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Fall 2019 Internship Opportunities With the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

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The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, is accepting applications until September 15, 2019 for internship positions for the fall 2019 semester. Interns are staffed to one or more specific research projects depending on the background and interests of the particular applicant. Select work-study administrative positions are also available, and course credit can be granted in some cases.

CCSI is a leading applied research center and forum dedicated to the study, practice and discussion of sustainable international investment. Our mission is to develop and disseminate practical approaches and solutions to maximize the impact of international investment for sustainable development. The center’s work is organized around three major areas of research: Sustainable Investments in Extractive Industries, Sustainable Investments in Land and Agriculture, and Sustainable International Investment Law and Policy, with cross-cutting research related to climate change and human rights.

Candidates must commit to at least 10-15 hours per week, but more hours are possible. Continuation into subsequent terms is possible, and in some cases, preferred.

To apply for a fall 2019 internship, please send a cover letter, CV and writing sample to CCSI’s executive coordinator, Nancy Siporin (, unless otherwise specified, by September 15, 2019. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Please indicate if you are work-study eligible (preferred but not required). The cover letter should include a distinct list of which internships you are applying for (you may include as many as you’d like).

Fall 2019 paid internship opportunities are currently available for the following:

The Politics of Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Latin America

CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with research and writing on the politics of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the context of extractives projects in Latin America. The project explores the politics of FPIC and community consultation — how the distribution of power across different actors, the (mis)alignments of their interests, and characteristics of political systems and broader structures affect whether and how FPIC processes unfold. Preference will be given to applicants who are native or fluent in Spanish and/or Portuguese, have strong research and writing skills, and prior experience working on relevant topics.

Administrative Assistant –

Students with work study eligibility are strongly preferred for this position.

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated, organized, and detail-oriented undergraduate or graduate student intern to help with the administration of CCSI’s transparency tool, The intern will assist with the management of certain administrative tasks associated with the website, which aims to empower communities, civil society organizations, host governments and other actors to better understand the details of deals surrounding agriculture, forestry, renewable energy and other land-based investment projects in the global south. Strong preference will be given to candidates native or fluent in French. Work study allocations are an asset but not required.

Understanding the Transparency Needs, Demands, and Uses of Local Communities and Host Governments in the Context of Land Investments

CCSI seeks graduate students 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 specific country contexts — what is the most important and useful information to disclose and why, in order to inform strategies to strengthen land governance around investment projects. 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 to prepare for field research in two target countries. 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 field of business and human rights and/or responsible land-based investment is also desired. Fluency in French or Spanish is desirable but not required.

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 (

A Brazilian Case Study of Mining Related Shared-Use Infrastructure

As part of the work on Leveraging Mining-Related Infrastructure Investments for Development, CCSI will assess the costs and benefits related to a railway corridor investment by a mining company in Brazil. The project will also look at the legal and operational framework under which the corridor operates and write up the lessons learned. To support this project, CCSI is seeking a Portuguese-speaking intern. Preference will be given to applicants that have experience in cost-benefit analyses, impact assessments or infrastructure investments.

Support to Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development

CCSI seeks a graduate student to support the extractive industries and sustainable development workstream on a number of projects that are underway during the fall term. Among others, this includes research on the impact of automation in the mining sector and how governments can perform better due diligence on extractive industry investors. Preference will be given to candidates with a strong policy background, as well as good research and writing skills.

For more information on internship opportunities and how to apply, please see the CCSI website.

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Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

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