Students in search of research scientists

CERN is a magnet for many young people wanting to discover for themselves what the Laboratory is about through a traineeship. During their traineeships, the students develop an interest in engineering, informatics and also in physics, a discipline where there has been a marked fall-off in university applications.  We would therefore encourage you to take part in hosting students.


In 2009, CERN granted 270 students unremunerated traineeships lasting a few days or more. However, many applications could not be satisfied owing to the lack of CERN volunteers to supervise the students.

The hosting of students in an aspect of one of the Organization’s fundamental missions, namely education and training. CERN’s traineeships offer secondary schoolchildren and university students the opportunity to discover how fascinating science can be and contribute to encouraging young people to choose to study branches of science that have seen a fall-off of applications in recent years. “We in the Human Resources Department have invested great efforts in trying to satisfy more applications for traineeships, but we need the support of members of the personnel to supervise the students,” underlines James Purvis, head of HR Department’s Recruitment Group.

There are two types of unremunerated traineeships : The School Kids programme designed for schoolchildren seeking demonstration-based courses lasting about a week and the Short-term Students Course for students keen to acquire a few months’ professional experience during their university course.

The schoolchildren are in the 13 to 16 age-range and, as Sharon Hobson of the HR Department’s Recruitment Service points out, “They are delighted with their stay and some of them want to go on to become research scientists”. The course provides an opportunity for them to discover the world of work, an experience which enables them to decide on their future course of studies. However, many applicants don’t get the opportunity to cross the threshold of the Laboratory because, as Sharon explains, “Despite the large number of volunteers coming forward, we don’t manage to find supervisors for all of them.”

HR Department would therefore be delighted to hear from any members of the personnel who would be willing to host budding scientists for from two to ten days. This will mean devoting a few days to supervision. Supervisory activities can also be shared by several colleagues or services to allow the student to experience various different aspects of CERN's work and to spread the supervision workload. This can easily be arranged by e-mailing HR Department's Recruitment Service.

The procedure in the case of university students is different. They must apply for a place on the Short-term Students programme under the Students heading at After they have completed the on-line application form, giving details of their course of studies and skills and the required dates of the traineeship, their applications are recorded in a database which members of the personnel can access at the following address:

To find a suitable applicant, just click on "STAG Short-term Student / Stagiaire Search" and then conduct your search by discipline and course date.

If you wish to contribute to the Organization’s education and training mission, HR Department encourages you to take part in supervising a student within your group.



by HR Department