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CERN Reviews

Updated 17 August 2017
218 reviews

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4.4
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CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti
Fabiola Gianotti
50 Ratings

218 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Difficult to have a permanent position (in 11 reviews)

  • Le travail est quasi totalement fait par, soit des (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Technical Student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Relaxed and friendly environment, conference opportunities

    Cons

    A bit too much internal team politics


  2. "Summer Student Programme"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at CERN full-time

    Pros

    This is THE place to be for physics! As a summer student you get to not only work with amazing physics at one of the world's most amazing experiments, you also get to share this experience with others who are as passionate about their subjects as you are.

    Cons

    I don't really think there were any downsides to the Summer student programme, perhaps that it is only available for a limited time.

    Advice to Management

    I'm not sure what to write in this section, I think the Summer student team did a really good job at organising this programme.

    CERN Response

    14 Nov 2016

    Thank you for your review. We are really pleased to learn that you enjoyed being part of the summer student programme. We wish you the best for the future!


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Software Engineering at CERN"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fellow
    Former Employee - Fellow
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CERN full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * CERN is a melting pot for great passionate people you can learn from
    * I had many opportunities to go to conferences to listen to and give talks which was supported by management
    * People are open to new ideas and even on a short term contract I had a lot of influence on technical decisions made
    * The hierarchy within my group was no barrier, I could easily talk to my boss and his boss if I had a problem

    Cons

    * Some of the systems have a lot of history and therefore a lot of technical weight (legacy code)
    * The system of contract types and the opportunities to change between them is too rigid. For example there is no natural transition from a Fellow contract to a staff contract.

    CERN Response

    12 Apr 2017 – Head of recruitment

    Thank you for your review and for the positive feedback! we are pleased you got so much out of your fellowship at CERN. For what concerns there being no natural 'transition' between contracts, CERN... More


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  5. "Summer Student Programme review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Summer Student in Valencia, Valencian Community (Spain)
    Current Employee - Summer Student in Valencia, Valencian Community (Spain)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CERN full-time

    Pros

    This summer has probably been the best of my life. I have met people of all over the world and I have been working together with professionals that have helped me to grow as an engineer as well as a person.

    I appreciate the atmosphere and the way of life at CERN and both make me realize that I have been working in a very special and important place in the world.

    Cons

    ​All I can say about CERN Summer Student Programme is positive.


  6. "Great people, lots of outdated bureaucracy."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Geneva (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Geneva (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CERN full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great pay if you don't live in switzerland.
    Beautiful and interesting place to work, lot of history was written there.
    Restaurant in-place with good and cheap menu.
    Very smart and diverse people around.
    Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Lots of bureaucracy for anything.

    Career path is restricted if you did not have the right diplomas when signing the contract (does not matter if you got them after).

    There's lots of internal political games, sometimes they overrule common sense.

    Very small raises, and not often. Make sure you are paid the amount you are willing to earn for the rest of your contract, when signing the contract.

    Unfair salary scales, no matter what you do, you get paid by the number of diplomas.

    Advice to Management

    Modernize your internal organization, be open to meritocracy, specially for non-research positions (you don't need a phd to be a great software engineer, and having a phd does not make you one).

    Avoid internal feuds, force openness.


  7. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Geneva (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Geneva (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CERN full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    International atmosphere with mix of nationalities.
    A lot of freedom possible in way of working.
    Efforts being made to improve work-life balance (teleworking, part-time, family leaves etc).
    Good financial and social benefits.

    Cons

    Some of the buildings and offices need refurbishing.
    Due to the size of the Organization, newcomers can feel lost.


  8. "Ph.D. student"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Ph D Student in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Ph D Student in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CERN full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working with people around the world, very diverse projects, learning diverse tools, ...

    Cons

    The buildings suck, expensive and bad food served, way too far from downtown


  9. "It's Hadronourmous"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CERN full-time

    Pros

    Science is really really good

    Cons

    Politics affects the science which is bad

    Advice to Management

    More Brian Cox


  10. "Poor management, wasted resources"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Fellow in Geneva (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Senior Research Fellow in Geneva (Switzerland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CERN full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people generally, and stimulating environment.

    Cons

    Horrible management, biggest waste of resources I have ever witnessed, bloated admin teams, too many permanent staff floating by taking big salaries with little to no value.

    Advice to Management

    Manage.

    CERN Response

    17 Jul 2017

    Thank you very much for your review. The management of resources, be they personnel or material is an aspect into which CERN puts due diligence and care: there are numerous procedures and support... More


  11. "Nice experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow

    Pros

    very stimulating work environment, top salary for Physicist

    Cons

    Difficult to have a permanent position


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