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Director General

Geneva, Switzerland
An appropriate remuneration and benefits package will be offered.
Posting live until
2 May 2024

Job Details

With 2600 staff members, 1800 other paid personnel and some 12 000 scientific users from almost 100 countries, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, an intergovernmental organisation with its seat at Geneva, Switzerland, is the leading international laboratory for fundamental research in particle physics. The annual Budget of some 1.2 billion Swiss francs is funded by its 33 Member and Associate Member States. CERN is presently operating the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator that provides new insights into the origin and the structure of matter and into the forces governing the Universe.

The Director-General is the Chief Executive Officer and legal representative of the Organization. The Director-General is directly accountable to and executes the decisions of the CERN Council, the Organization’s supreme governing body composed of the representatives of the Member States.

The term of office of the present Director-General ends on 31 December 2025. The Council is therefore inviting applications for the appointment of a


for a single fixed period of five years, starting on 1 January 2026.


In order to lead CERN during a period when it is facing fundamental decisions about its future and driving the development of exceptional projects, the successful candidate will demonstrate the following qualifications and competencies:

  • outstanding expertise and a high reputation in particle physics and/or closely related fields;  
  • demonstrated experience in the successful management of a large-scale project or a large organisation; and 
  • the capacity to provide scientific and managerial leadership for CERN, to represent the Organization in dealings with governments and other bodies in and outside the Member States and to build consensus effectively within the Organization, the Member States and internationally. 


In addition to exercising the competencies set out above, the position of Director-General entails:

  • providing scientific and managerial leadership to the Organization;
  • implementing the approved scientific programme, with emphasis on the full exploitation of the scientific potential of the LHC and HL-LHC;
  • developing strategic options for the long-term scientific programme of the Organization as an integral part of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, ensuring alignment with broader scientific and societal priorities;
  • being responsible for implementation of the European Strategy for Particle Physics in collaboration with the European national laboratories and institutes in the field;
  • overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Laboratory, including budget management, resource allocation, and personnel supervision;
  • building and maintaining partnerships with other research institutions, government agencies, industry stakeholders, and international organisations to advance scientific goals and promote knowledge sharing;
  • fostering a culture of innovation and scientific excellence, supporting research initiatives and collaborative projects within the Organization and with external partners; and,
  • ensuring that all activities conducted by the Organization adhere to relevant legal and ethical standards, including safety regulations, data integrity, and responsible research practices.

Applicants are invited to send a letter of interest, with a detailed curriculum vitae, to the CERN Council Secretariat* before 31 May 2024.

The Council is scheduled to make the appointment in December 2024. To allow the Director-General Designate sufficient time for consultation and familiarisation with CERN, a position within the Organization can be arranged for the year 2025.
General information about CERN can be found at
Additional information may be obtained from the Chair of the Search Committee via the Council Secretariat.
An appropriate remuneration and benefits package will be offered.
Employing a diverse and international workforce is a CERN core value and central to our success.

Council Secretariat
1 Esplanade des Particules
CH-1211 Geneva 23
Tel. +41 22 767 40 54


CERN profileAt CERN, physicists and engineers use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles – to probe the underlying structure of the universe.

Working at CERN
CERN is a truly unique organization. A genuine collaboration between countries, universities and scientists, driven not by profit margins, but by a commitment to create and share knowledge. At CERN, students, recent graduates and experienced professionals work together to push for immense scientific discoveries, answering some of life’s most complex questions and advancing the boundaries of human knowledge.

People are free to work creatively and to trust in, and rely on, their colleagues across the organization. History is being made at CERN – 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.

Why work for us
Today, CERN employs more than 2500 people, and if you visit us you will find more than 2500 different reasons why CERN is such a great place to work. Six key reasons that we believe will make you love working here are: challenge; purpose; imagination; integrity; collaboration; and quality of life.

Student and graduate schemes
CERN technical and administrative internships and graduate schemes offer international students and recent graduates the opportunity to work with world-class scientists and engineers on cutting-edge research in particle physics, computational science, life sciences, engineering, international relations, and more. Whichever route you take, it will be an extraordinary experience.

What we are looking for
To conduct experiments of this scale and importance, CERN needs people from various career levels and with a wide range of abilities, skills and competencies. We have job opportunities for students, graduates and experienced professionals, from apprenticeships to PhDs (and beyond). Whatever your background, field of interest or diploma level, CERN could be the place for you.

Geneva, Switzerland

Number of employees
2500+ staff members; several hundred on graduate and student programmes

Positions recently recruited for
Computing engineer, radiofrequency engineer, process operator in cryogenics, web developer, mechanical engineer, administrative assistant, system administrator, power electronics engineer, scientific writer, applied physicist and many more

Desired degree disciplines/class
From apprenticeship to PhD in a wide variety of domains

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
All year round

Tel +41 22 76 63 786

Company info
+41 22 76 63 786
Esplanade des Particules 1
PO Box 1211
Geneva 23

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