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Target and Ion Source Physicist (SY-STI-RBS-2024-97-LD)

Geneva, Switzerland
Posting live until
24 Jul 2024

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 qualified and highly motivated physicist with experience in the design and operation of targets and ion sources for Radioactive Ion Beams production? Join a diverse team of technicians, engineers and scientists and play a leading role in the production and development of target and ion source units delivering radioactive ion beams for the ISOLDE facility.

ISOLDE is a leading Radioactive Ion Beams facility with the capability of making 1000 isotopes of 75 elements available to an international community of about 1000 users. MEDICIS is a facility successfully exploiting isotope mass separation techniques to deliver non-conventional radionuclides to partner institutes performing research in the rising field of targeted therapies in nuclear medicine.

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 Sources, Targets and Interactions Group (STI) in the Systems Department (SY) has a broad expertise on the interaction of beams with matter and applies its know-how to a large spectrum of activities including particle production, beam intercepting devices, studies on beam-matter interaction and nuclear engineering.

You will join the Radioactive Beam Sources Section (RBS), responsible for the coordination of the ISOLDE and MEDICIS facilities as well as for the fabrication of several systems including the Target and Ion Source Units, dedicated to the production of radioactive ion beams.


As Target and Ion Source Physicist, you will take up the role of lead scientist for the manufacturing and development of targets and ion sources assemblies dedicated to Radioactive Ion Beams production:

You will:

  • Organize the planning and resources to produce about 40 target units per year, according to the ISOLDE and MEDICIS physic’s schedule;
  • Characterize and document the performance and radionuclides production rate of all target units;
  • Review experiment proposals and provide input and feedback to the relevant technical and scientific committees with regards to ion beam production and techniques;
  • Lead the target development program for the enhancement of ion beam production and quality and initiate innovative ideas for the production of new ion beams;
  • Supervise students and associates for R&D studies and support to operation;
  • Collaborate on R&D activities within CERN (including project management and supervisory activities) and to international collaborations;
  • Contribute to the ISOLDE improvement program and develop targets compatible with higher beam power.


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


Required experience in:

  • The field of targets and ion sources development for the production of Radioactive Ion Beams (RIBs);
  • Material development programs such as release properties of isotopes and compounds under extreme conditions;
  • Isotope mass separation (ISOL) technique and operation of related facilities or in mass spectroscopy, ion beam acceleration and transport, beam manipulation as well as Radioactive Ion Beams detection or characterization.

Technical competencies:

  • Knowledge and application of beam production techniques;
  • Simulation, design and development of beam sources;
  • Knowledge of radiation effects and ageing of materials;
  • Analysis and optimization of accelerator performance;
  • Development, review of plans for physics and related technologies R&D programmes.

Behavioural competencies:

  • Demonstrating accountability: working conscientiously and reliably; delivering on promises; using openness and honesty to interact constructively with others; using power or position in the interest of all.
  • Communicating effectively: expressing opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeping to the point; giving praise and providing honest and constructive feedback.
  • Achieving results: delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations; objectively assessing and monitoring own work; regularly reporting on progress and advising of any changes in schedule or priorities; having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Building relationships: showing appreciation for the ideas and contributions of others and encourages others to express their views, even if controversial; demonstrating an appropriate sense of humour; relating well to all people regardless of category/level within the Organization.
  • 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;sharing and letting others participate in own work/project; encouraging team development.

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 23:59 CEST 7th July 2024.

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.
  • Shift work, including nights, Sundays and official holidays.
  • Interventions in underground installations.
  • A valid driving licence.

Job grade: 6-7

Job reference: SY-STI-RBS-2024-97-LD

Benchmark Job Title: Applied 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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