Internships Open at Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

by |September 6, 2016

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, is accepting applications until September 15, 2016 for internship positions for the fall 2016 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.

CSSI imageThe 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 for a fall 2016 internship, send a cover letter, CV and writing sample to the center’s executive coordinator, Nancy Siporin (NSipor@law.columbia.edu), unless otherwise specified, by Sept. 15. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Please indicate if you are work-study eligible (preferred but not required). Also 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.

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment will hold a “meet and greet” for interested students to meet the staff and learn more about the center’s work and activities. Join us for breakfast from 8:45-9:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, in Drapkin Lounge, Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School (435 W 116th St.).

Fall 2016 internship opportunities include the following:

Should oil and gas producing countries pursue investments in refineries?: A graduate student will support the center’s downstream beneficiation research. There is a growing sense among natural resource-producing countries that more of the raw materials should be processed domestically rather than primarily exporting unprocessed minerals and petroleum. This so-called downstream beneficiation is considered an opportunity to develop the domestic economy by creating jobs, enhancing skills and diversifying the economy. Countries such as Nigeria have taken a strong stance for the extracted oil and gas to be refined domestically. This research will review case studies of where domestic refining policies have been successful and where they have failed in order to provide policy recommendations for emerging oil producing countries on what aspects should be taken into account when making such decisions. To apply for this position, follow the instructions here to apply for Earth Institute Fall Internship No. 7: “Should oil and gas producing countries pursue investments in refineries?”

Administrative assistant / OpenLandContracts.org (for students with work study eligibility): An undergraduate or graduate student with a keen eye for detail will: (i) review transcriptions of scanned contracts for accuracy, and (ii) assist with the management of certain administrative tasks associated with the center’s openlandcontracts.org website.

Negotiation Support Portal / translation interns: Interns would assist with regular small amounts of French, Spanish, Portuguese and or Russian language translation and research tasks associated with the center’s Negotiation Support Portal project. The intern will assist with translating additions to the portal and with researching additional tools for host governments available in each language. Native French, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian speakers preferred. More information on the project is available here. Work hours will likely vary from 0 to 10 hours per week through the semester.

Stronger deals for sustainable development: improving access to technical assistance for low-income countries: An intern will assist with research and coordination tasks associated with the center’s Negotiation Support project. 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 undertaking communications and outreach. Fluent level French, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian is preferred but not required. More information on the project is available here. To apply for this position, follow the instructions here to apply for Earth Institute Fall Internship No. 8: “Stronger deals for sustainable development: improving access to technical assistance for low-income countries.”

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, in addition to general communications work. This internship will involve working with center staff to develop online video content, design marketing material, plan and manage marketing and outreach efforts, and develop and implement a social media strategy. Prior communications experience, either professional or academic, is required. Applicants should also have experience in developing short video content and designing publications (flyers, reports, etc.), and should be familiar with Adobe Pro, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Contract 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 and OpenLandContracts.org, two online, searchable and user-friendly databases of publicly available oil, gas, mining, commercial agriculture and forestry contracts from around the world. This legal internship will focus on annotating key contractual terms and providing other research and technical support on contract transparency and disclosure. Preference will be given to students who have experience working with complex contracts, or with one or more of the following language skills: Spanish, Portuguese or French. More information about the project is available here.

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 Columbia Center of Sustainable Investment’s associate director of operations, Paulo Cunha (pcunha@law.columbia.edu).

For more information on internship opportunities and how to apply, see the center’s website.

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