Computing Fellowship: Software Engineer (Kubernetes)
European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
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Job Description

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

​CERN makes extensive use of Kubernetes with nearly 600 clusters in use on 3000 nodes. Many of these need access to CERN’s storage and authentication/authorization solutions. This project is to improve the integration of these components for use by containers and allow easy deployment for the LHC experiments and other users.

You will be part of a small and dynamic team working in the CERN Information Technology department, contributing to the development and operation of the CERN resource provisioning service. We work with upstream open source communities to enhance and deploy these leading edge solutions.

As Kubernetes and OpenShift usage at CERN grows and more use cases start relying on this platform, one key aspect is improving the integration with storage. This means central storage systems such as CephFS, CVMFS, HDFS and EOS, as well as stateful workloads running on our clusters and requiring access to external databases running on the CERN Database-on-Demand service.

This project will build on the existing integration with these storage services (shared between both Kubernetes and OpenShift clusters) and will focus on ensuring stability, scalability and expansion of the feature set to fulfill our needs. The selected candidate will interact with the relevant CERN IT teams and explore topology and network configurations to improve scalability and performance of both client and server side, and work on the developments required for that purpose.

The selected candidate is also expected to interact with the upstream communities to ensure our users’ requirements continue being fulfilled by the components we rely on and that other organisations can participate in design and enhancements of these solutions.


Eligibility criteria:

  • You are a national of a CERN Member or Associate Member State;
  • You have graduated, or are about to graduate, with a university degree (BSc or MSc level in computer science,engineering or another relevant course) and have no more than 4 years’ relevant experience after obtaining your degree;
  • Kindly note that experience prior to the latest obtained degree will not be taken into account for the calculation of your overall years of experience.

Essential skills and experience:

  • Configuring and deploying Kubernetes clusters;
  • Programming in a variety of languages including Python or Go and exploiting techniques such as CI/CD;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge with colleagues and following best open-source collaborative practices;
  • Working in a small agile team building practical solutions in close collaboration with users and other IT services.

Desired technical skills:

  • Professional experience in one or more of the following would be an asset: relational and document-based databases (PostgreSQL, ElasticSearch), monitoring tools (Grafana, Prometheus) container technologies (Docker, Kubernetes, OpenShift), authentication solutions such as OpenID Connect and storage such as CephFS or HDFS.

Please note that CERN Staff members are not eligible to apply for a Fellowship.

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 for between six months (minimum) up to a maximum of 36 months.
  • A stipend ranging from 5,281 to 6,558 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.

Your Life @CERN

Find out more here:

This is how you can apply:

You will need the following documents to complete your application:

  • A CV.
  • A scanned PDF of your most recent relevant qualification.

We recommend to add two recent letters of recommendation, giving an overview of your academic and/or professional achievements. You can upload these letters at the time of application if you have them to hand. You will also be provided with a link as soon as you have submitted your application to forward to your referees to upload their letters confidentially. Please note this must be done before the closing date.

All applications should reach us no later than 29 September 2020.

About CERN

At an intergovernmental meeting of UNESCO in Paris in December 1951, the first resolution concerning the establishment of a European Council for Nuclear Research (in French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) was adopted.Two months later, an agreement was signed establishing the provisional Council – the acronym CERN was born.Today, our understanding of matter goes much deeper than the nucleus, and CERN's main area of research is particle physics. Because of this, the laboratory operated by CERN is often referred to as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.

Physicists and engineers at CERN use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – fundamental particles. Subatomic particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives us clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. We want to advance the boundaries of human knowledge by delving into the smallest building blocks of our universe.

The instruments used at CERN are purpose-built particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before the beams are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.Founded in 1954, the CERN laboratory sits astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe's first joint ventures and now has 23 member states.