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ISOLDE Physics Section Leader (EP-SME-IS-2024-80-LD)

Geneva, Switzerland
Posting live until
4 Jul 2024

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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


As ISOLDE Physics Section Leader, you will lead a diverse international collaboration using a world-leading research facility for radioactive beam science and manage the facility’s local group of research physicists.


The ISOLDE Facility ( is an internationally leading facility delivering radioactive ion beams for research across a wide range of disciplines including nuclear physics, atomic and molecular physics, condensed-matter physics and material science, life science and medical applications. The ISOLDE Physics Section is part of the Small and Medium Experiments (SME) Group within the Experimental Physics Department (EP). It provides a stimulating scientific atmosphere and is an important centre for the European physics communities, contributing to the development of young scientists.

As ISOLDE Physics Section Leader, you will:

  • Act as spokesperson for the ISOLDE Collaboration.
  • Manage the ISOLDE Physics Section, the local group of research physicists at ISOLDE.
  • Liaise with CERN management on issues involving ISOLDE, radioactive ion beams, nuclear physics, and other matters, as needed.
  • Liaise with CERN technical teams with regards to day-to-day operation, consolidation, and upgrades of the ISOLDE Facility.
  • Represent CERN externally in matters concerning ISOLDE.
  • Work with the Collaboration Committee to foster new projects and plans regarding the future of the ISOLDE Facility.
  • Act as an advocate for safe working at the Facility.


PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of of nuclear physics or a related field.


The post requires the following experience:

  • An outstanding research record in nuclear physics or a related field, using radioactive ion beams.
  • A track record in research leadership/management.

The following experience is desirable and would be an asset:

  • Knowledge of the ISOLDE Facility and its scientific programme.
  • Management and leadership of a substantive academic unit, large research collaboration or other complex unit within a larger organisation.

Technical competencies:

  • Knowledge and application of nuclear physics.
  • Knowledge and application of beam production techniques.
  • Development, review of plans for experimental physics programme.
  • Organisation, planning and control.
  • Development of vision and strategy.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Leading with Strength and Credibility: Acts as role model and leads by example; uses power and/or position in the interests of all. Demonstrates authority and is accountable for actions, decisions and effective functioning of the team; coordinates team activities and assignments with a view to allowing the staff members to assure a healthy balance between work and personal life.
  • Creating Vision and Strategic Partnerships: Creates shared interests and promotes contact and collaboration with key external partners.
    Promotes and communicates a compelling vision for the future; inspires a sense of purpose and participation in a ground breaking and unique experience.
  • Demonstrating Flexibility: Demonstrates a willingness to accept changing circumstances; supports initiatives for change. Readily absorbs new techniques and working practices; proposes new or improved ways of working.
  • Communicating Effectively: Expresses opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeps to the point. Utilises effective negotiation techniques to achieve long-term results acceptable to all parties involved.
  • Solving Problems: Assimilates large quantities of information, identifies key issues and formulates conclusions clearly and concisely. Is open to original ideas and creative options by which to address issues; continually drives change by seeking new ways to improve outcomes.

Language skills:

Proficient spoken and written English. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations. Ability to speak French would be an advantage.

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 06.09.2024.

Employment Conditions

Contract type: Limited duration contract (3 years). Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Work in Radiation Areas.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.

If you hold a tenured position in your home institute, you will need their approval to take leave.

Job grade: 6-7-(8)

Job reference: EP-SME-IS-2024-80-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Research Physicist


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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