Graduate programme: Volontaires Internationaux (open to EU & EEA nationals)

  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Full-time

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

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.

Job Description

Welcome to CERN’s VI (Volontaires Internationaux) Experience!

CERN and our professionals very much enjoy sharing their knowledge and expertise with recent graduates, from university or higher technical institutes, seeking further training in a wide area of projects and who are committed and passionate about their chosen field.

You will have the opportunity to broaden your knowledge through participation in the hi-tech activities of the laboratory in fields such as computer science, electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering, cryogenics, ultra-high vacuum, radiation protection, instrumentation for accelerators and particle physics experiments, development of conventional, super-conducting magnets, surveying, large scale metrology and positioning systems. The Programme is also aimed at administrative graduates (HR, finance,law ....). 

There are many projects proposed in this round for you to review on the dedicated page (VI projects) with numbers to identify them. During the application process, you will be asked to provide your prefered projects that you’d love to work on. Please note this is not a guarantee that your top projects will be the ones for which you are selected: you may be selected on another project that matches your profile (

The VI Programme is a French international corporate placement programme for young professionals between the ages of 18 and 28 who are European Union nationals. Each year 25 positions are funded by the Programme.

More information about the Programme can be found on civiweb.


To qualify for a place on the programme requires the following:

  • You are a European Union national or European Economic Area (EU + Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein).
    • Switzerland is not a part of the EEA neither is a member of the EU. 
    • In light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 31 December 2020, applications from British nationals are not guaranteed to be accepted. The matter is currently under discussion and will be clarified as soon as possible.
  • You are between 18 and 28 years old (you must not be over 28 years on 01.09.2021 which means your birth date is after 1st September 1992).
  • You have studied in the field of applied science, computing, engineering or administration and you hold a university degree (Bachelors or Masters), or you are about to graduate (see below).
  • If you are currently studying for a diploma, you are still eligible to apply, although you are expected to have obtained your qualification by the start of your appointment at CERN .
  • You have between 0 and 5 years of relevant experience (after your diploma).
  • You should not have worked at CERN under another trainee contract of 2 years   (e.g. FTEC or FCT programmes)

Additional Information

CERN would very much like to benefit from your expertise, commitment and passion. In return, CERN will provide you with:

  • An initial contract of one year, renewable for a second year. 
  • A take-home pay of 4,173 Swiss Francs a month (net of tax).
  • 2.5 days of paid leave each month.
  • Insurance coverage with a French Insurance company (Cabinet Filhet-Allard & Cie, Paris).   

Please note that as a Volontaire International you will have to live in Switzerland during your contract (no French address will be accepted and no exception will be made).

Your future Life @CERN

Get a glimpse of what it’s like to work at CERN: and

This is how you can apply:

You will need the following documents (in PDF format) to complete your application:

Please note that the documents have to be named as shown in the parenthesis, or they won't be taken into account. 

  • a CV. (Resume)
  • a copy of your most recent (highest) qualification (if not yet obtained, latest version of your academic transcript and certificate of expected graduation date if possible). (Degree)
  • a reference letter (recommended). (Ref 1,2,3)
    • You can upload these letters at the time of application if you have them to hand. You will also be provided with a link as soon as you have submitted your application to forward to your referees to upload their letters confidentially. This must be done before the closing date.
  • a motivational letter (recommended). (Motivation)

All applications should reach us no later than 11 February 2021 at noon (12:00 PM CEST). 


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