Different shots of People at R1
Different shots of People at R1 (Image: CERN)

Life @ CERN

Settling In

Balancing work and home life, getting support for your family and thriving in an inclusive and respectful workplace: find out more about the support structures in place to enhance your working life at CERN in this brochure.

Find out more information about the local villages: Meyrin (Switzerland) and Saint Genis Pouilly (France) 

The International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI) facilitates the installation and integration in the Geneva and Lemanic region of international civil servants, members of permanent missions, consulates, NGOs, Multinational Corporations as well as their families. You can purchase regular tickets or offers at preferential rates from the Cultural Kiosk at the UNOG for various cultural and sport events (cinema, museums, theatres, lake cruises etc.) remotely simply by phone or email: 022 917 11 11 or info@kiosqueonu.ch.

Browse the CERN Market which allows CERN people to consult offers of accomodation for rent/sale, to buy and sell personal objects, anything ranging from a house to a car to a set of snow chains. Please note that it cannot be used for commercial advertising.

My Social Life

As you start your new journey with CERN, you can already join  the ever growing, dynamic community of the CERN Alumni network. Register now on: https://alumni.cern/signup.

The Staff Association oversees many clubs offering sports, cultural and artistic activities, for instance, astronomy, ski, basketball, cricket, and photography to name but a few.  These clubs are open to everyone, even family members and friends are welcome to join. Members of the Staff Association can benefit from a discount.

The CERN Welcome Club (CWC) offers 70 hours of courses weekly: sports, languages, arts, handicrafts, as well as meetings and excursions. The Club’s news and activities are published in the CERN Welcome Club Newsletter. There are also social activities for mums, dads and toddlers (CWC Toddler Group including coffee mornings and creative groups for kids).

The Staff Association also organises socio-cultural events, such as art exhibitions, concerts and conferences, the Christmas Party for the children of CERN personnel, etc. (more information on upcoming events is available on the Facebook page). Further, the Staff Association has various commercial offers for its members (e.g. insurance against loss of earnings, banks, theatres, etc.).

News and information regarding the Staff Association and the clubs are published in Echo, the Staff Association’s newsletter.

If you would like to become a member of the Staff Association, follow this link.

There is also a Mutual Aid Fund for families facing financial difficulties.

My Working Life

Upon signing a contract with the Organization, all members of personnel agree to be subject to the Staff Rules and Regulations, which define and codify the legal relationship between the Organization and the Members of Personnel, setting out their various rights and obligations as well as the privileges and immunities to which they are entitled and the protection that the Organization provides.

Members of personnel are expected to conduct themselves with due regard to the interests and proper functioning of the Organization. They must carry out the functions assigned to them with integrity and must demonstrate loyalty to the Organization by refraining from any act or activity incompatible with these functions or prejudicial to the Organization. The CERN Code of Conduct describes the basic standards of behaviour that we must all set ourselves and are entitled to expect from our colleagues in the workplace.

Browse the HR webpages to find out more about all the services that can support you and what is available to you: for example, check out the various optional insurances available to you on this link.

The CERN Staff Association is the official body responsible for relations between the Management and the members of the personnel. It represents the personnel collectively in the various consultative bodies provided for in the Staff Rules and Regulations. The Staff Association also represents you in negotiations on health insurance, pensions, employment conditions, career, training, and any other issue that concerns your financial or social conditions. The Staff Association defends the economic, social and professional interests of the CERN members of the personnel, and can also provide individual assistance if you were to have questions regarding your contract, or if you encounter interpersonal issues at work.

Membership of the Staff Association is optional. The Association invites its members to an Annual General Meeting, and holds other meetings open to all members of personnel whenever it deems fit.

The reference working week is five days, Monday to Friday inclusive. Reference working hours are 8.30 am to 5.30 pm with a break of one hour for lunch.

Further essential and helpful information can be found on:

  • The Service Portal provides easy, one-stop access to all CERN services and practical information.
  • The CERN Admin e-guide is a guide to the Organization's administrative procedures, which has been drawn up for the benefit of the various administrative services as well as all members of personnel and other categories of persons having access to the site or installations of the Organization. It contains concise information on the procedures in force and exists in both English and French.
  • Diversity is a shared responsibility between all the stakeholders of the Organization and applies to all CERN Contributors, as appropriate. Browse the CERN Diversity Office website and familiarize yourself with the Diversity Policy.
  • The Social Affairs Service is a drop-in service open to members of the CERN personnel (all categories: employed or associated), beneficiaries of the CERN Pension Fund, and members of their families. It offers advice and support in a wide variety of circumstances (professional and personal).
  • The CERN Ombud may help to resolve disputes in a consensual and impartial manner, thus promoting the good functioning of the Organization.
  • CERN language tandem programme.
  • More general information: CERN community and CERN official communications.

support structures

Integration in the local area

When you come to work at CERN, as the site straddles the Franco-Swiss border the first decision to take is whether you prefer to live in France or Switzerland.

The CERN Social Affairs Service provides useful information.

Specific useful documents:


The Crèche and School of the CERN Staff Association, subsidised by CERN, welcomes children from the age of 4 months to 4 years. Places are still available, please check here: http://nurseryschool.web.cern.ch/en. 

Different possibilities exist both in France and in Switzerland according to the age of the child, the frequency of need for childcare, and the way the care is organized. CERN has an agreement with two crèche facilities close to CERN. 

Find out more about life in the local area, Switzerland or France

Who are my key contacts?

For any query, at any time you can contact the Service Desk.

Departmental Administrative Officers are also there to help you.

Other services are available to you as follows:

Service Email
Swiss and French visas Visa.hr@cern.ch
French and Swiss cards HR-cards.support@cern.ch
Access cards Service Desk
Medical service Service.medical@cern.ch
Social Affairs service social.affairs@cern.ch
Housing service Service Desk
CERN hostel Service Desk
Staff Association


CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)


Office for CERN Alumni Relations


Further contacts: CERN phonebook