Job, Trainee and Start-up Business Opportunities at CERN, Geneva

CERN is a world-leading high technology facility and a vivid innovation hub situated in the picturesque Geneva, surrounded by the Alps. It is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory with a mission to constantly push back the frontiers of science and technology.

Its scientific goal is none other than to contribute to discovering the secrets of the universe. To enable such an ambitious goal, one needs to design, build and operate some of the world’s most complex machines. These challenges require the establishment of interdisciplinary global collaborations in the forefront of scientific and technological development. In addition to serving scientific purposes, many of these developments lead to other major breakthrough innovations as well. Examples of such well-known CERN technology applications beyond science are the World Wide Web as well as PET (positron emission tomography) cameras – just to mention a few…

These technologies and associated knowledge are made available to others outside CERN through its Knowledge Transfer Group, led by Dr. Giovanni Anelli. As Anelli puts it, “Our mission is to maximise CERN’s positive impact on society.” Concretely, this means supporting spin-off and start-up companies, as well as collaborating with established firms. Anelli has experience from both business and research and found the combined exposure enriching. “I encourage young talents to explore both worlds,” he adds.

CERN is an international organization with 22 Member States, and some 2600 staff members. However, on a daily basis there are typically 7000-10 000 persons working on site, and many more over the Internet. Hence, CERN is often described to be as “an airport” enabling operations of its “airline companies” – which in this case most often are scientific institutes from all over the world. On the Finnish side, CERN works in close collaboration with the Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP). It is a collaborative institute formed by Aalto, LUT, TUT, UH and UJ and it coordinates the Finnish CERN collaboration.

There are a number of career opportunities for technology students offered by both CERN and HIP. One of the recent joint endeavors is the Finnish Business Incubation Center of CERN Technologies, FBC. The programme offers an ideal package of both funding and business support to accelerate innovative business concepts, and it is currently accepting applications.

There are also many other student and graduate opportunities as well as staff openings, of which you will find the details at CERN jobs’ page. As FBC Director, Prof. Saku Mäkinen puts it: “A period spent at CERN is a great career starter! I mean there is hardly a better way for my students to learn to swim in an international, multidisciplinary work environment of tomorrow. Where else do you closely collaborate with people representing over 100 different nationalities and all possible different educational backgrounds?”

Take part and come experience work in a unique place, like nowhere else on earth.

CERN Job & Trainee Opportunities
CERN offers a number of traineeship and job opportunities on different scientific and technical fields, and also in administration. You will find information about these opportunities hereunder:

All job & traineeship opportunities

Töihin CERNiin opas

Technical Student Programme

There’s no better way to learn than on-the-job. When that job happens to be in a world-famous organisation and centre of scientific excellence, even better. If you’re an undergraduate in Applied Physics, Engineering or Computing and are looking for a practical training period or a place to complete your final project, you could spend 4 to 12 months at CERN during the course of your studies (Bachelor or Master). An extension of up to a maximum of 14 months may be given.

CERN Summer Student Programme

The CERN Summer Student Programme offers undergraduate students of physics, computing and engineering a unique opportunity to join in the day-to-day work of research teams participating in experiments at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Beyond the outstanding first-class scientific value of their stay, the selected students will find working in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment an extremely enriching personal experience. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make valuable and long-lasting contacts with other students and scientists from all over Europe.

In addition to the work in the experimental teams, Summer Students attend a series of lectures specially prepared for them. Several scientists from around the world share their knowledge about a wide range of topics in the fields of theoretical and experimental particle physics and computing. Visits to the accelerators and experimental areas are also part of the programme, as well as discussion sessions, workshops and a poster session. Students are required to prepare a short report on their work at CERN which should be submitted at the end of their stay. Students come for between 8 weeks (minimum stay) to 13 weeks (maximum stay).

The application form is available from here.

CERN Fellowship Programme

The Fellowship Programme is addressed to graduates from universities or higher technical institutes in a wide range of applied sciences, computing and engineering with limited or no work experience. Senior Fellowships are awarded to doctorate (PhD or equivalent) graduates whereas Junior Fellowship are intended for BSc or MSc graduates looking to work in a research group.

CERN Doctoral Student Programme

This is a chance to work on your thesis while spending 6 to 36 months at the forefront of science. Whether you’ve already chosen a subject or are still making your decision, if your specialism is Applied Physics, Engineering or Computing, this is an invitation to further your knowledge in a truly unique organization. In fact, it’s an invitation to get involved in world-famous experiments of unprecedented scale and scope. An invitation to join an environment like nowhere else on Earth.

Disciplines represented: Applied physics, IT, mathematics, electrical, electronic, mechanical or civil engineering, instrumentation for accelerators and particle physics experiments, materials science, radiation protection, safety and environmental protection, science communication, surveying, ultra-high vacuum.

Students specialising in theoretical or experimental particle physics are not eligible to apply for this programme.

Examples of PhD thesis

CERN supervisors to submit a PhD proposal

CERN Scientific Associateship

In order to fulfil its role as a European centre and as a member of the world-wide community of scientific institutes, CERN offers the use of its research facilities to a certain number of established scientists to participate in its programmes covering experimental and theoretical particle physics, as well as various related activities in applied physics, electronics, computing and engineering.

CERN openlab Summer Student Programme

Are you a B.Sc. or M.Sc. student (who will have completed at least three years of full-time studies at university level by next spring) in Computer Science or Mathematics, Engineering or Physics with a strong computing profile? Would you be interested in working on an advanced IT project for two full months during the summer?  If so, you should apply to the CERN openlab Summer Student Programme!

During two full months corresponding to nine weeks (June-August 2018), the CERN openlab summer students will be given a series of IT lectures especially prepared for them by experts at CERN and other institutes. The students also have the opportunity to attend the CERN generic student programme lectures  if they wish. Visits to the accelerators and experimental areas are part of the programme, as well as visits to external companies. A report on the work project carried out is to be handed in at the end of the stay. For more information on the CERN openlab Summer Student Programme, please visit the homepage.

CERN Corresponding Associateship

Grants for Corresponding Associates are awarded to scientists holding research or teaching posts for a period of at most six months to help them keep abreast of developments in particle physics and related fields. During their stay at CERN, Corresponding Associates are expected to be on leave of absence and receive normal salary payments from their home institute. CERN supplements these with a subsistence allowance to cover the additional costs of living in the Geneva area.

Helsinki Institute of Physics job & trainee opportunities based at CERN

Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP) offers a number of job & traineeship opportunities based at CERN, and there is also a business accelerator programme providing support to start-up teams commercialising CERN technologies.

There are various education level opportunities on different technical and scientific fields, as well as on the field of industrial management., The traineeship positions are restricted for students of member universities of HIP (i.e. Aalto, LUT, TUT, UH and UJ).

  • HIP Summer Student Programme
  • Master and PhD thesis opportunities
  • Job openings

Jobs & vacancies

Finnish Business Incubation Center of CERN Technologies

FAIR (&GSI) Jobs/Careers

FAIR and GSI offer a variety of different job opportunities, e. g. in our workshops, our electronic labs, in vacuum technology, IT and many more. You will always deal with technology at the state of science.

To perform world-class science we depend on highly qualified personnel.

Find all information about working at FAIR and GSI, like our current job offers, our studying opportunities and apprentice– and internships on the following pages.