FAQ after selection - Student Programmes

The CERN Contract

When will I receive my contract?

Once you have confirmed your contract dates with your supervisor and you have sent us the required documents (Home Insitution Declaration, ID or passport...), we will take the necessary action to prepare your contract. 

The contract preparation will normally take between two or three weeks after we have received your documents. Once established, the contract will be sent to you by e‐mail. You should then sign it and return it by scan to: hr.contracts@cern.ch 



On my first working day, at what time should I be at CERN and where do I go?

You should come at 8:30 am (unless indicated otherwise) to the reception of building 33.

My contract starts on a Saturday. Will that be my first working day?

No, you are expected to start work on the following Monday. This also applies if your contract starts on a Sunday. Should your contract start on an official holiday, you are expected to start work on the next working day.

I am a PhD student with a six months initial contract. What do I need to do to get my contract extended?

For contracts established after the 24th April 2013, the initial duration of the association contract is 6 months. The contract may be extended by two periods of 12 months, followed by a last extension of 6 months. The maximum duration of a doctoral student contract may not exceed three years. 
A progress report on the student's work is required for extensions after 18 months and after 30 months.

The Subsistence Allowance

When will I get my travel reimbursed?

If you are entitled to travel reimbursement, CERN will reimburse it upon arrival on a flat rate basis from your place of residence. The reimbursement will be processed on your first working day and no proof of transport will be required.

When do I get my first payment?

You will receive your first payment and all future payments around the 25th of each month.

How do I know if I am entitled to travel reimbursement?

For Summer Students - It is written on your contract.

For Doc, Tech, Admin Students - It will be communicated with you by email.

Do I need to open a bank account In Switzerland?

For Doc, Tech, Admin Students - Yes, you will need to open a Swiss bank account as you are paid in Swiss Francs. CERN has a bank on site (UBS) and you can open the account on your first working day.

For Summer Students - No, you will be paid in cash every month.


How can I find accommodation?

CERN has a Housing Service which can help you find accommodation or make a reservation at the CERN Hostel.

You can also have a look at the CERN market and at some of the Hotels in the area offering a special rate for CERN users. 

Health Insurance

My university does not cover working accident risks. What should I do?

Should no cover for disability be provided by your home institute, you are under the strict obligation to obtain it yourself. The Social Affairs Service at CERN will be able to help you find an appropriate insurance and there is also a possibility to purchase such insurance from the CERN UNIQA office.

Do I have medical insurance while at CERN?

Membership of the CERN health insurance scheme (CHIS) is compulsory. CHIS provides for reimbursement of a major portion of reasonable and customary expenses resulting from medical treatment within the conditions specified in its Rules, incurred by its Members. CERN pays 7.71% of the monthly basic allowance and the member pays 4.86% of the monthly basic allowance. CERN also pays an additional premium which covers professional accidents and illness insurance (0.12% of the monthly basic allowance). Further information can be found on the CHIS pages or by contacting uniqa.assurances@cern.ch  .The Organization shall not take any measures to safeguard students against the financial consequences of old-age and disability, and unemployment. Should no cover for disability be provided by the home institute the students are under the strict obligation to obtain it themselves. There is a possibility to purchase such insurance from the CERN UNIQA office.

Leisure and Social Activities

Leisure and social activities

• CERN has a broad range of clubs offering sports, leisure and cultural activities. 

• Geneva Tourism website

• Cinemas in Geneva