Working With CCSI

At this time, all positions have been filled.


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 (unless otherwise indicated)

Candidates must currently be enrolled in a degree program, have astute research, analytical and writing skills, and enjoy working on a team. Students enrolled at other academic institutions may apply for all positions, but only students currently enrolled at Columbia University are eligible to receive payment if selected for a paid position. 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 2023 (remote possible):

Paid internship: Economic, Legal, and Policy Research on Critical Minerals in LAC

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented graduate student intern from CLS, SIPA, CBS, or the Engineering School to assist with research, writing, and other activities relating to CCSI’s work related to mining, critical minerals, and sustainable development, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Tasks will include performing economic, legal, and policy research on mining investment and its governance. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills and with experience or demonstrated interest in mining and critical minerals, particularly in the LAC region. Fluency in Spanish or Portuguese is required.

Paid internship: Developing SDG-based Development Plans for Coffee-producing Regions

CCSI, together with several partners including the World Coffee Producers Forum, is working to develop SDG-based development plans for coffee-producing regions. Based on on-the-ground engagements in three coffee producing regions in Latin America, the team will develop multi-sectoral, integrated sustainability plans, with suggestions of corresponding financing. In addition to developing plans in those three sites, the team will produce a guide and tools for other coffee-growing regions to use in the design of their own national sustainability plans. Portuguese fluency is required.

Paid internship: Just Transition in South Africa

CCSI seeks a JD, LLM, or other graduate student to support the Center’s research and advisory work on a project offering technical assistance to governments at the local level in South Africa. The internship will involve working closely with staff to conduct research, analysis, partner liaison, writing, and finalizing reports. The technical assistance this project provides relates to land governance and public participation in the context of the just energy transition. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills, attention to detail, and organizational skills. Knowledge or experience of issues relating to land governance and responsible land-based investment, community rights, participation processes, land rights, government policymaking related to investments, energy investments, and/or just transition principles (particularly in South Africa) is desirable.

Paid internship: Climate Change and Sustainable Investment

CCSI is seeking graduate student interns to assist with reviews of academic and practitioner literature concerning climate change as relevant to investment strategy. The literature review will support a large public pension fund to understand the potential impact of environmental, social, and governance factors on the long-term value creation and effective risk management within its investment portfolio, and to draw larger lessons applicable for universal asset owners, especially ones that are intergenerational and fiduciaries to their members. Students with relevant experience in law and finance are strongly encouraged.

Paid internship: Operations & Research Assistant – Energy Transition (work study)

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and work study eligible undergraduate student at Columbia University with strong research, writing, and analytical skills to support projects related to mining, energy transition, climate change, and circular economy. Responsibilities will include: basic research, proofreading, editing, presentation design, and footnoting. Preference will be given to candidates with prior experience in any of the project topics listed.

Unpaid internship: Investor-State Arbitration Database

CCSI is seeking research assistance to update our Investor-State Arbitration Database. CCSI uses this database to investigate the impact of investor-state arbitrations on national policies and regulations in various sectors, such as the environment and human rights. We are looking for a candidate that has experience with Excel. Knowledge of investment arbitrations preferred but not required.

Unpaid internship: International Investment Law and Policy

CCSI is seeking a JD or LLM student to support a number of projects requiring data-gathering, research, and analysis of international trade and investment treaties, treaty-based investor-state arbitration claims, and debates around reform of the investment treaty regime. One project will require the intern to help with research and analysis for a report targeting governments worldwide (and especially developing countries) on available legal strategies to exit the investment treaty regime and ISDS specifically. This will include some detailed data gathering and research on the law of treaties. Familiarity with international investment law and international law more generally is required. Preference will be given to applicants with some Spanish, as well as strong research and writing skills, and attention to detail.

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.

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.