Staff positions

Permanent Research Staff Positions

The CERN Theoretical Physics Department (CERN-TH) is seeking to fill several permanent research staff positions. We are looking for outstanding researchers with internationally recognised leadership in theoretical particle physics. The positions are open to all research areas of relevance to CERN-TH. We expect in particular to have at least one opening in particle physics phenomenology and one in fundamental aspects of quantum field theory, quantum gravity and string theory.

The positions are devoted to full-time research. CERN-TH has substantial stable research funding at its disposal, systematically attracts a large number of top young theorists on a range of fixed-term positions, and has an active programme of visiting scientists and topical workshops. 

To apply it is sufficient to send an expression of interest to <>. Sending a CV or letters of recommendation is not necessary, since the search committee will independently seek external advice. We also encourage nominations of candidates, by sending a message to the same address. All information will be treated with strict confidentiality. For any enquiry regarding the positions, please contact <>. The deadline for applications and nominations is May 31, 2018.

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN’s mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organisation. Employing a diverse workforce is central to its success. We strongly encourage applications from under-represented groups. 

Postdoctoral positions

The CERN-TH has openings for multiple CERN Fellowships (postdoctoral positions) each year. Please check here to apply and get more detailed eligibility information. In summary:

  • For nationals from member states, the application deadline is September 3, 2018 for fellowships starting in 2019 (apply for Senior Research Fellowship Programme: Theoretical & Experimental Physics).
  • For nationals of other countries, there are non-member state fellowships. The deadline is October 15, 2018 for fellowships starting in 2019 (apply for Non-Member State Postdoc Fellowship Programme (Theoretical Physics)).

CERN-TH Fellowships are normally awarded for a two years and exceptionally for three years. On average the number of CERN-TH Fellows present in the member and non-member categories is about 27 and 4, respectively.

Fellow contracts usually start in the autumn of a given year (October).


The Theory Division also hosts other Fellows who are paid through external sources (Marie-Curie Fellows, Fellows supported by ERC grants, special national programmes, etc.). While it is possible to have such a fellowship and subsequently a CERN fellowship or vice versa, the total time spent as a fellow at CERN may not exceed three years.

Please keep in mind the early (late August or early September) deadline for member-state postdocs: almost every year we have a number of good but late applicants who cannot be considered. Unfortunately these deadlines lie beyond our control. While the CERN-wide fellowships also have openings with a March deadline, those openings do not include any theory fellowships.

Our offers (for member state postdocs) are usually sent out early, however CERN-TH has signed the agreement on the "Theoretical High Energy Physics Groups Common Deadline for Postdoc Offers". This means that no postdoc is pressed to commit herself/himself before Jan 7 of the following year. 


We welcome applications for EU Marie-Curie Fellowships. Such applications require a letter of acceptance from us prior to the application. We will apply the same standards for Marie-Curie and CERN fellows and therefore acceptance is not automatic. If you wish to apply with us for a Marie Curie fellowship you will need to inform us several months before the EU deadline so we can assess the applications.


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