Doctoral Student Programme
At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on home.cern.
Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.
Imagine getting involved in work that is changing the world and imagine doing it before you’ve left university.
Imagine working in an international environment and having a great quality of life.
Take part in CERN’s Doctoral Student Programme!
This is a chance to work on your thesis while spending up 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 organisation. 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.
You will have the opportunity to work in a diversity of fields at the cutting edge of technology: applied physics, IT, mathematics, electricity, electronics, 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 are but a few of the examples of the many domains in which successful applicants will learn and contribute their knowledge.
Note: students specialising in theoretical or experimental particle physics are not eligible to apply for this programme.
In order to qualify for a place on the programme you will need to meet the following requirements:
- You are a national of a CERN Member or Associate Member State.
- You have started or are about to start a doctoral programme in a university.
- Your work envisaged at CERN is all or part of the thesis work required to obtain your PhD. The award of the degree remains the responsibility of your university. Academic arrangements will be discussed between your university thesis supervisor and your CERN supervisor.
- You have a good knowledge of English OR French.
During your studies, CERN will provide you with:
- A contract of association for 6 months initially, renewable up to 3 years.
- The total period (up to 36 months) may be spread over a maximum duration of four consecutive years to allow you to spend time at your university (for periods of up to 12 months, granted as unpaid special leave).
- An allowance of 3704 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax).
- A travel allowance.
- Depending on your personal circumstances, a supplement if you are married and/or have children.
- Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive Health Insurance scheme (the contribution will be automatically deducted from your allowance).
- 2,5 days of paid leave per month.
Please note that CERN cannot contribute to any cost related to your University nor will CERN reimburse tuition fees.
You will need the following documents, clearly labelled (e.g. “CV”, “Motivation letter”, “Academic transcript”, etc.) and in PDF format to complete your application:
- A CV.
- A copy of your most recent academic transcript giving an overview of your marks (if you download it from your university portal please make sure there is no protection so that we can open it).
- A reference letter from your University Professor is mandatory. Should you have one from a previous internship you may add this as a second reference.
Make sure you have all the documents needed to hand as you start your application, as once it is submitted, you will not be able to upload any documents or edit your application further.
You may upload the reference letter yourself, whilst submitting your application, or through your referee via the link you will receive shortly after submitting your application.
Your application along with all supporting documents should reach us no later than 25 March 2020. Please note that your application may also be shared during the process with a panel of national experts for evaluation purposes. Ultimately, it will be reviewed by a panel of CERN experts who will meet in May 2020.