Working With CCSI

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

Director of Programs

Senior Legal Researcher, Investment Law and Policy

Senior Legal Researcher, Land, Agriculture and Food Systems

Legal or Policy Researcher, Land, Agriculture & Food Systems

 

Director of Programs

CCSI is recruiting a Director of Programs as a member of CCSI’s senior team. In collaboration with the CCSI Director, and working collaboratively with Senior Colleagues, the Director of Programs will support the development of effective strategies toward the achievement of CCSI’s mission and strategic goals. In particular, the Director of Programs will help to identify a portfolio of impactful projects, ensuring that resources and programs are effectively and adaptively managed; will contribute a profound understanding of how to leverage research findings into concrete outcomes and impact; and will develop systems to ensure the research team has balanced workloads, strong motivation and workplace fulfilment. A longer description of the role, including key responsibilities and personal characteristics, is linked here.

Please apply at this link. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 


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 Summer 2022 (remote possible):

Paid internship: Working on Greenhouse Gas / Carbon Accounting Methods for the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency (COMET) 

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented SIPA, CBS, or Engineering school graduate student with strong knowledge and experience in greenhouse gas (GHG) / carbon accounting to support research and writing for the COMET initiative. A partnership between CCSI, the Payne Institute for Public Policy, RMI, and the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change), COMET is seeking to harmonize GHG / carbon accounting methods across the material sector and their value chains. Currently, the lack of harmonization is blocking bolder climate action. The candidate must have demonstrated analytical skills as well as knowledge and experience in GHG / carbon accounting. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills, and with experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to climate policy and extractive industries. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Unpaid internship: Repositioning Mining Companies as Materials Companies

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented JD, LLM, or graduate student from SIPA, CBS, or the Engineering School with experience and background in recycling to support research and writing in a project led by its Mining & Energy workstream. Recycling and circular economy approaches are increasingly considered as alternatives to the primary extraction of the critical minerals needed for the zero-carbon energy transition. This research project will explore economic, technological, legal, and policy aspects of the transition of primary mining companies into materials companies that also operate in the recycling market. The candidate should have demonstrated analytical skills, and preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills, experience working with recycling or circular economy approaches, and experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to recycling or the mining sector. The application deadline for this internship is May 15, 2022.  

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].