Internships Available at Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

by |August 29, 2017
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Internships are a great way to gain real-world experience.

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, is accepting applications until September 15, 2017 for internship positions for the Fall 2017 semester. Interns are staffed to one or more specific research projects depending on their background and interests. 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.

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 2017 internship, please send a cover letter, CV and writing sample to CCSI’s Executive Coordinator, Nancy Siporin (NSipor@law.columbia.edu), unless otherwise specified, by September 15, 2017. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Please indicate if you are work-study eligible (preferred but not required). Please 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.

Fall 2017 internship opportunities are currently available for the following:

Paid internship: Course on “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance”
In 2016, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) teamed up with the Natural Resource Governance Institute and the World Bank to create a 12-week massive open online course on “Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance.” The 12-week course has been offered three times in 2016 and 2017, introducing thousands of 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 course will be updated in Fall 2017 and re-launched in January 2018. CCSI is seeking a research assistant to provide day-to-day administrative and operational support for the course during the upgrade and re-launch. 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). Experience in online education platforms and/or fluency in Spanish and/or French ideal. Please apply here.

Paid internship: Community Agreement Repository (For law students)
CCSI is developing a repository for community agreements, including benefit agreements and community-investor agreements, in the context of oil, gas, mining, forestry, and agricultural projects. The repository will facilitate alignment of best practices, comparison of agreements, monitoring of agreements and transparency in general. CCSI is looking for law students (JD or LLM) to assist with summarizing the main aspects for these agreements. Native or fluent French language skills would be an asset.

Paid internship: Administrative Assistant for OpenLandContracts.org (For students with work-study eligibility)
CCSI is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student with a keen eye for detail to: (i) review transcriptions of scanned contracts for accuracy, and (ii) assist with the management of certain administrative tasks associated with CCSI’s openlandcontracts.org website. Preference will be given to candidates native or fluent in French.

Paid internship: Land, Agriculture, and Human Rights
CCSI is seeking a highly motivated, organized, and detail-oriented undergraduate or graduate student intern to assist with research, operational, and other activities relating to various projects being undertaken by CCSI’s Land & Agriculture and Human Rights & Investment teams. Tasks may include: carrying out background research and writing on topical issues related to land, agriculture, and human rights; editing and formatting publications; supporting the planning and coordination of events and webinars; assisting with the maintenance of OpenLandContracts.org, an online repository of land, agriculture, and forestry contracts; performing general communications tasks; and carrying out other research, operational, and programmatic tasks as needed. Preference will be given to candidates with work-study eligibility, though this is not required.

Paid internship: UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
CCSI is seeking a graduate student to assist with various tasks relating to SDSN’s Thematic Network on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources. Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012, SDSN focuses on mobilizing global expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development. Having been closely involved in the design of the SDGs, SDSN has now shifted its focus to SDG advocacy and implementation. The Thematic Network on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources is one of 12 networks of experts, and has a particular focus on SDG implementation within the context of natural resource governance. The Network is hosted by CCSI, and the internship will involve assisting the SDSN Network Manager and CCSI staff with coordination and management of the Network. Responsibilities will include communications and logistical tasks. Applicants with communications experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

Paid internship: Align the Sustainability Strategy of an International Energy Company to the Sustainable Development Goals
At the request of an international energy company, CCSI is reviewing the company’s operations, social investment programs, key performance indicators, and long-term strategy to assess how these align to the SDGs. Potential synergies and opportunities for stronger alignment will be highlighted and may serve as an input into the company’s sustainability strategy. For this project, CCSI seeks a masters degree student with an ability to manage and analyze large amounts of data in a timely manner, that has knowledge about or experience in the energy sector. Private sector experience and knowledge of sustainability standards are a plus, but not mandatory.

Paid internship: 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, please send a cover letter and resume to CCSI’s Director of Operations, Paulo Cunha. (pcunha@law.columbia.edu).

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

CCSI will also be hosting a “Meet and Greet” for interested students to meet the staff of CCSI and learn more about the center’s work and how students can get involved. They invite you to join them for breakfast from 8:45-9:45am on Wednesday, September 13, in Case Lounge, Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School.


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