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Department Head for Information Technology (IT-2020-123-LD)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-08

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Company Description

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

Job Description


Within the Research and Computing sector, you will play a leading role in defining the Organization’s IT strategy and providing the information technology required for the fulfilment of CERN’s mission. This includes data processing, data storage (1 Exabyte of storage currently available at CERN) and network for the experimental programme, as well as the services and IT support for the accelerator complex and for the whole laboratory and its users. You will ensure that the department (which includes more than 400 members of personnel) provides a ground for advanced research and development of new IT technologies, with partners from academic and research institutions and industry.


The successful candidate's main responsibilities will include:

  • Leading the development of the IT Department’s strategic plan to match the Organization’s objectives, under the direct supervision of the Director for Research and Computing;
  • Providing expert advice to the Director-General and senior management on Information Technology matters;
  • Overseeing large IT programmes such as the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG, which coordinates 170+ data centres in 40+ countries, transferring the experiments data at a rate of 50GB/s, accessed by 12,000 physicists around the world), CERN openlab and other IT initiatives and projects;
  • Overseeing IT operations and ensuring the availability of IT services and tools on a 24/7 basis to allow continued operation of the accelerator complex and of the laboratory’s infrastructure, as well as data acquisition from the experiments and data transfer to the worldwide scientific community;
  • Undertaking planning and deployment of human and financial resources in order to achieve the departmental objectives within schedule, on budget;
  • Strengthening relations and collaboration with internal stakeholders (other sectors of the Organization, the experiments, etc.) and key external partners (Member and other States, the European Commission, other scientific organisations and research institutions, private sector and industry);
  • Guaranteeing IT security for the laboratory through the supervision of its operations and the related coordination of the WLCG;
  • Contributing to shape the future of the field by introducing, developing and implementing new technologies and concepts.


Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of information technologies or a related field.


  • Extensive experience in leadership roles in an international organisation, public institution, scientific or research laboratory or multinational company, and in managing services and tools related to Information Technology and systems;
  • Experience in interactions and negotiations with high-level public-sector and private partners;
  • Experience in formulating and implementing policies and strategies in the area of Information Technology.

Technical competencies:

  • Development of vision and strategy;
  • Organisation, planning and control;
  • Information Technology management;
  • Change management;
  • Continuity and availability management.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Creating vision and strategic partnerships;
  • Optimising resources;
  • Setting direction;
  • Leading with strength and credibility;
  • Bringing the best out of people.

Language skills:

  • Excellent spoken and written English or French in professional contexts.
  • Understanding and speaking both English and French languages in professional contexts including the ability to issue reports and official communications and make oral presentations would be an asset.

Additional Information

Eligibility and closing date:

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 08.11.2020

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (5 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

Job grade: 9

Job reference: IT-2020-123-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Principal Computing Engineer

Please 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

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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