Target and Ion Source Physicist

Are you interested in working with isotopes which are found nowhere else than at CERN?  Are you also interested in a unique variety of studies, second to none, in the development of unique target and ion source systems? Then join the Sources, Targets and Interactions Group at CERN. Take part!

Job Reference: EN-STI-RBS-2016-47-LD
Publication date:
Closing date:


Target physicist for ion beam production in the Engineering department (EN), Sources, Targets and Interactions Group (STI), Radioactive Beam Sources section (RBS). 


The ISOLDE facility is dedicated to the production and study of exotic radioactive isotopes, used in a wide range of research fields including nuclear and atomic physics, solid-state physics, biology, medicine, and materials science.


Isotopes are produced in thick targets via proton-induced spallation, fission and fragmentation reactions, and delivered to experiments in the form of radioactive ion beams. The proton beam is provided by the CERN PS-Booster Synchrotron, and has an energy of 1.4 GeV and an average intensity of 2 uA.


The EN-STI-RBS section is responsible for target development and production, the target stations, and the technical infrastructure of the ISOLDE Facility.




As Target and Ion Source Physicist, you will:


  • Assure the production of approximately 30 target units per year with respect to the ISOLDE physics' schedule.
  • Characterize and document the performance and production rate of all target units.
  • Participate in all aspects of target development for the enhancement of ion beam production and quality. Initiate innovative ideas for the production of new ion beams.
  • Provide input and feedback to technical and scientific committees with regards to ion beam production and techniques.
  • Stay informed about the physics program and machine performance both at ISOLDE and other radioactive ion beam institutes.
  • Supervise students and associates for R&D studies and support to operation.


Qualification required


Master's degree in the field of applied physics, or equivalent.


Experience and competencies


The experience required for this post is:


  • The successful candidate will have good experience of working in a research facility.
  • Experience in the following fields are also desirable : 
  • Ionization techniques.
  • Material science with emphasis on behaviour under extreme conditions.
  • Radiation detection methods.
  • Operation of target and ion source systems.
  • A knowledge of mechanical engineering, vacuum techniques and beam instrumentation would be an added advantage.


The technical competencies required for this post are:


  • Design and development of beam sources.
  • Knowledge of radioactive decay and spectroscopy.
  • Knowledge of radio-chemistry.
  • Thermal analysis & modelling.
  • Organisation, planning and control.


The behavioural competencies required for this post are:


  • Leading with strength and credibility: treating own staff equitably and fairly; being consistent in behaviour towards all team members; delivering on promises made to the team; coordinating team activities and assignments with a view to allowing the staff members to assure a healthy balance between work and personal life; providing honest, constructive and developmental feedback to own staff; being able to take a firm stand and point out performance or behaviour that falls below expected standards; taking appropriate corrective action.
  • Achieving results: delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations; objectively assessing and monitoring own work; regularly reporting on progress and advising of any changes in schedule or priorities; having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Building relationships: showing appreciation for the ideas and contributions of others and encourages others to express their views, even if controversial; demonstrating an appropriate sense of humour; relating well to all people regardless of category/level within the Organization.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships; working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities; sharing and letting others participate in own work/project; encouraging team development.


The language competencies required are:


  • English and French: spoken and written, with the ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports, and/or to make oral presentations. 


Eligibility conditions


Employing a diverse and international workforce is a CERN core value and central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion or personal situation.


This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 16.05.2016.


By applying here, you allow CERN to consider your application for any position it considers relevant with respect to your profile. Please ensure you update your profile regularly with any relevant information and that you inform the recruitment service if you wish your file to be removed from the database.


Note on Employment Conditions


We offer a limited-duration contract for a period of 5 years. Limited-duration contracts shall terminate by default on their date of expiry.
Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.


These functions require : 


  • Participation in a regular stand-by duty, including nights, Sundays and public holidays.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and public holidays.
  • Work in Radiation Areas.
  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.


Read more about employment conditions


 *Effective 1 September 2016, CERN will introduce a new career structure, the details of which shall be published in the Staff Rules and Regulations on that date.

Professional Category:
Job Category:
Career Level
Grades 6-7 in the new career structure*
Number of Posts
Duration: 5 year(s)

Application is closed for this job.