CERN doesn’t have an official, advertised work experience programme for school students. However, lots of students do come to CERN for work experience every year. Most are from schools in the local area or exploit family connections but this doesn’t mean that students with no existing link aren’t welcome. Here are some tips for getting a placement.
How to apply
CERN has two application deadlines per year. These are early late October for a placement beginning in spring or summer, and early June for placements beginning in late summer and autumn.
The application process for CERN is unlike anything that many students may have ever experienced before; aided by the CERN selection committee, we have created guidance aimed towards universities and students to help increase the number of UK applications and raise total success rates.
All the applications are completed online, first go to the CERN website and then click on register and create a username and password. You will be led through the application process aided by the guidance document we have produced. Once the application is complete you will upload a CV, your academic transcripts, and detail your referees.
A breakdown of the areas in which technical students are currently working shows that almost half are working in Computing, with another 20% working in Electronics, 7% in General Engineering/Science areas and 9% in Mechanics. Supervisors in Computing sections are therefore very actively seeking students in every recruitment round and have very specific search methods and criteria which they use to select from the hundreds of applications they see. They use a keyword search facility to identify applicants with the right skills sets, and look for good references from a reliable source, favouring references from university tutors whom they know and have come to trust.