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System Administrator for the ATLAS on-line infrastructure (TTE Programme)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: Junior - Only open to Nationals of all CERN Member States and Associate Member States - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-31

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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

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.

Job Description

Are you an enthusiastic  technician looking for a challenging professional experience to further your career?  If so, joining CERN’s TTE programme may very well give you that challenge.  

The ATLAS Trigger and Data-Acquisition System Administration team in EP Department manages the ATLAS online computing infrastructure. This is a mission-critical quasi-realtime heterogeneous computing system composed by roughly four thousand interconnected computers, distributed across an underground cavern and a surface data centre. The system accounts approximately four thousands users.

The System Administration team is responsible for all aspects associated with such a large computing infrastructure, including in particular hardware upkeep and refurbishment, operating system deployment and tuning, operational monitoring and computer security. In addition they guarantee the correct functioning of the core computing infrastructure, consisting of name and time servers, DHCP relays, web servers, MySQL and LDAP clusters, gateways, storage and virtualization systems.

You will be fully integrated in the System Administration team, working and collaborating with the existing experts. You will share all team duties, from the day to day system operation to user support and troubleshooting. In due time, you will also take responsibility for specific projects, like the improvement of the monitoring and management tools, the review of the web application deployment mechanisms or the update of the software distribution and replication scheme.


You will:

  • Contribute to day-to-day operation and monitoring of the computer infrastructure;
  • Provide user support and troubleshooting, acting as standby on-duty;
  • Develop solutions for the improvement of the system administration tools.


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 State or Associate Member State (;
  • You have a Technical Diploma or equivalent, and no more than 4 years' relevant experience after finishing your diploma;
  • If you are currently studying, you are still eligible to apply, although you are expected to have obtained your qualification by the start of your appointment at CERN;
  • If you hold a BSc or MSc, you are not eligible. However you may be eligible for the Fellowship Programme.
  • You should have at least a working knowledge of English or French.

Specific skills required for this job:


  • Knowledge of Linux Operating System, in particular RHEL/CentsOS variants;
  • Knowledge of scripting languages (e.g. Bash, Python);
  • Knowledge of development tools on Linux (e.g. Git);
  • Experience with computer hardware troubleshooting and maintenance.

Additional Information

CERN would very much like to benefit from your expertise, commitment and passion.  In return, CERN will provide you with:

  • An employment contract of one year, renewable for a second year; 
  • On-the-job and formal training (in the design and implementation of electrical systems) at CERN as well as in-house language courses for English and/or French;
  • A monthly stipend of 4585 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax);
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive health scheme (for yourself, your spouse and children), and membership of the CERN Pension Fund;
  • Depending on your individual circumstances: an installation grant, family, child and infant allowances as well as travel expenses to and from Geneva;
  • 2,5 days of paid leave per month.


Training value

As a member of a team with experienced technicians and engineers from many European countries, you will find a dynamic environment where you will :

  • Acquire hands-on experience with the operation and maintenance of large computing infrastructure and its components;
  • Work in an international environment and learn how to provide support and troubleshoot computing-related problems;
  • Become familiar with modern tools for the management, monitoring, configuration of computer clusters;
  • Get experience in public speaking and presentations


Your future Life @CERN

Get a glimpse of what it’s like to work at CERN: and

This is how you can apply. Here are few tips to start you off:

  • Be as specific as possible in the application fields “Education” and “Experience”.
  • We recommend you prepare your answers in Word or Notepad in advance, as once you start completing the application on Smartrecruiters, you have a limited time to submit it.
  • If you apply to more than one job, you will need to upload the documents for each application you submit.

Required documentation:

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 scanned copy of your latest relevant qualification;
  • One reference letter (from a professor or previous employer) giving an overview of your academic and/or professional achievements. This should be as broad as possible.

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.

All applications should normally reach us no later than 31.01.2021

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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