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Applied Physicist

Geneva, Switzerland
Closing date
23 May 2022

Job Details

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

Job Description


Are you a skilled Applied Physicist who is passionate about designing complex beam instrumentation and diagnostics for accelerators at the high energy and intensity frontier? CERN, take part!

You will join the Accelerator Systems Department (SY), which is responsible for the beam-related technical systems of the CERN accelerators. The SY teams design, build and operate equipment systems in all CERN accelerators, and are engaged in ambitious forward-looking R&D programmes.

The position will be in the eXperimental areas, Electron beams and Ionisation profile monitors Section (XEI) of the Beam Instrumentation Group. The Group is responsible for designing, building and maintaining the instruments that allow observation of the particle beams and the measurement of related parameters for all CERN accelerators. The range of activities undertaken by the Group includes accelerator physics, detector technology, custom-built electronics, mechanical and vacuum engineering for detector housings and software engineering.

You will take a leading role in the development & operation of transverse beam profile monitors and electron cooling devices that are used operationally on the CERN accelerator complex.


As an Applied Physicist your main task will be to simulate, design, construct, install and commission beam diagnostics based on the detection of rest gas ionisation electrons and to take a leading role in the construction, installation & commissioning of a new electron cooler for the Antiproton Decelerator (AD) facility. 

The job will involve:

  • Simulation of electrostatic fields and the transport of electrons in electromagnetic fields;
  • Development of beam diagnostics based on the detection of rest gas ionisation electrons, including design of high voltage field cages, ionisation electron detectors and readout systems;
  • Development of components for the formation of low energy DC electron beams, including design of cathodes, electron guns, beam transport systems, diagnostics & collectors;
  • Design, implementation & exploitation of test-stands to validate components for operation in the accelerator complex;
  • Leading small projects with responsibility for budget, planning and supervision of personnel.


Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of physics or a related field.


Demonstrated experience in the following:

  • Development of instrumentation for beam diagnostics and/or particle physics experiments;
  • Simulation of electrostatic fields and particle transport in electromagnetic fields.

Basic knowledge of the following would be an advantage:

  • Hardware operating at high voltage and/or under vacuum;
  • Data acquisition electronics;
  • Solid state-based particle detection technologies.

Technical competencies:

  • Simulation, design and development of (part of) particle accelerators;
  • Testing and validation of detector, accelerator and beam line components;
  • Knowledge and application of beam production techniques;
  • Knowledge of/ identification and selection of relevant emerging detector/accelerator technologies;
  • Knowledge and application of solid-state based particle detection technologies.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Achieving results: delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations.
  • Working in teams: building and maintaining constructive and effective work relationships; working well in groups and readily fitting into a team; participating fully and taking an active role in team activities.
  • Demonstrating flexibility: demonstrating openness to new ideas and situations; being willing to work on different projects simultaneously.
  • Solving problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them; finding the information needed to solve problems; making objective judgments based on all the facts available.
  • Communicating effectively: expressing opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeping to the point.

Language skills:

  • Spoken and written English or French: ability to understand and speak the other language in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations in at least one of the two 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 23.05.2022 by noon CET.

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:

  • Work in Radiation Areas.
  • Interventions in underground installations.
  • A valid driving licence.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: SY-BI-XEI-2022-45-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Applied Physicist


Imagine taking part in the largest scientific experiment in the world. CERN needs more than physicists and engineers – if you’re a student, a graduate, just starting your career or an experienced professional, Whatever your field of expertise, CERN could be your next opportunity: take part!

CERN is a truly unique organisation. A genuine collaboration between countries, universities and scientists, driven not by profit margins, but by a commitment to create and share knowledge.

People here are part of immense scientific discoveries, answering some of life’s most complex questions and pushing the boundaries of understanding. Experts from every field come here to share in this ambition and the nature of this collaborative, international community creates a genuine atmosphere of trust. People are free to work creatively and to trust in, and rely on, their colleagues across the organisation.

History’s being made here – and the excitement is tangible, inspiring, overwhelming at times. It is the only place in the world that you can do this work in this way.

CERN. Take part.

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