FAQ: No name

All opportunities

I would like to speak to someone in HR department about job opportunities that are not answered here. What should I do?
We didn’t answer your question here? Email your question to staff.interviews@cern.ch and we will try our best to get you an answer. Please note that due to the high level of interest we cannot respond individually to all queries. If it is a question we have seen before and we think would be useful information for other people, we will consider adding it to our FAQ’s.
If I need to relocate to take up a post at CERN, is there any support for me and my family?
We encourage a diverse workforce and so are CERN supports new staff and their families to  settle in the region as smoothly as possible. Staff recruited outside the local region may be eligible for an international indemnity, special home leave and installation/removal benefits. Visit Benefits and Perks for more information
You are not receiving mails or receiving blank mails? Make sure your mail client does not block our mails!
e-RT makes intensive usage of e-mails to keep you informed on your application status. Past experience has shown that some anti-spam filters were considering CERN mails as spam and candidates haven't received them or have received blank mails. As these filters are out of our control, please make sure any anti-spam filters as well as your antivirus setup won't block mails from "cern.ch" domain. Contact your mail administrator if you have questions. Workaround: e-RT offers a convenient way to read all your mails safely: go to "My Profile > My History" menu. This is accessible at any time from any web browser. All your mails are archived for you there.
How to enable cookies?
In order to use this site, you must have cookies enabled in your browser. How to do this varies slightly from one browser version to another. Here are some step-by-step instructions for the most popular browsers: Google Chrome Click the Tools menu. Select Options Click the Under the Hood tab. Click Content settings in the "Privacy" section. Make sure "Allow local data to be set" is selected to allow both first-party and third-party cookies. Firefox 2 or 3 Click the Tools menu. (On a Mac, click the Firefox menu.) Select Options. (On a Mac, select Preferences.) Click the Privacy tab. Select the 'Accept cookies from sites' checkbox. Click the OK button. Internet Explorer 6 and above Click the Tools menu. Select Internet Options. Click the Privacy tab. Click the Default button (or manually slide the bar down to 'Medium'). Click the OK button. Safari 3 Click the Safari menu. Select Preferences. Click Security. In the 'Accept Cookies' section, select Always.
How many people work at CERN?
There are over 2,250 staff members employed by CERN but there can be up to 13,000 people on site at any one time. This includes users, students, fellows, sub-contractors and visiting scientists from around the world. To learn more about the people who give CERN its international spirit go to cern.ch/People/
How do I learn about current job opportunities?
Visit our cern.ch/jobs page where all our vacancies are published. We also publish positions through our sourcing network on a diversity of web portals across all 20 member states.
Does CERN offer internships?
CERN has a comprehensive group of programmes including summer students, technical students, doctoral students, administrative students as well as a full range of Fellowships and more. Visit cern.ch/Programmes for further information.
I don’t speak French, can I still apply?
CERN is a bilingual organization: both English and French are the official languages. Good knowledge of either English or French is compulsory and a basic knowledge of the other language or an undertaking to acquire it rapidly is highly desirable. Any other language is a bonus!
What is the best way to apply for a position?
Your application can only be taken into account if completed via our online careers portal so the only way is to apply online by visiting cern.ch/jobs. Check out the following tips before starting the process cern.ch/Hints on how to apply  
How can I be sure my application was well received?
Once you have completed all sections of the application, you will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt. Remember to make sure you have uploaded your CV and diploma in PDF format!
What is the maximum size attachment for documents?
We only accept PDF documents to a maximum of 5MB.
I would like to email my application, who should I send it to?
The only way to apply is online: this is to ensure a transparent process, with full record of received applications to be able to process them all equally.
I’ve completed further studies since I first applied, can I update my profile or should I delete it and start again?
You can update your profile whenever you feel it is necessary, simply by logging in to your account and updating your details/uploading your new CV.
I would like to speak to someone in HR department about job opportunities that are not answered here. What should I do?
We didn’t answer your question here? Email your question to staff.interviews@cern.ch and we will try our best to provide you with an answer as soon as possible. Please note that due to the high level of interest we cannot respond individually to all queries. If it is a question we have seen before and we think would be useful information for other people, we will consider adding it to our FAQ’s.
I have completed all sections of the online form but the status of my application is still 'incomplete'. Why is this?
  This means that you did not go to the end of the submission process. To complete it, make sure to tick the box “section completed” at the end of each section before saving. Note that all sections should have the status “completed” to then be able to SUBMIT your application. You will receive an automatic message confirming that we have received your application.
All my documents have now been submitted and I have received confirmation that my application is 'Complete'. What happens now? Is there anything else I need to provide?
  Once you have received this message, you do not need to provide us with any more information and your application will be considered at the Committee as it is. If you wish to submit anything else, you can still do so but it is not obligatory. You will be informed by email of the outcome of your application in the days following the Selection Committee. 
Five months ago I registered with a username and password, now I want to apply (again) for one of the Programmes. Do I have to register with another username and password and do I have to send all the documentation again?
  There is no need for you to register again since your profile will still be valid. You only need to supply one new "Report on Candidate" if you have already applied before.
I tried to upload a pdf file to my documents but get an error message saying the format is not allowed. What should I do?
This problems happens from time to time and is usually due to the web browser. Please try again using a different web browser or operating system. In case you still encounter the same problem, send us the pdf document by email and we will upload it for you.

Professionals

How should I choose which position to apply for?
Browse through the opportunities,  and choose a role that you feel best matches with your experience/qualifications. If your profile doesn’t match, you will not be considered.
What are the steps in the recruitment process at CERN?
The recruitment process at CERN has 8 stages, for more details visit Recruitment Process
How often are new jobs posted on the website?
New vacancies are published regularly, and the frequency depends on the needs of the Organization: see cern.ch/jobs.
How long are vacancies posted on the website?
Posts are published between 4 – 6 weeks on cern.ch/jobs but can be published for longer depending on the profile sought.
I only have a technical diploma but would love to challenge myself with a role at CERN, what opportunities are available to me?
We recruit for a broad range of positions from entry level to professional and beyond. We seek people with diplomas ranging from apprenticeships through to technical diplomas, to Masters and PhD. There are opportunities for all! The Organisation is at the forefront of scientific and technical development, and posts open regularly in a vast array of fields and levels.  Visit this link  for more information.
Do I have to have a PhD to work at CERN?
No. CERN requires a diversity of profiles, some require a PhD, others an apprenticeship. Whatever their level of education, we encourage individuals to meet their full potential. We have roles requiring various diploma levels, check out our opportunities to see whether one which corresponds to yours is open now.
Can I apply to more than one job at a time?
Yes! Feel free to apply to any vacancy for which you have the required experience and qualification.
I don’t live near Geneva, can I still be considered for a post?
We recruit from across the 21 member states with no discrimination based on your current location.
Does CERN hire candidates from outside the 21 member states?
For ‘staff’ positions, we can only consider applications from nationals of CERN Member States, for more details http://home.web.cern.ch/about.
I don’t have a current visa to work in Switzerland; can I be considered to work at CERN?
Yes. If you are successful, the Human Resource team at CERN will assist you with all the necessary paperwork to ensure you have the correct documentation, whether you choose to live in France or Switzerland.
How should I choose which position to apply for?
Browse through the opportunities, and choose a role that you feel best matches your experience/qualifications. Note however, that if your qualifications/competencies don’t match, you will not be considered.
When will I hear back on my application?
Depending on how far you progress you should hear back from us within 4-6 weeks after the closing date.
There are no jobs open that match my profile; can I apply to CERN in general?
There are some skills that are always in demand at CERN; for these you can apply via ‘spontaneous application’ according to the field which corresponds to your profile.
Will my application be deleted if I am not offered the job?
We treat all online applications in the strictest confidence, and following the closure of a position, your application is archived. It is stored within the secure application management system exclusively for the purpose of recruitment. If you wish to withdraw your application for any position at any time you can simply log in to the system. You can also suspend you account by going to ‘My Account’.
I have been sent an invitation to record a video interview, what should I prepare?
Congratulations! You made it this far and have been selected for the next step of the selection process. We use Sonru.com for our video interviews and full instructions are sent with the invitation to make the experience as smooth and enjoyable as it can be. Check out their website candidate information for tips to make this as successful as possible. When you record your interview, have your CV to hand and perhaps a pen and paper but the main thing is to relax and be yourself.
I have been invited for an onsite interview at CERN, what should I prepare?
Being invited for an interview is great news and means you have made it through several stages of the process already. If you are serious about wanting to work at CERN the best thing you can do is prepare for your interview. These tips will help you make the most of your opportunity: cern.ch/preparing for interview.  
How long will the interview take? I have been invited for the whole day; do I really need to spend all day at CERN?
We run some of the biggest experiments in the world so we take recruitment seriously; often the selection interview is just one part of a whole day. The selection interview usually consists of a selection board with representatives of the hiring department, Human Resources and an external department. You may be asked to prepare a brief presentation in advance as an introduction of your relevant skills and experience for the board members. The interview itself usually lasts between 45 – 60 minutes. You may also be asked to complete a written test and/or a practical test to assess your technical knowledge. There may be an opportunity to meet with other members of the team in more informal discussions and of course everyone needs to eat. Where possible, we invite the candidates to join us for lunch at the main cafeteria and then you might have the opportunity to visit some of the experiments. Each selection process is tailored to the needs of the position.
What happens after the interview, how long before I can expect to hear a result?
Your recruiter will tell you on the day the timeframe within which you should expect to hear a result. We would like to contact every candidate as quickly as possible after the selection day but the decision can mean this is within 2-3 weeks of the interview date.
What is career progression like at CERN?
Once you have a contract with CERN we take performance very seriously:, structured review processes, training and educational resources are in place for you to shape your future. It’s a place where you can get the guidance you need in order to do your job well and develop your skills for the future. Visit cern.ch/your career  
The contract offered is for 5 years, can this be extended?
We offer a limited duration (LD) contract of up to 5 years that cannot be extended.. However, after successfully completing the probation period, staff are eligible to apply for an indefinite contract should one be opened in the field. Approximately half of the staff on limited duration contracts go on to further their career at CERN. Visit cern.ch/your career
What kind of conditions and benefits can I expect if I am successful?
In addition to the challenging career opportunities that come with working at CERN, we offer a comprehensive benefits package. People here enjoy living a truly cosmopolitan life, in the heart of Europe. The environment offers a myriad of leisure activities with excellent benefits, great remuneration and the freedom to work flexibly, it's not just the work and atmosphere that makes people enjoy their jobs, it's the tangible elements that they receive too. See our employment conditions page to find out more about the benefits of working at CERN as a professional.
If I need to relocate to take up a post at CERN, is there any support for me and my family?
We value the diversity of our workforce and CERN supports new staff and their families to  settle in the region as smoothly as possible. Staff recruited outside the local region may be eligible for an international indemnity, special home leave and installation/removal benefits. Visit cern.ch/employment conditions  

Graduates

I see that I have to provide 'Reports on candidate' to complete my application. How do I receive the link to send to my referees? And who should provide these references?
  As soon as you have submitted your application form, an automatic acknowledgement email will be sent to you. This email contains the link that you will have to forward to 2 referees. It is your responsibility to make sure the reports are filled in by your referees before the deadline. Referees should be Professors (past or present) or possibly someone who supervised you during a previous placement.
I have asked my tutor to fill out a 'Report on candidate' form, but the link you sent me does not seem to lead to any such form.
  Please make sure that you copy and paste the FULL link into your browser. Given that the link is a long line, it is often broken into two parts and you will need to copy it manually into the browser to access the form.
What is the difference between the Fellows Programme and the Graduate Engineering Training (GET) scheme?
CERN is a world-class reference when looking for employment in the physics community. However, CERN also offers many opportunities in a wide variety of engineering fields. The GET scheme was introduced at the end of 2009 to encourage Fellowship applications from excellent engineers. This scheme has strong support from CERN Management and the Member States. Applications from eligible candidates are automatically considered for both types of position. The GET scheme has been fully integrated with the Fellows programme in terms of application procedure, selection procedure, contractual conditions, etc.
What are the eligibility criteria for the Fellows and GET Programmes?
The eligibility criteria are the same for both programmes: If you are applying in experimental or theoretical physics, you have a PhD (or are about to finish your thesis). If you are applying in applied science, computing or engineering, you hold a university degree (BSc level or above) or a technical engineer qualification (or are about to graduate). Candidates with an MSc or higher diploma should have no more than 10 years relevant experience (after the MSc). Candidates with only a BSc or technical engineer diploma should have no more than 4 years relevant experience.
What are the nationality restrictions on candidates wishing to apply for the Fellows Programme?
Junior Fellows must be nationals of one of CERN’s Member States. There are NO nationality restrictions for candidates applying for a Senior Fellowship. It is true that the majority of Fellows come from the Member States, but since CERN aims to attract candidates who are the best in their field, Fellows come from all over the world.
How often do the Selection Committees meet to appoint candidates onto the Fellows Programme?
There are two Committee meetings a year in May and November with deadlines in March and September respectively. You can check the exact dates on our website.
I have applied for the next Programme. When will I know whether or not I have been selected?
E-mails are sent out to all candidates to inform them of the outcome of their application within 10 days following the date of the Committee. If you need an answer urgently, you can find out whether or not you have been selected by e-mailing or phoning us as of the afternoon of the date of the selection committee.
If I am selected at the next Committee, when would it be possible to start my Fellowship at CERN?
The earliest possible date for an appointed Fellow to start their contract is usually 6-8 weeks following the date of the Committee. For example, if the selection committee meets on 20 May, Fellows could start as of 1 July. Please note that it is only possible to start a Fellow contract on the 1st day of a month.
I haven’t yet finished my degree. Can I apply for the next Committee?
Yes, you can apply as long as you meet the other eligibility criteria listed above. (Please note however that Fellows are expected to have successfully finished their degree/diploma by the time they take up their appointment.
I want to start my Fellowship in one year’s time. Can I apply for the next Committee?
Fellows are usually expected to start their contract within 6 months of the Committee. Start dates can be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the Fellow’s supervisor. Exceptions are made for Theoretical physicists who apply for the November committee to start the following autumn.
If I am selected, will I be able to choose where I work and/or my work project?
In your application form you have the possibility to indicate your fields of interest. Fellows in engineering, computing and applied science fields cannot choose the work project. Selected Fellows are assigned to a specific project with a CERN supervisor. The details of the work project are discussed by the Fellow with the supervisor after the Committee before a final decision is made by the Fellow and by the supervisor. Fellows appointed in experimental or theoretical physics have a free choice of which experiment they wish to join and their research/work project. They have the opportunity to meet with representatives from the CERN experiments. They have 3 weeks after the start of their contract to make a decision.
What are the contractual/financial conditions of a Fellow contract?
CERN Fellows benefit from attractive conditions including a regular employment contract with health insurance and pension contribution; the monthly stipend is paid net of internal taxation.
I will be applying for the next Fellowship selection committee. When should I ask my referees to send their recommendation letters?
Your referees can submit their letters electronically as soon as you forward them the necessary link. You will have to register in e-RT and begin to complete the Fellow application form. In the "Specific Information" of the application form, a link to forward to your referees is available (you will also receive the link in the email of acknowledgment receipt). Your application does not need to be complete for them to submit their letters.
Is there a template for recommendation letters for fellowship applications?
No. Recommendation letters are usually written on headed paper and signed by the referee who then submits it himself/herself. Letters are only accepted in English or French and should be less than 1 year old.
My referee has given me the recommendation letter for my Fellow application. Can I upload it myself?
Yes. We do accept recommendation letters uploaded by the candidate.
I have finished my diploma but I do not yet have the final certificate from my university. Should I upload my marks and/or ask for a provisional certificate from my university?
Please upload your latest academic records.  We may also ask you to provide the official certificate at a later date.
I have completed all sections of the online form and I have ticked the box 'Section complete' each time, but the status of my application is still 'incomplete'. Why is this?
When an application's status is incomplete, this means it has not yet been submitted even if all the sections have been filled out and saved. After everything has been correctly filled out, the button 'submit/envoyer' will appear and once this has been clicked an automatic e-mail will be sent to you to confirm that the application has been correctly submitted.
All my documents have now been submitted and I have received confirmation that my application is 'Complete'. What happens now? Is there anything else I need to provide?
Once you have received this message, you do not need to provide us with any more information and your application will be considered at the Committee as it is. If you wish to submit anything else, you can still do so but it is not obligatory. It is possible to update your curriculum vitae at any time. You will be informed by email in the days following the Selection Committee as to the outcome of your application, or you can phone or email us on the afternoon of the Committee to find out whether or not you have been selected.
I applied for the previous Fellow/GET committee but my application was not successful. Now I want to apply again for the next Fellow/GET round. Do I have to register with another username and password and do I have to send all the documentation again?
There is no need for you to register again since your profile will still be valid. All the details you entered last time have been saved and you can simply update the necessary parts of the application form. We ask Fellowship candidates to provide THREE letters of recommendation in support of their application. If you applied for the previous committee, we can consider the letters provided in support of your previous application, but we recommend that you provide at least ONE NEW letter.
How much can I expect to be paid as a CERN Fellow?
The monthly stipend range is reviewed every year in January.  Fellows are classified according to their qualifications and years of experience. Currently monthly stipends range from about 5000CHF per month to 8000CHF. Health insurance and pension fund contributions are deducted from this stipend.
Is my spouse/partner covered by my health insurance?
Yes. Your spouse or partner can be covered by your health insurance at no extra cost according to certain criteria (such as he/she does not have a gross monthly income over a certain limit and he/she is not covered by a similar health insurance).
Will CERN cover my travel expenses when I start my Fellow contract?
Yes, if at the date of the selection committee, you did not have a contract of any type with CERN for more than 50% of your working time. If you are entitled to travel expenses, then you are also entitled to an installation allowance which is a one-off payment at the beginning of your contract to help you to settle in the local area.
Will CERN cover my removal expenses when I start my Fellow contract?
No. Fellows are not entitled to removal expenses.

Students

I will not be registered on a course at the time I intend to start my placement at CERN. Am I eligible to apply?
  Candidates must be registered with a university or higher technical school throughout the entire duration of their stay at CERN.  The work completed at CERN often forms part of the student's final year studies.
Is there a nationality restriction for candidates wishing to apply for the Technical Students Programme?
  This programme is open to all nationals from the CERN Member States.  Nationals of the non-Member States can however apply if they have been residing in a Member State for at least the last five years (at the time of the application).
How often do the Selection Committees meet to appoint candidates for the Technical, Administrative and Doctoral Students Programme?
There are two Committee meetings per year, usually in Decembre and June. You can check the exact dates on our website. Deadlines for applications will respectively be in October and April.
I have applied to the next Technical Student Committee. When will I know whether or not I have been selected?
  E-mails are sent out to every candidate being considered to inform them of the outcome of their application within the week following the date of the Committee.  
If selected at the next Technical Student Committee, when would it be possible to start my appointment at CERN?
The earliest possible date for an appointed Technical Student to commence his or her contract is two months following the date of the Committee, on the first working day of a month. Contracts usually start within the 6 months following the committee.
I am a student in Biology or Chemistry at my university and I would like to know whether it is possible to complete a training period at CERN in this field?
Candidates wishing to apply for the Programme must be studying one of the following subjects: applied physics, computing, mathematics, electrical, electronic, mechanical or civil engineering, instrumentation for accelerators and particle physics experiments, material science, radiation protection, safety and environmental protection, surveying, ultra-high vacuum. There are no work experience possibilities in chemistry or biology.
Is it necessary to receive financial support or a grant from my Institute during my stay at CERN?
  No, technical students receive a monthly subsistence allowance from CERN to cover the expenses of a single person living in the Geneva area.
When I apply for this programme, will I be able to choose my project?
  In your application form you have the possibility to indicate your fields of interest. However, you cannot choose the subject. Selected technical students are always assigned to a specific project with a CERN supervisor and the student can then decide to accept or to refuse the offer. You can also use this placement to do your final project (Bachelor or Master thesis).
I am not enrolled on a PhD course but wish to apply for the Doctoral Students Programme. Am I eligible?
  Unfortunately we only accept students who are registered with a University or Higher Education Institute and who are studying for a PhD. Those not registered at the time of the application but who will be by the time they would start at CERN can also apply. A student's work on this programme must be followed by a Professor at their Educational Institution whilst at CERN. They are expected to gain their PhD only upon return to their home institute.
Is there a nationality restriction on candidates wishing to apply for the Doctoral Students Programme?
  This programme is open to all nationals of the CERN Member States.  Nationals of the non-Member States can however apply if they have been residing in a Member State for at least the last five years (at the time of the application).
I am looking for a doctoral placement to complete my PhD in Experimental Physics. Is it possible to apply to the CERN Doctoral Student Programme?
  We regret that we cannot accept candidates in Experimental and Theoretical Physics onto the Doctoral Students Programme.  Candidates studying in the following fields only may apply: accelerator physics, computing, mathematics, electrical, electronic, mechanical or civil engineering, instrumentation for accelerators and particle physics experiments, low temperature physics and superconductivity, materials science, radiation protection, solid state and surface physics, safety and environmental protection, and ultra-high vacuum.
Do I need to have a thesis subject already set out before I start my application to the Doctoral Student Programme?
  It is not necessary for applicants to have already decided the topic of their thesis before applying. Applicants can either choose to start their placement with a thesis subject already agreed upon by their university, or they can select one from the list of proposed subjects on the CERN website. In the latter case, the home institute and CERN share supervision of the written work.
As part of the Bologna process, credits from specialised graduate courses are now required to be able to finish a PhD thesis. Does the Doctoral Students Programme give the possibility to earn credits whilst at CERN or must this be done at the University?
CERN is not an educational establishment and therefore does not give out any study credits. However, in the past, supervisors have certified the attendance at lectures of his/her student and this has been accepted by some universities.
What fields of study are covered by the Summer Student Programme?
  Topics covered include: Applied, Theoretical and Experimental Physics as well as Engineering and Computing. Students in all these fields are eligible to take part in the Programme.    
Is the Summer Student Programme open to CERN non-Member States students?
  CERN offers two Summer Student Programmes, one for nationals of a CERN Member State and one for those nationals of any State other than a CERN Member State. Please make sure that you apply for the correct programme.  
I would like to know how candidates are selected for the Summer Student Programme. Is there a test? Or do you select by GPA scores?
  Candidates are selected over the period of a week in the middle of March every year.  Potential supervisors at CERN can browse the CERN website during this time to consider the completed applications and select their student online. There is no test involved for candidates.
What are my chances of obtaining a place on the Summer Student Programme: I study in a Member State but come from a non-Member State. Which country will influence my eligibility?
  If you are not a national of a CERN Member State but you have been residing in a CERN Member State for the last 5 years and are enrolled in a Member State educational establishment you may apply to the "Summer Students Programme – Member States".
My son is eighteen years old and is currently studying towards his A-levels. He would like to be involved in training or research in physics at CERN during the summer. Is this possible?
We regret that we cannot accept students onto the Summer Students Programme who are not yet registered at university or higher technical school. Students must have been studying in higher education for the last three years or more in order to be considered; students may also apply if they are graduating in the year they wish to participate in the Programme.
On average, how many students apply for the Summer Students Programme and how many are selected?
  Every year about 1000 candidates apply for this programme, and of these only 140 are selected.
I have applied for this year's Summer Students Programme and have not yet received a response. Could you let me know when the results will be made known?
  The results of the selection for the Summer Students Programme are made available by mid/end April. Everyone will receive an email informing them of the results of their application after this time.
I am currently studying in an administrative field and I am required to complete a placement in industry. I would like to know if you have any placements for such students?
  CERN has an Administrative Student Programme which is designed for undergraduates studying translation, human resources, advanced secretarial work, business administration, logistics, law, finance, accounting, librarianship, engineering management, science communication, education, communication and public relations, psychology, or audit. These placements are for minimum of two months and a maximum of 12 months. Applications have to be made online. There are two Committee meetings a year, usually in June and December. You can check the exact dates on our website. Deadlines for application will respectively be in April and October.
Is there a nationality restriction on candidates wishing to apply for the Administrative Students Programme?
This programme is open to all nationals from CERN Member States. Nationals of the non-Member States can however apply if they have been residing in a Member State for at least the last five years (at the time of the application).
I have a child who is sixteen years old and I am keen for him/her to take part in a period of work experience at CERN to encourage his/her interest in Physics.
It is possible for children aged between 16 and 18 years old to undertake a job shadowing of maximum 2 weeks. They must address their request directly to recruitment.service@cern.ch specifying their fields of interest and availability. They can only be considered if they will have a legal parent/guardian accompany them in the region. Note: places are extremely limited and only the CERN traineeship agreement will be signed.