Center on Sustainable Investment Accepting Internship Applications

by |December 23, 2015

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, is accepting applications until Jan. 15, 2016, for internship positions for the spring 2016 semester. Interns are staffed to one or more specific research projects depending on the background and interests of the particular applicant. Unpaid and paid opportunities are available, as described below. Select work-study administrative positions are also available, and course credit can be granted in some cases.

The center 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.

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, send a cover letter, CV and writing sample to CCSI’s Executive Coordinator, Nancy Siporin (NSipor@law.columbia.edu), unless otherwise specified, by Jan. 15. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. If you are applying for a paid internship, indicate if you are work-study eligible (preferred but not required). Indicate in your cover letter if you are interested in being assigned to one of the specific research projects or areas of research, and we will endeavor to accommodate such requests wherever possible.

Spring 2016 internship opportunities:

Unpaid internship: Research on natural resource funds and resource revenue management

The center is looking for a graduate student with an economics (and ideally legal) background to assist the center and its partner, the National Resource Governance Institute, to update and expand its world-wide survey of natural resource funds,  looking at fund management, investments, transparency and accountability to the public, as well as the fiscal rules that govern them. More information on this project is available here.

Unpaid internship: Profiling worldwide legal frameworks for “Local Content” in oil, gas and mining

A law student will work with us to expand a legal survey of the local content frameworks in a number of resource-rich developing countries. The student will identify the key laws and regulations, contracts and non-binding policies governing local content issues in the mining and petroleum sectors for a particular country. More information on this project is available here.

Unpaid internship: Linkages to extractive industries 

Graduate student interns will assist with various projects related to economic linkages to the extractive industry sector. For more information on the linkages, see our project description of downstream linkages here, upstream linkages here and knowledge linkages here.

Unpaid internship: Fossil fuel companies and climate change 

An intern will support various ongoing activities and research related to its fossil fuel companies and climate change project. The issue of divestment from fossil fuels is becoming an increasingly pressing concern for university endowment boards, socially responsible investors and the fossil fuel industry itself. The center has been exploring what strategies fossil fuel companies have embraced in order to address climate change concerns and has been researching what responsible investors could request from fossil fuel companies in order to move toward a decarbonized economy more quickly by assessing the success of past shareholder resolutions. More information on this project is available here.

Unpaid internship: Estimating employment impacts of extractive industry projects 

A graduate student will create a tool that allows users to better assess the indirect and induced employment impacts of extractive industry projects. The ideal candidate will have a strong economics background with modeling and quantitative skills.

Unpaid internship: Sustainable investments in land and agriculture, and investment and human rights

A student intern will assist with research relating to various projects within the center’s Sustainable Investments in Land and Agriculture focus area, and potentially on the topic of investment and human rights. The intern will work closely with center staff to conduct legal and social science research. Preference will be given to applicants with strong research and writing skills who are law students or who have significant legal experience.

Paid internship: Contract analysis and contract transparency: providing tools to access and assess contracts for large-scale investment in land

A law student will assist the center and the World Bank in expanding OpenLandContracts.org, an online, searchable and user-friendly database of publicly available commercial agriculture and forestry contracts from around the world. This paid legal internship will involve annotating key provisions of contracts and assisting with improvements to the website. It may also include research or writing support on assessing contracts or promoting contract transparency and disclosure more generally. Preference will be given to applicants who can read and write French. More information about the project is available here. Preference will be given to students interested in continuing this work over the summer.

Paid internshipContract analysis and contract transparency: providing tools to access and assess contracts for large-scale investment in extractives and land

Law students will assist the center and its partners, the World Bank and Natural Resource Governance Institute, in expanding ResourceContracts.org, an  online, searchable and user-friendly databases of publicly available oil, gas, mining contracts from around the world. This paid legal internship will help annotate key contractual terms and provide other research support on contract transparency and disclosure. Preference will be given to students available for more than a semester and with the ability to speak Spanish, French or Portuguese. More information about the project is available here.

Paid internship: Legal research on mining & water risk – diagnosis

A graduate (legal) student will assist with legal research in relation to the use and discharge of water in the copper and gold mining sectors in various U.S. and international jurisdictions as part of a project with the Columbia Water Center, funded by Norges Bank Investment Management. The student will help the Center on Sustainable Investment conduct a comparative review of the legal and regulatory frameworks governing water access and use by the mining sector in the jurisdictions researched.

Paid internship: Negotiation support for low income countries

A student intern will assist with research and coordination tasks associated with the center’s efforts to ensure that investment in low-income countries can act as a driver of sustainable development. The intern will assist with the further development of the Negotiation Support Portal by preparing materials for the portal, carrying out adjustments to the site, and conducting research into existing resources, tools, databases and trainings concerning investment that are available for low-income countries. Fluent / native level French is preferred but not required. More information on the project is available here.

Paid internship: Administrative assistant (for students with work study eligibility)

An undergraduate or graduate work-study student will assist with a variety of administrative and operational tasks. The work-study position primarily will entail helping with administrative tasks related to event planning and the day-to-day operational functioning of the center (e.g., drafting administrative forms, managing website and tracking website activity, preparing newsletters and other mailings, assisting with event preparation, etc.). The intern will also be expected to assist with editing and formatting center publications, preparing expense reports and invoices, and coordinating travel and accommodations for center staff members and guests. Prior administrative experience a plus, but not required. Attention to detail is a must. Those with long-term availability are preferred. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to the center’s associate director of operations, Paulo Cunha (pcunha@law.columbia.edu).

Paid internship: 2016 CCSI executive training programs on sustainable investments in agriculture and extractive industries and sustainable development

For both trainings, the center is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student to provide operational and administrative support throughout the spring semester and June 2016. The intern will be primarily responsible for assisting with administrative, logistical and operational aspects of both trainings, including through communicating updates and liaising with speakers and participants, assisting with preparation and distribution of materials, organizing social outings, managing applications, managing payment and budgeting aspects, and maintaining the Wiki site for participants and speakers. The ideal candidate will have some administrative experience or interest; good organizational, analytical and project managements skills; and an interest in agriculture and land, extractive industries, sustainable investment or sustainable development.

Preference will be given to candidates who are available during at least the extractives training (June 6-17, 2016) if not also the agriculture training (July 6-15, 2016). The ideal candidate will also have a strong work ethic, good attention to detail, strong communication and writing skills and work well within a team structure. For more information on the extractives training see here; for more information on the agriculture training see here.

Applications for this internship must be submitted through the Earth Institute. Complete the online application here:http://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form126/index.html, by Jan. 17 at 11:30 p.m. Contact Nathan Rudder at nrudder@ei.columbia.edu with questions.

Paid internship: MOOC on “Natural resources for sustainable development: the fundamentals of oil, gas, and mining governance”

The center has teamed up with the Natural Resource Governance Institute to create a 12-week massive open online course (MOOC) on “Natural resources for sustainable development: the fundamentals of oil, gas, and mining governance.” The course, in which we expect thousands to enroll, introduces students from around the world to key elements of the governance framework that will help ensure that natural resources translate into sustainable development benefits for communities and governments.

The center seeks an undergraduate or graduate student to provide day-to-day administrative and operational support to the course. The ideal candidate will be highly organized and responsive in high pressure situations, have strong time management and writing and communication skills, and an interest in natural resource management (and sustainable development). Preference will be given to applicants with experience in online education platforms and fluency in Spanish and/or French.

Applications for this internship must be submitted through the Earth Institute. Complete the online application here:http://fs21.formsite.com/earthinstitute/form126/index.html, by Jan. 17 at 11:30 p.m. Contact Nathan Rudder at nrudder@ei.columbia.edu with questions.

Paid internship: Communications and publications 

A graduate student will assist with communications and publications tasks related to the center’s work on Land & Agriculture and Human Rights & Development. This paid internship will involve working with center staff to develop online video content, design marketing material, plan and manage marketing and outreach efforts, and update and maintain social media. Prior communications experience, either professional or academic, is required. Applicants should also have experience in developing short video content, and should be familiar with Adobe Pro, Photoshop, and InDesign. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to Jesse Coleman, jcoleman@law.columbia.edu.

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