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CERN Graduate Programme review - update


The HR department is pleased that the CERN Council recently approved the Graduate Programme review. The rollout of the new programmes is now under way and we are happy to announce that we will welcome our first new hires under this initiative as of January 2023.

We would like to thank the many services CERN-wide that have contributed to this review, the aim of which is to simplify, clarify and streamline the opportunities that CERN is able to provide to graduates in order to harness talent as one of the pillars of our Organization.

We had a compelling case for change: CERN has to be able to attract and retain personnel of the highest competence coming from all Member States, and this clearly comes through creating offers that better meet the needs of the Organization and the candidates alike.  

Currently, we simply have too many programmes, some with overlapping and similar identities. This in itself leads to confusion and a certain loss of attractiveness. Other drivers for change include the Member States themselves, their returns and the richness that comes from harnessing the diverse talent pool of all our countries. We are also aiming to achieve more equity in the conditions across all the programmes.

We are looking forward to the implementation of the new programmes, which will bring improvements in recruitment processes, branding and sourcing to better attract candidates and build talent pipelines. The scope of this review specifically concerns graduates: the student programmes (i.e. the technical, administrative, doctoral and summer student programmes) remain unchanged for the time being.

Our goal is to offer three programmes for graduates, but each with a clear identity:

1)         Early-Career Professionals (ORIGIN): a real work opportunity in a technical or administrative field, where graduates learn on the job and from the best. From technician up to master’s level.

2)         Project Graduates (QUEST): time-limited, results-focused, project-based work opportunities for graduates looking to further hone their skills and build their professional network. From master’s to PhD level.

3)         Research Fellows: will now focus purely on post-doctoral candidates aiming for a research or academic career in physics or engineering.

A more streamlined recruitment process across the new programmes will help to ensure timely hiring to meet the Organization’s needs. In addition, graduates under these schemes will all be employed members of personnel, which means that they will benefit from CERN health insurance coverage as well as membership of the Pension Fund.

This will be a major evolution in how we recruit and engage graduates across different countries and domains.

If you wish to learn more about the new programmes and find out the latest information, we invite you to an HR public webinar on Tuesday, 19 July 2022 (a recording will be made available afterwards).

If you would like more information on the programmes and how the changes might affect you, please contact your Human Resources Advisor or send an e-mail to afc.recruitment@cern.ch.