ATLAS PhD Grant 2020

  • 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

We are excited to open the 7th call in the framework of a dedicated grant scheme, initiated by Fabiola Gianotti and Peter Jenni following their award from the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation and maintained thanks to various further donations to the CERN & Society Foundation, including the generous donation of Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd, allowing us to select this year up to 2 grantees! The grant aims to encourage and support high-caliber doctoral students in particle physics research from all over the world, allowing them to obtain world-class exposure, supervision, and training within the ATLAS collaboration.


This special PhD Grant is designed for candidates preparing a doctoral thesis in particle physics (including computing for physics) to spend 18 months at CERN. Candidates may already have a thesis subject defined with their home university OR they may be looking for a thesis subject.

To qualify for this programme, you must fulfil the following conditions:

  • You have started or are about to start a doctoral programme;
  • Your work envisaged at CERN is part of the thesis work required to obtain your PhD. Please note that while the daily co-supervisor during your stay at CERN could be a CERN Member of Personnel, the full PhD supervision and the award of your doctoral degree remains the responsibility of your university;
  • You have a good knowledge of English and/or French.

Please note, due to the nature of full funding, all nationalities are eligible.

Additional Information

What We Offer:

  • A contract of association for 6 months initially, renewable up to 1,5 years (18 months);
  • The total period (up to 18 months) may be spread over a maximum duration of 36 months to allow you to spend time at your university (for periods of up to 12 months, granted as unpaid special leave);
  • An allowance of 3719 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax);
  • A travel allowance;
  • Depending on your circumstances, a supplement if you are married, in a registered partnership and/or have children;
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive Health Insurance scheme (the contribution will be automatically deducted from your allowance);
  • 2,5 days of paid authorized absence (leave) per month.

This is how you can apply:

You will need the following documents to complete your application:

  • a CV;
  • a letter of motivation, including the impact of obtaining this grant on your studies and career;
  • a statement of research interest;
  • 2 references (once your application has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation e-mail which contains a link to the CERN reference letter submission form. Please forward this link to two referees);
  • a letter of confirmation from the ATLAS group leader at your university, to accept the supervision of the thesis work (note that the group leader can be one of your referees);
  • a copy of your diploma;
  • proof of enrolment in a collaborating university.

You may upload the reference letters yourself, whilst submitting your application, or through your referees, via the link you will receive shortly after submitting your application.

Your application along with all supporting documents should reach us no later than 19 October 2020. Please note that your application may also be shared with representatives of the Grant donors who will be observers of the evaluation process. Ultimately, your application will be reviewed and discussed by a panel of CERN experts who will meet in December 2020. 

Your future Life @CERN

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