State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


2020 Spring Internship With David Maurrasse

Dr. David Maurrasse, adjunct research scholar at the Earth Institute, is seeking interns to assist with qualitative research and administrative assistance.

The content of this work will focus on how partnerships involving various stakeholders across sectors (government, higher education, health care, philanthropy, the private sector, community organizations, and others) are addressing critical social concerns. These include, health disparities, poverty and economic inequality, educational access and literacy, climate change, and others. The premise of this research emphasizes the importance of creatively leveraging existing resources to solve social and economic problems, and strategies to combine resources and expertise across sectors to address issues of common interest.

During this period, the research will emphasize work on a book project entitled, Strategic Community Partnerships, Philanthropy, and Nongovernmental Organizations. Interns assisting on this project will help identify examples of multi-stakeholder partnerships that harness the resources and expertise of institutions across sectors to help improve communities and address pressing social and economic needs.

The intern will help develop case examples of philanthropic initiatives and strategic partnerships, as well as observe important trends in how to leverage institutional and other forms of resources for broader societal goals. During this period, the book will require significant background research to inform the development of chapters.

The results of this research will also inform articles on the role of strategic partnerships and philanthropic initiatives in various current events to be submitted to State of the Planet, the Earth Institute’s online journal, and other publications.


  • Identify and investigate timely strategic partnerships and philanthropic initiatives;
  • Summarize findings and propose ideas for book projects and articles;
  • Submit drafts to Dr. Maurrasse for review;
  • Revise articles and book chapters;
  • Submit articles to be posted online;
  • Assist with other publications where necessary.


  • Strong writing and analytical skills;
  • Interest or experience in qualitative research;
  • An ability to work independently;
  • Reliability and responsiveness to deadlines;
  • A demonstrated interest in the subject matter.

Position Logistics

The position pays $18 per hour for up to 10 hours per week. Some weeks will be less than 10 hours. Hours will vary on an as needed basis and based on the intern’s availability.

The hired candidate will work independently. Periodically, the candidate will meet in person with Dr. Maurrasse. The candidate will continually communicate with Dr. Maurrasse by email. The hired candidate will be required to send an email update to Dr. Maurrasse every other Friday. The position can begin anywhere between December of 2019 and January of 2020 and end in May of 2020. The position is potentially renewable for subsequent terms.

Please submit a cover letter stating your interest in and fit for the position along with a resume and writing sample to Graduate and undergraduate students at Columbia and Barnard are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until mid-January, or until a candidate has been identified.

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