CERN OpenLab Internship 2024: An Opportunity at the Forefront of Science

Particle physics research is leading us into the next era of scientific discovery. If you’ve ever dreamed of contributing to cutting-edge projects at one of the world’s premier laboratories, the CERN OpenLab Internship program is worth your consideration. This post provides a comprehensive overview of the 2024 program – from eligibility to application process to the types of internship opportunities available. Let’s explore how you can get involved!

About CERN OpenLab

CERN, which stands for Conseil EuropĂ©en pour la Recherche NuclĂ©aire (European Organization for Nuclear Research), is an internationally recognized scientific organization located on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland. It is best known as the birthplace of the World Wide Web and as the site of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator..


CERN’s mission is to advance knowledge about physics and push the boundaries of science. To support this work, CERN OpenLab was established in 2002 to promote collaboration with industrial partners through joint R&D projects. It acts as a hub where academia, industry and the public sector come together to innovate, build new technologies and train the next generation of scientists.

Each year, CERN OpenLab oversees an internship program that places students from around the world directly into projects advancing the research goals at CERN. Interns gain hands-on experience working with top researchers while developing in-demand skills at the forefront of science. Let’s explore more about this opportunity.


Eligibility Requirements

The 2024 CERN OpenLab Internship program is open to university students, graduates and young professionals who meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled in or recently graduated (within 2 years) from a Master’s, PhD or post-doctoral program in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields.
  • Strong academic performance, with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.
  • Proficient in written and spoken English. Knowledge of French is a plus but not required.
  • Eligible to work full-time in Switzerland for 3-12 months between March-December 2024.
  • Passionate about contributing to high-energy physics and related scientific advances.
  • Authorization to undergo security clearance for access to CERN sites and systems if selected.

While the majority of interns come from European countries, the program attracts global talent. Citizenship is open regardless of nationality. Relevant work, research or internship experience is valued but not mandatory.

The Application Process

Applications for the 2024 CERN OpenLab Internship program opened on October 15, 2023. All materials must be submitted online through the program website by January 30, 2024 to be considered.

The application consists of:

  • Personal and educational background information
  • CV/Resume highlighting relevant qualifications
  • Cover letter expressing interest in CERN and linked projects
  • Unofficial transcripts from all university studies
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Required security questionnaire

Selected applicants will then be invited to a virtual interview held in February-March 2024. Interviews evaluate communication skills, research knowledge and cultural fit for the projects. Offers are extended on a rolling basis beginning in April once matches are made between interns and host teams.

Standout applications showcase strong academics, relevant experience through research or past internships, demonstrated interests in physics and a clear motivation for contributing value at CERN. Competition for spots is high, so top-quality candidates have the best chance of selection.

Internship Projects

Once matched, interns participate in 3-12 month individual research projects under the guidance of CERN scientists and engineers. Projects span numerous cutting-edge areas:

Accelerator Physics

  • Modeling particle beams and interactions in the LHC
  • Developing beam instrumentation and control technologies
  • Simulating new accelerator concepts


  • Programming Big Data platforms for physics data analysis
  • Designing scalable machine learning approaches
  • Maintaining high-performance distributed systems

Instrumentation & Detector Technologies

  • Prototyping sensors for fundamental particle measurements
  • Creating visualization tools for multi-dimensional datasets
  • Building electronics for advanced particle detectors

Software & IT Systems

  • Writing apps and tools supporting large experiments
  • Architecting high-availability services and middleware
  • Cybersecurity analyses and network infrastructure tests

Applied Research & Industrial Collaboration

  • Exploring science-society applications with startups
  • Testing emerging technologies through tech transfer projects
  • Prototyping medical or industrial use cases

Internships expose students to the full research cycle from conception to experimental testing to validating results. All work contributes toward CERN’s extensive scientific pursuits.

Benefits and Support

Through the full duration of their internships, participants receive:

  • A monthly stipend of around 3000-3500 CHF depending on education level
  • Assistance with housing options in Geneva area
  • Travel allowance for one round-trip to/from Switzerland
  • Full medical insurance coverage
  • Orientation and training upon arrival at CERN
  • Ongoing guidance from project supervisors and mentors
  • Certificate of completion and letter of recommendation
  • Invitation to CERN OpenLab annual symposium

Additionally, interns gain unparalleled access to CERN facilities and the unique scientific community. They participate fully as part of their host team, presenting findings and collaborating on shared goals advancing our knowledge in physics.

Career Outcomes

While the primary focus is research experience itself, many internships lead to longer-term involvement at CERN or prestigious opportunities elsewhere:

  • 70% of interns receive offers to extend their projects or begin doctoral research
  • Alumni are regularly hired for permanent CERN staff positions
  • Strong connections help secure placements at major particle labs worldwide
  • Employers value skills gained from tackling complex scientific challenges
  • Standout projects can result in co-authored publications and conference talks

Whether pursuing academia or industry, the internship significantly strengthens resumes and boosts competitiveness for top graduate programs and science-related roles. It represents a life-enhancing opportunity to learn from the field’s leaders.

Application Steps

Are you ready to take your scientific career to new heights through hands-on work at one of the top laboratories in the world? Here’s how to get started with your CERN OpenLab Internship 2024 application:

  • Visit to research projects and options
  • Review requirements and mark the January 30th deadline
  • Draft a compelling cover letter expressing your interests and qualifications
  • Arrange letters of recommendation from professors or past supervisors
  • Gather all required documents like transcripts and language scores
  • Create a powerful CV highlighting relevant coursework and experience
  • Refine your application materials and submit online by the due date

With dedication to crafting a top-tier submission, you’ll maximize your chances of selection for this life-impacting opportunity. The future of physics discovery may start with your internship – we wish you the best of luck!

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