FAQ: Application process

All opportunities

What is the best way to apply for a position?
Your application can only be taken into account if completed via our online careers portal so the only way is to apply online by visiting cern.ch/jobs. Check out the following tips before starting the process cern.ch/Hints on how to apply  
How can I be sure my application was well received?
Once you have completed all sections of the application, you will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt. Remember to make sure you have uploaded your CV and diploma in PDF format!
I would like to email my application, who should I send it to?
The only way to apply is online: this is to ensure a transparent process, with full record of received applications to be able to process them all equally.
I’ve completed further studies since I first applied, can I update my profile or should I delete it and start again?
You can update your profile whenever you feel it is necessary, simply by logging in to your account and updating your details/uploading your new CV.


How should I choose which position to apply for?
Browse through the opportunities,  and choose a role that you feel best matches with your experience/qualifications. If your profile doesn’t match, you will not be considered.
What are the steps in the recruitment process at CERN?
The recruitment process at CERN has 8 stages, for more details visit Recruitment Process
Can I apply to more than one job at a time?
Yes! Feel free to apply to any vacancy for which you have the required experience and qualification.
When will I hear back on my application?
Depending on how far you progress you should hear back from us within 4-6 weeks after the closing date.
There are no jobs open that match my profile; can I apply to CERN in general?
There are some skills that are always in demand at CERN; for these you can apply via ‘spontaneous application’ according to the field which corresponds to your profile.


I see that I have to provide 'Reports on candidate' to complete my application. How do I receive the link to send to my referees? And who should provide these references?
  As soon as you have submitted your application form, an automatic acknowledgement email will be sent to you. This email contains the link that you will have to forward to 2 referees. It is your responsibility to make sure the reports are filled in by your referees before the deadline. Referees should be Professors (past or present) or possibly someone who supervised you during a previous placement.
I have applied for the next Programme. When will I know whether or not I have been selected?
E-mails are sent out to all candidates to inform them of the outcome of their application within 10 days following the date of the Committee. If you need an answer urgently, you can find out whether or not you have been selected by e-mailing or phoning us as of the afternoon of the date of the selection committee.
I haven’t yet finished my degree. Can I apply for the next Committee?
Yes, you can apply as long as you meet the other eligibility criteria listed above. (Please note however that Fellows are expected to have successfully finished their degree/diploma by the time they take up their appointment.
I want to start my Fellowship in one year’s time. Can I apply for the next Committee?
Fellows are usually expected to start their contract within 6 months of the Committee. Start dates can be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the Fellow’s supervisor. Exceptions are made for Theoretical physicists who apply for the November committee to start the following autumn.
I will be applying for the next Fellowship selection committee. When should I ask my referees to send their recommendation letters?
Your referees can submit their letters electronically as soon as you forward them the necessary link. You will have to register in e-RT and begin to complete the Fellow application form. In the "Specific Information" of the application form, a link to forward to your referees is available (you will also receive the link in the email of acknowledgment receipt). Your application does not need to be complete for them to submit their letters.
Is there a template for recommendation letters for fellowship applications?
No. Recommendation letters are usually written on headed paper and signed by the referee who then submits it himself/herself. Letters are only accepted in English or French and should be less than 1 year old.
My referee has given me the recommendation letter for my Fellow application. Can I upload it myself?
Yes. We do accept recommendation letters uploaded by the candidate.
I have finished my diploma but I do not yet have the final certificate from my university. Should I upload my marks and/or ask for a provisional certificate from my university?
Please upload your latest academic records.  We may also ask you to provide the official certificate at a later date.
I have completed all sections of the online form and I have ticked the box 'Section complete' each time, but the status of my application is still 'incomplete'. Why is this?
When an application's status is incomplete, this means it has not yet been submitted even if all the sections have been filled out and saved. After everything has been correctly filled out, the button 'submit/envoyer' will appear and once this has been clicked an automatic e-mail will be sent to you to confirm that the application has been correctly submitted.
All my documents have now been submitted and I have received confirmation that my application is 'Complete'. What happens now? Is there anything else I need to provide?
Once you have received this message, you do not need to provide us with any more information and your application will be considered at the Committee as it is. If you wish to submit anything else, you can still do so but it is not obligatory. It is possible to update your curriculum vitae at any time. You will be informed by email in the days following the Selection Committee as to the outcome of your application, or you can phone or email us on the afternoon of the Committee to find out whether or not you have been selected.


Is there a nationality restriction for candidates wishing to apply for the Technical Students Programme?
  This programme is open to all nationals from the CERN Member States.  Nationals of the non-Member States can however apply if they have been residing in a Member State for at least the last five years (at the time of the application).