Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - COFUND-CERN-2010 (COFUNDing of the CERN Fellowship Programme 2010)

CERN's international Fellowship programme started in the 1960s. Scientists and engineers within ten years of finishing their Bachelor or Master degree may take up challenging opportunities to work in particle physics and in related fields of physics and engineering. The programme provides an excellent career development possibility to do work and carry out research in fields of science and technology at the highest level.

COFUND-CERN-2010 is the second COFUND grant to complement the CERN Fellowship programme. This allows CERN to offer three-year contracts instead of the standard two-year duration to the highest-ranked applicants in a given Call. Areas in which COFUND Fellows can be recruited include experimental particle physics, theoretical particle physics, astroparticle physics and cosmology, accelerator physics, detector technologies, information technology, data acquisition and controls technologies, magnet technology, radio frequency technology, electrical engineering, electronics, cryogenics and dissemination of scientific results and technology transfer.

COFUND is open to all nationalities. Applicants must have a PhD or at least four years of experience after the degree which gives access to doctoral programmes and a maximum of ten years of experience after the degree which gives access to doctoral programmes. By the end of the reporting period, there were 33 Fellows on COFUND-CERN-2010, selected over two Fellow selection committees (total of 18 selected in November 2011 and 14 in May 2012 with an additional Fellow to compensate for one who was recruited as a CERN staff member) such that their three-year contracts finish by the end of the COFUND-CERN-2010 grant agreement. In addition to nationals from 13 EU member states, there were scientists and engineers from Canada, Russia, Switzerland and Taiwan.

A major feature offered to the COFUNDed Fellows was the possibility of spending up to twelve months of the Fellowship at a university, research institute or an industrial company of their choice outside CERN while working on a topic that is still related to the original work at CERN; during this time, the COFUND Fellow remains under full CERN employment contract. Being able to spend time away from CERN fosters international cooperation and enables scientists and engineers to gain an insight into leading fields of knowledge of technology and science to become the innovators of tomorrow. Past experience has shown the usefulness of such a secondment with some COFUNDers having been recruited by the secondment host at the end of their Fellowship. In COFUND-CERN-2010, we were pleased to see 10 researchers availing of this opportunity: they spent periods from 1 to 12 months, totalling 71 months in all; five went to the US, two to Germany, two to Sweden, and one went elsewhere in Switzerland. Some researchers used the period of the LHC upgrade to take their secondment during a period of less accelerator activity, subsequently returning to CERN once the accelerator complex came back online.

In the final year of the Grant Agreement, and as part of the procedure for submitting a new COFUND proposal, CERN did an assessment of its successful COFUND grants with the help of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the United Kingdom. The outcome was that we started to develop new follow-up mechanisms to maintain contact with the COFUND Fellows as well as a new poster campaign and social media presence. In addition to the usefulness for CERN, it is worth noting that the STFC applied the assessment procedure to its own programmes and that the creator of the assessment was awarded a prize inside STFC for his innovation.

COFUND-CERN-2010 researchers were involved in two official visits of EC Commissioners (photos attached):

- Commissioner Vassiliou met Maria Navarro Tapia, Joshua Bendavid and Michail Bachtis on her visit to CERN in April 2013;
- Commissioner Geoghegan Quinn met Francesca Zocca on her visit to CERN in May 2014.

In terms of “where are they now?”, we know that 9 were recruited by CERN as staff members, 18 are employed in research / academia still with links to CERN, 1 is in industry and 2 have reported that they are currently unemployed.

Although not specifically used for COFUND-CERN-2010, towards the end of the Grant Agreement, CERN produced a set of three A3 posters and A5 flyers to promote COFUND at CERN. About 300 copies were mailed to universities with whom CERN has contacts. The flyers will also be used at recruitment fairs. Files attached.

At the end of the Grant Agreement, CERN produced a video featuring 3 COFUND Fellows at different stages in their COFUND contracts. The video was given its "avant première" at the MSCA conference dedicated to COFUND in Luxembourg in December 2015. Fellow Vera Chetvertkova from COFUND-CERN-2010 features in the video as a Fellow who has just completed her COFUND Fellowship. The video is available at

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