Linux System Administrator for CERN Accelerator Controls Infrastructure


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

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.


Job Description

Does the idea of developing the mission-critical computing infrastructure of the Accelerator complex at CERN, the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, and providing operational support, attract you? Become involved in the operation and evolution of the CERN accelerator computing infrastructure. CERN, take part!

You will join:

  • The Beams Department (BE) that is responsible for the operation and performance of the entire CERN accelerator complex, including the injector complex and their experimental areas and the LHC.
  • The Controls Software & Services Group (CSS) that is responsible for the specification, design, procurement, integration, installation, commissioning and operation of the controls infrastructure for all CERN accelerators, their transfer lines and the experimental areas. Support is also provided to the technical infrastructure services that rely on standard controls facilities provided by the group (
  • The Infrastructure & System Administration Section (ISA) that is in charge of the specification, procurement, administration and support of the CERN accelerator computing infrastructure. This portfolio covers the high-performance server platforms of the accelerator data center, operator workstations and accelerator real-time hardware platforms with their associated fieldbus networks.

You will become part of the system administration team, whose mandate covers:

  • Development & Maintenance of a Linux-based sys-admin tool chain (cli-tools, scripting, etc.);
  •  Automation of software deployment and computing infrastructure configuration (e.g. using GitLab CI);
  • Maintenance of the Accelerator Infrastructure Monitoring system software;
  • User support.

Your main activities will include:

  • Improvements and extensions of ISA software tools (python, bash, REST APIs)
  • Providing support to CERN’s Accelerator Controls community

Through this Technical Training Experience you will:

  • Join an international team, working at the heart of CERN;
  • Make a meaningful contribution to CERN’s mission;
  • Develop transferable skills and practical experience using industry standard technologies in a unique and challenging context.



In order to qualify for a place on the programme you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • You are a national of a CERN Member State or Associate Member State (;
  • You have a Technical Diploma in Computing or equivalent (, and no more than 4 years' relevant experience after finishing your diploma;
  • If you are currently studying, you are still eligible to apply, although you are expected to have obtained your qualification by the start of your appointment at CERN;
  • If you hold a BSc or MSc, you are not eligible. However you may be eligible for the Fellowship Programme.
  • You should have at least a working knowledge of English or French.

Specific requirements for this job:

  • Basic previous experience with Linux, Bash, Python and version control systems (e.g. Git);
  • Knowledge of any of the following would be useful but is not mandatory: Ansible, Openstack, Docker, Kubernetes, C/C++, SQL;
  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural team environment;
  • Ability to provide support to end users;
  • Ability to communicate clearly and write technical documents.

An exhaustive knowledge of Python modules is not required but we expect the candidate to be willing to learn it quickly (e.g.: fastapi, numpy, ..) with possible training provided by CERN.


Additional Information

CERN would very much like to benefit from your expertise, commitment and passion. In return, CERN will provide you with:

  • An employment contract of one year, renewable for a second year; 
  • On-the-job and formal training at CERN as well as in-house language courses for English and/or French;
  • A monthly stipend of 4599 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax);
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive health scheme (for yourself, your spouse and children), and membership of the CERN Pension Fund;
  • Depending on your individual circumstances: an installation grant, family, child and infant allowances as well as travel expenses to and from Geneva;
  • 2,5 days of paid leave per month.

Required documentation

You will need the following documents to complete your application:

  • A CV;
  • A scanned copy of your latest relevant qualification;
  • One reference letter (from a professor or previous employer) giving an overview of your academic and/or professional achievements. This should be as broad as possible.
    • You may upload the reference letter yourself, whilst submitting your application, or through your referee via the link you will receive shortly after submitting your application.

All applications should normally reach us no later than 31.05.2022.