CERN Fellowships

Drawing of CMS detector in the style of Leonardo da Vinci
(Credit: CERN)

CERN is constantly enhancing its phenomenal world renowned research effort by taking on a cohort of undergraduates, postgraduates and postdocs. CERN offers a number of different fellowship programmes to suit a differing levels of academia: There are technical fellowships (HNC/HND or equivalent), junior fellowships (BSc/MSc or equivalent), and senior fellowships (PhD or equivalent). CERN selects approximately 350 (2014 figures) to fellowship candidates across all its programmes from thousands of applicants every year from its member states.

TTE (Technician Training Experience

This programme is for technicians who are looking to gain professional experience for their future career or before their advanced studies. Talented technicians will have the opportunity to work in a diversity set of fields at the cutting edge of technology: electronics, mechanics, IT, vacuum, cooling and ventilation, safety, radioprotection, survey engineering, are but a few of the examples of the many domains in which applicants can engage in.

Find out more

Fellowship Programme

This programme is aimed at graduates from universities or higher technical institutes in a wide range of applied sciences, computing and engineering with limited or no work experience. Senior Fellowships are awarded to doctorate (PhD or equivalent) graduates whereas Junior Fellowships are intended for BSc or MSc graduates looking to work in a research group. Within the fellowship programme there is a Graduate Engineering Training (GET) scheme for engineering graduates who are looking for professional experience in a wide range of engineering and technical fields. Candidates applying through the standard Fellowship programme will be automatically considered for the GET scheme.

Find out more

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

This programme is a European scheme providing grants for all stages of researchers' careers, doctoral candidates or highly experienced researchers. The MSCA enable research-focused organisations (universities, research centres, and companies) to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide. A small number of these prestigious fellowships are available at CERN for the best and brightest of the world irrespective of applicants being from member states or not.

Find out more

UK PhDs are completed in about three years, whilst many other European PhDs take up to twice as long. Hence a freshly graduated UK PhD will inevitably have less experience and opportunity for achievements than some competitors. This should not deter those who want to apply immediately after their PhD, but experience shows that such applicants must be of very high quality to be successful, and their referees must be able to speak of their very high potential. Financial constraints at CERN have made recent selection rounds particularly tough. Nevertheless, UK candidates appear to succeed in the proportions expected.

The STFC have worked with CERN and the UK Associates and Fellows Committee (AFC) to create a comprehensive set of guidance for both the candidates, for completing the online application form and CV writing, as well as potential.

The selection is done by panels within CERN but, for Research Fellowships in experimental or theoretical particle physics, each country is asked to contribute comments to support their candidates. The CERN panels put candidates in ranking order and take as many as possible starting from the top of the list.

The Panel reviews the UK applications for CERN Fellowships in particle physics and this information is then submitted by STFC to the CERN AFC, which meets twice a year in May and November. The Panel consists of three assessors; two are experimentalists, and one theorist.

The current membership is:

  • Dr Malcolm John, Oxford University (Chair)
  • Dr Marcella Bona, Queen Mary, University of London
  • Dr Christoph Englert, University of Glasgow

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000