Opportunities at CERN you may not have thought about

If you are passionate about science, new technologies or Physics, and if you’re looking to work in a recognised international organisation, CERN is definitely a place you should be considering in your professional journey. As for most first class employers getting a staff contract at CERN is a competitive process(25.000 applications received per year), however there are other contract opportunities applicants may not initially think of. Indeed, while CERN employs approximately 2500 staff members,in 2015 more than 10.000 people worked on the CERN site under another type of contract or association. So if one of your dreams is to work at CERN, read on!

CERN’s workforce is defined under 3 categories: Employed Members of the Personnel (MPE), Associated Members of the Personnel (MPA), and contractors/temporary personnel. As the Talent Acquisition Group has a key role in the selection process for MPE (staff, fellows and apprentice), and for some MPA (associates and students), the Careers site describes the related contract options, and details eligibility conditions (mainly based on education background, level of experience, and citizenship) for each of them.

Still, we receive a significant number of applications from candidates who do not fulfil the eligibility criteria, for instance from countries which are not CERN Member States. Interest for CERN comes from far beyond its Member States, and the more than 100 nationalities present on site demonstrates that there are definitely other possibilities to work here, including for non-member states (NMS) applicants. Below is a list of some contract opportunities which can be of interest to candidates who may not fulfil eligibility criteria of Staff contracts. Not all of them may be accessible to you, but do have a look. Information on all contract types can be found here.

Employed Members of the Personnel:
Under the sole authority of the Director General, employed members of the personnel perform the functions entrusted to them in return for remuneration by the Organization.

Fellowship programme
COFUND Fellowships programme

Associated Members of the Personnel:
Associated Members of Personnel are not employed by the Organization but are appointed by the Director General on the basis of a contract of association for the purpose of international collaboration, for the purpose of exchange of scientists, or for the purpose of training.

International collaboration:
CERN has agreements with several institutes from many different countries. These institutes are coming to CERN to contribute to the planning, design, construction, maintenance, or operation of an experiment, or are involved in specific projects. A significant number of scientists, engineers or technicians, as well as their administrative support personnel are therefore sent to CERN in this context, mainly under the status of Users or Project Associates.

Exchange of scientists:
Appointed on the basis of an individual invitation in order to promote exchanges in the fields of science and technology, Scientific Associates are subject to the consent of their home institution.

Associates for the purpose of training shall be appointed on the basis of an individual invitation in order to supplement their education or to obtain professional experience, subject to the consent of their home institution.

Doctoral Student Programme
Technical Student Programme
Administrative Student Programme
CERN Openlab Summer Student Programme
Studentships in Summer (Non Member State Nationals)
Short-Term Internship Programme

Contractors and temporary personnel:
CERN is working with a number of external companies whose employees are based on site: cleaning agencies, people working at CERN’s restaurants, craftsman working on building sites managed by an external contractor, or Field Support Unit which are set up in the frame of a service contract to execute well-defined services.

Finally, CERN requires temporary staff to work in both technical and non-technical domains. Employed by temporary staffing agencies, this category of personnel is subject to local labour legislation, and can work at CERN for up to 3 years. More information can be found here.

So, there are opportunities to work at CERN, whatever your personal situation is. Competition is nevertheless strong and the above mentioned opportunities are all subject to specific eligibility conditions. If you still cannot find something suitable, you can still come and visit us!