Research Engineer – Firmware & Software (EP-CMG-OS-2024-61-GRAP)

negotiable / YEAR Expired 3 weeks ago
This job has expired.


Job Description

Your responsibilities

Are you a passionate developer who loves to tackle challenging problems that help advance basic science? Do you enjoy working with modern technologies? Then come join us to develop new firmware and software for the real-time data processing system of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, one of the major detectors at the LHC.

At CMS, we face the task of processing collisions between proton bunches at up to 40 MHz, which would generate an immense data rate. Our level-1 (L1) trigger, employing custom firmware logic in hundreds of FPGAs, selects promising events in microseconds for further detailed analysis. We’re currently upgrading this system for the future high-luminosity phase of the LHC.

One of our R&D activities is exploring the potential of a complementary system called L1 Data Scouting, which would analyze a data stream containing all events but with just the coarse grain L1 trigger information. Such a system involves FPGA-equipped data acquisition boards receiving data from the L1 trigger, performing real-time processing, and transferring it to a computer cluster for further analysis.

This R&D is in the broader context of the NextGen Triggers project, a 5-year collaboration between the LHC experiments and the CERN Research and Computing Departments to push forward the use and impact of innovative Artificial Intelligence technologies and high-performance computing architectures for the LHC experiments’ trigger selection, data processing, and theoretical interpretation.


  • Development of firmware for data acquisition boards and software for real-time processing on a computer cluster.
  • Supporting the implementation of prototype physics analysis on the demonstration system.
  • Providing day-to-day supervision of project students.
  • Collaborating with personnel and students from the CERN CMS L1 trigger and data scouting groups.
  • Presenting work at conferences and workshops at CERN and beyond.

Your profile

Skills and/or knowledge

  • Experience with FPGA firmware development (Vivado/Vitis HLS, VHDL) and software development (C++, python) are desired.
  • Familiarity with trigger and data acquisition systems and their hardware, e.g. high speed optical links, would be highly beneficial.
  • Experience with the following specific software would be beneficial: Vivado Design Suite, Vivado/Vitis High Level Synthesis (HLS), Intel oneAPI / TBB, ROOT, git, gitlab and continuous integration processes.
  • Basic knowledge of machine learning techniques and tools would be a plus.
  • Strong team collaboration skills and effective communication of work, including in presentations.

Eligibility criteria:

  • You are a national of a CERN Member or Associate Member State. A limited number of positions are also available to candidates from Non-Member States.
  • You have a professional background in Physics / Electronics / Computer Science (or a related field) and have either:
    • a Master’s degree with 2 to 6 years of post-graduation professional experience;
    • or a PhD with no more than 3 years of post-graduation professional experience.
  • You have never had a CERN fellow or graduate contract before.

Additional Information

Job closing date: 30.04.2024 at 12:00 AM (midnight) CEST.

Job reference: EP-CMG-OS-2024-61-GRAP

Contract duration: 24 months, with a possible extension up to 36 months maximum.

Target start date: 01-June-2024

What we offer

  • A monthly stipend ranging between 6194 and 6808 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: installation grant; family, child and infant allowances; payment of travel expenses at the beginning and end of contract.
  • 30 days of paid leave per year.
  • On-the-job and formal training at CERN as well as in-house language courses for English and/or French.

About us

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

We are on a Quest. A Journey into discovery like no other. Bring your expertise to our unique work and develop your knowledge and skills at pace. Join world-class subject matter experts on unique projects, in a Quest for greater knowledge and deeper understanding.

Begin your CERN Quest. Take Part!

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN’s mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success.

Geneva, Switzerland
This job has expired.