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Post Career Break Fellowship

Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire CERN

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Post Career Break Fellowship

Post Career Break Fellowship

Have you taken time out for personal reasons from your career in science or engineering? Would you be interested in returning to work if you could?
CERN has launched a programme to offer full-time or part-time Fellowships to science and engineering graduates wishing to re-start their careers. This is an outstanding chance for you to update your knowledge and skills working for up to three years in an international environment at the forefront of research.
CERN is proud to be involved in COFUND a European Commission Marie Sklodowksa-Curie Action to stimulate mobility and career development through fellowship programmes.  Through the COFUND programme, we will be offering a limited number of 3-year Fellowships to top-ranked Senior Fellows. Candidates meeting these requirements will be considered for a COFUND Fellowship. One feature of the COFUND programme is the possibility to spend up to 12 months of the Fellow contract at another institute, provided that the work still corresponds to your original project at CERN.
Deadline to submit applications: 28 FEB 2017 ; 23:59 CET/ Deadline to submit all required documents: 2 March 2017; 23:59 CET
Date limite d'envoi du formulaire de candidature:  28 FEB 2017 ; 23:59 CET/ Date limite d'envoi des documents requis: 2 March 2017; 23:59 CET

Job Reference:AFC-2017-1/FELL_CB
Publication date:
Closing date:
Role Description

CERN already runs a very successful Fellowship Programme which awards approximately 220 Fellowships per year in both for research work (experimental or theoretical physics) and advanced development work and related research in a broad range of applied science, computing and engineering fields.


This programme will offer one full-time or two part-time Fellowships and is aimed at candidates with either a Junior or a Senior Fellow profile depending on the qualifications and experience of the individual.


Fellowships are normally granted for two years. Extensions for part or all of a third year are granted only in exceptional circumstances.


Eligibility conditions
  • You have been on a career break for personal reasons such as family or caring responsibilities or health issues for at least 2 years.
    - Periods of unemployment do not count as a career break within this programme.
    - A change in the field from your studies or in the direction of your career does not constitute a career break within the spirit of our programme. 
  • You have a Masters level diploma or PhD with between 4 and 10 years relevant experience after the MSc (Senior Fellow profile), if you are applying in experimental or theoretical physics, you have a PhD (or are about to finish your thesis).
    OR you have a BSc or technical engineer diploma with no more than 4 years relevant experience (Junior Fellow profile). Junior Fellows must be nationals of one of CERN's Member States.


Please note that an individual may only benefit from Fellow status at CERN for a maximum of 36 months. The minimum duration of a Fellow contract is 6 months.


Candidates who are registered as CERN Users may be asked to justify how their status relates to their application.

Documents required
  • a Curriculum Vitae;
  • a cover letter explaining the reasons for the career break and your motivations for wishing to return to work;
  • a list of publications if relevant (for collaborations, please indicate simply the number of publications and only provide details of the most important ones);
  • statement of research interests (if not already included in the application form);
  • a scan of the last (highest) qualification;
  • two letters of recommendation to give as broad as possible overview of your academic and/or professional achievements(*). These letters should refer to your most recent relevent academic or professional experience.


The application and ALL supporting documents should reach CERN (or be submitted using the e-recruitment system) by the closing date.


(*) Please note: In the "Specific Information" of the application form a link to forward to your referees will be available (as well as in the email of acknowledgment receipt). This link will allow them to submit their letters of recommendation in support of your application. Letters should be in English or French and submitted by the deadline indicated. Applications which are incomplete (e.g. missing reference letters) as of the closing date for a given meeting will not be considered. Letters already in your possession may also be uploaded directly to your application in the Documents menu.


What We Offer
  • The possibility to work full-time or part-time (minimum 22 hours per week).
  • An initial 2-year contract.
  • Financial conditions: Fellows stipends are calculated individually - stipends are competitive and net of tax.
  • Leave: Fellows are entitled to 2.5 days paid leave per month (pro rata according to working hours).
  • Insurance: Fellows are covered by CERN's comprehensive health scheme for themselves and their dependents.
  • Travel expenses: Fellows are entitled to travel expenses for themselves and their family (unless stipulated otherwise on their contract).
  • Allowances: Family allowance, child allowance and infant allowance are paid to Fellows according to their individual circumstances.
  • School fees: Fellows are entitled to reimbursement of school fees of dependent children subject to certain conditions and within certain financial ceilings.
  • We also offer help with finding suitable accommodation via the Housing Service.
Selection Procedure

All applications for Fellowships are considered by the Associates and Fellows Committee which meets twice per year, usually in May and November. Successful applicants are normally expected to take up their appointments within 3 months of date specified by the candidate on their application form.