CERN-Latvia Doctoral Studentship

  • 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

Imagine getting involved in cutting-edge research and technology before you’ve left university.

Imagine working in an international environment, acquiring skills to bring back to your country.

Become a CERN-Latvia Doctoral Student 

In partnership with Latvia, and with their financial support, CERN is launching a capacity-building studentship. This initiative aims to support doctoral students with exceptional potential to carry out research at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other CERN experimental facilities.

As a Doctoral Student you would benefit from exposure to world-class research and technology, and have a CERN supervisor to support you in your research and development, whether you already have a thesis subject defined with your home university, or are still looking for a thesis subject.

This is a chance to work on your doctoral thesis while spending up to two years at CERN, at the forefront of science, over a period of three years. If you are studying Physics, Engineering or Computer Science, this is an invitation to further your knowledge in a truly unique organisation, to get involved in world-famous experiments of unprecedented scale and scope, including the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and to bring back to your university and country new skills and expertise.


In order to qualify for a place on this inaugural call you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Reflecting the objectives of Latvia, you are a Latvian national.
  • You are about to start your doctoral-level studies or, preferably, have already completed four to six months of university enrolment at this level.
  • Your home university is participating in the CERN programme.
  • Your work envisaged at CERN is all or 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 the degree remains the responsibility of your home university.
  • You have a good knowledge of English.

Additional Information

During your studies, CERN will provide you with:

  • A first contract of association for 12 months;
  • A contract of association extension for another period of up to 12 months may then be considered, depending on the availability of  funding;
  • A subsequent period of unpaid special leave to allow you to spend at least a year working at your home university;
  • An allowance of 3719 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax) during your stay at CERN;
  • A travel allowance;
  • Depending on your personal circumstances, a supplement if you are married, in a registered partnership, and/or have children and these dependents will accompany you in your stay at CERN;
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive Health Insurance scheme (the contribution will be automatically deducted from your allowance), during your stay at CERN;
  • 2,5 days of paid leave per month during your stay at CERN.

Please note that CERN cannot contribute to any tuition fees related to your home university, nor pay any allowance during the periods you will not stay at CERN.

Required documentation:

You will need the following documents, clearly labelled (e.g., “CV”, “Motivation letter”, “Academic transcript”, etc.) and in PDF format to complete your application:

  • A CV;
  • A letter of motivation, also mentioning the impact of obtaining this grant on your studies, your career, and capacity building in the academic community in your country;
  • A statement of research interest;
  • Two letters of reference, of which one from the university professor who would supervise your PhD studies. 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 the two referees);
  • A letter confirming the interest of a university team active at CERN to accept to co-supervise your thesis work. This letter can be from one of your two referees;
  • A copy of your most recent academic transcript and your last diploma;
  • Proof of enrolment in a PhD programme at a university in an eligible country.

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

Your application, along with all supporting documents, should reach us no later than 23 November 2020. Please note that your application may be shared during the evaluation process with an external panel to help assess its capacity-building potential. Ultimately, it will be reviewed by a panel of CERN experts who will meet at the beginning of December 2020.


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