shaped to align with the SDGs, and the tools available to governments to support such policies. The internship will involve working closely with senior staff and the Center’s director on research, analysis, and event organizing. Knowledge of sustainable finance is strongly preferred. Speaking and reading in Arabic is necessary for this work.

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. The intern may also be asked to help with the coordination of our annual Executive Training on Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials. Familiarity with international investment law is required. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills.

Paid internship: Online Course (MOOC) on Mining and the Energy Transition 

The Paris Climate Agreement and 17 Sustainable Development Goals outline a global consensus on the interlinked needs to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. Mining is at the heart of the sustainable development challenge —through the materials produced for the new energy systems and an increased digital economy, the challenge of decarbonizing mineral supply chains and infrastructure, and through company payments in taxes and royalties that will finance key public investments.  

CCSI plans to create an 8-week massive open online course (MOOC) on “Mining and the Sustainable Development Transformations.” The course seeks to build awareness, understanding, and relevant technical capacity among a wide range of stakeholders on the opportunities and challenges for the mining sector, at the heart of the sustainable development transformations. Selected student interns will provide critical support to all aspects of production from content elaboration, liaising with the production team, curating readings, and preparing quizzes. The ideal candidate will have an interest in natural resource management and sustainable development. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in online education platforms (though not required).

Unpaid internship: International Investment Law and Energy Transition

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated JD, LLM or SIPA student to support a project on the critical mass scale-up of investment into clean, renewable energy technologies and sectors. The intern will help with the dissemination of a survey to industry experts, as well as research and analysis of treaty-based investor-state arbitration claims in the renewable energy space. The intern may also be asked to help with the coordination of two events that are tentatively scheduled for October and November on the product of this research. Familiarity with international investment law is desirable. Preference will be given to applicants with strong interpersonal skills, and research skills. Knowledge of Spanish is desirable, but not required.

Paid internship: Responsible and Rights-Respecting Land Investments (Native French Speaker)

CCSI seeks a JD, LLM, or other graduate student with native or extremely fluent written and verbal French to support the Center’s research and advisory work on responsible and rights-respecting land-based investments. The internship will involve working closely with senior staff on priority projects requiring research, analysis, partner liaison, and writing. These projects may include contributing to our technical support collaborations with civil society or government, with a focus on Francophone African countries on topics such as land rights, Indigenous peoples’ rights, community development agreements, and investment approval processes. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills. Knowledge or experience of issues relating to responsible land-based investment, land rights, government policymaking related to investments, and/or community rights in the context of resource investments is desirable.

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 Extractives; Land, Agriculture & Food Systems; 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. ([email protected]).

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: 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.

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 protected].