Head of Media Relations (IR-ECO-2019-95-LD)

  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Contract

Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on http://home.cern.

Job Description


Are you passionate about communicating fundamental research in the current media landscape? Do you thrive in a fast-paced news environment with many different audiences? CERN offers an exciting opportunity to lead its media relations team and coordinate the Organisation's strategy for engagement with the international media.

You will join the International Relations Sector (IR), Education, Communications and Outreach Group (ECO) that is responsible for maintaining support for CERN's mission from all its stakeholders; generating public engagement with CERN's activities and with fundamental research; fostering community-building within CERN and the international particle physics community; and raising awareness of CERN's societal impact.
The group is composed of professionals covering all its activities: writers, media officers, graphic and web designers, social media specialists, education specialists, exhibition developers, photographers and video editors, event organisers.

The Head of Media Relations will report directly to the Head of Education, Communications and Outreach and have regular and close interactions with the Director for International Relations and the Director-General, as well as with Senior Members of the Experimental Collaborations.


As Head of Media Relations, you will act as CERN's first point of call for local, national and international media and lead on CERN's media relations strategy throughout the Organisation's Member and Associate Member States and beyond. You will:

  • Manage the press and media relations team, which has the first-line responsibility for handling incoming media requests and for organising media visits on site and implements media events.
  • Act as CERN's main media spokesperson.
  • Manage the Crisis Communication Group in the event of  crisis, in close coordination with the Head of ECO.
  • Develop, write and/or approve messaging of press releases/news updates, taking points and media statements backed by web, visual and film resources.
  • Identify and position CERN leadership and researchers as subject matter experts for the media.
  • Develop and maintain a network of personal relations with leading media representatives across traditional and online media channels, both in science and general media worldwide.
  • Oversee, evaluate and coordinate the organisation of programs, appointments and interviews for the media teams that visit CERN each year.
  • Organise media briefings and press conferences.
  • Inform CERN Management of CERN coverage in the worldwide media, relevant to CERN reputation and interests.
  • Maintain an information-gathering network based on reliable and extended in-house contacts.
  • Coordinate media training for CERN Management and key leaders in the Organisation.
  • Participate in the meetings and ad-hoc committees where public events and ceremonies are prepared.


Master's degree or equivalent relevant experience in the field of scientific journalism or communication or a related field.


  • Demonstrated experience of professional media communication in a scientific or engineering area.
  • Experience of professional media communication in the field of Particle Physics would be an asset.
  • Demonstrated experience in writing engaging, concise and accessible texts on complex scientific subjects in both CERN's official languages of French and English.
  • Extensive experience of management in the Media Relations area.

Technical competencies:

  • Media relations.
  • Strategic communications planning.
  • Crisis communications.
  • Science writing.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Demonstrating accountability:Makes appropriate use of the Organization's resources; uses openness and honesty to interact constructively with others.
  • Achieving results: Delivers prompt and efficient service taking into account customer needs; defines clear objectives, milestones and deliverables before initiating work/ project.
  • Building relationships:Relates well to all people regardless of category/level within the Organization; understands how individual differences bring added value to the Organization; promotes complementarities.
  • Demonstrating flexibility:Adapts quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements; demonstrates an openness to new ideas and situations.
  • Creating vision and strategic partnerships:Encourages staff members and external stakeholders to take responsibility for achieving CERN's potential; recognizes the benefits of collaboration with external partners, understands their functioning and develops a strong network within the sector.

Language skills:

French and English: spoken and written, with the ability to understand and speak both languages in professional contexts; and draft texts for publications and official communications and to make oral presentations in both languages.

Additional Information

Eligibility and closing date:

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success. We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 02.10.2019.

Employment Conditions

Contract type: limited duration contract (5 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Participation in a regular stand-by duty, including nights, Sundays and official holidays.
  • A valid driving licence.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organisation.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: IR-ECO-2019-95-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Communications/Public Relations /External Relations Professional

Please make sure you have all the documents needed to hand as you start your application, as once it is submitted, you will not be able to upload any documents or edit your application further

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