Doctoral Student Programme at CERN, Switzerland: This is a chance to work on your thesis while spending 6 to 36 months at the forefront of science. Whether you’ve already chosen a subject or are still making your decision, if your specialism is Applied Physics, Engineering or Computing, this is an invitation to further your knowledge in a truly unique organization.

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe.

——————————-Quick Overview———————–


CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire)

Fellowship Level  PhD
Country  Switzerland
Subject areas  Applied physics, IT, mathematics, electrical, electronic, mechanical or civil engineering, instrumentation for accelerators and particle physics experiments, materials science, radiation protection, safety and environmental protection, science communication, surveying, ultra-high vacuum
Fellowship amount  –
Eligibility  Open for international students, Masters
Deadline  June and December (Yearly)
Students specialising in theoretical or experimental particle physics are not eligible to apply for this programme.


  • You need to be a national of a CERN Member State and studying in a Member State. Pakistani, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish nationals are also eligible. Students from Non-Member States are able to apply only if they have been residing in a Member State for the last 5 years and are enrolled in a Member State educational establishment.
  • You have started or are about to start a doctoral programme at a CERN Member State university.
  • Your work envisaged at CERN is all or part of the thesis work required to obtain your PhD. Daily supervision of the student during the period at CERN will be the responsibility of a CERN staff member. The award of the degree remains the responsibility of the applicant’s university. Hence in each case the academic arrangements will be discussed between the university thesis supervisor and the CERN supervisor.
  • Doctoral Studentships are for 6 months initially, and are normally renewable for two further periods of 12 months. The total period (up to 36 months) may extend over a maximum duration of four consecutive years, whereby periods of up to 12 months are granted as unpaid special leave giving the option to students to spend time at their university.
  • You have a good knowledge of English OR French.

Application Process: 

Once your application form has been submitted, you will receive an acknowledgement e-mail which contains a link to the CERN “Report on candidate” form. You must forward this link to at least one referee (Professor or supervisor from a previous internship). Reports from last committee will not be accepted. Students must also upload their most recent academic transcript (official document giving an overview of their marks), as well as a CV (in English or French) in order to complete their application.

Candidates are required to apply online before 26.04.2016 (23:59 CET) and submit the required documents before01.05.2016 (23:59 CET) If any document is missing, the application will not be considered during the selection process.

Recruitment Process

  • Applications are considered by a Selection Committee which meets two times a year in June and December.
  • Contracts normally start on the first calendar day of a month and usually two months after the selection committee.
Deadline to submit applications: 
26-APR-2016 (23:59 CET). Selection Committee 07-JUNE-16

Examples of PhD thesis (link is external)(the list is not exhaustive).

Link(link is external) for CERN supervisors to submit a PhD proposal.

Login or register to apply now!

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