Participation of CERN in Erasmus+

Since the start of the new programming period (2014-2020), Switzerland is considered as a "partner country" as opposed to "programme country" in the EU education programmes. Organisations from partner countries may receive support from Erasmus+ only under specific conditions. 

On 19 September 2014, the Swiss Federal Council decided to extend the interim solution for the Erasmus+ education programme until the end of 2016. Under this framework, eligible Swiss organisations will receive support for their participation in Erasmus+ directly from Bern, through the ch Foundation

For the purpose of Erasmus+ CERN is considered by the EC and the Swiss authorities as a legal entity established in Switzerland and is thus eligible to receive support from Bern for its participation in Erasmus+, through the ch Foundation

Type of Erasmus+ project Possibilities / conditions for receiving funding
Cooperation projects 
(Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Alliances)
  • as a full partner funded by the EU. This is only possible if the evaluators judge the participation of CERN as critical for the success of the project. Otherwise they may give it a lower score and the project may be rejected. 
  • as an associated partner, funded by the Swiss authorities. In this case, the evaluators will not decrease the score of the project because of the participation of CERN. On the contrary, because of the international dimension of Erasmus+, the participation of organisations from partner countries is in principle positively seen. 
Capacity Building projects
  • as a full partner funded by the EU. This is only possible if the evaluators judge the participation of CERN as critical for the success of the project. Otherwise they may give it a lower score and the project may be rejected. 
  • as an associated partner, CERN has to cover its costs from own funding, since the ch Foundation does not provide grants for Capacity Building projects
Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMD)
  • CERN can participate and receive EU funding from Erasmus+ in an EMJMD Consortium if the Consortium includes institutions from at least 3 programme countries. Additional funding from the ch Foundation is not available. 
Type of Erasmus+ activity  Possibilities / conditions for receiving funding
Student mobility (traineeship) to CERN

Duration: 2-12 months

Target group: students during their bachelor degree, their master's degree and during their doctorate. 

Students from European universities will receive no grants from Erasmus+ for their stay at CERN since Switzerland is not a programme country. Nonetheless it is possible for European students to come to CERN as a host organisation on the condition that their traineeships are administered by a Swiss Higher Education Institution*. That could be the University of Geneva or Lausanne, for example. In this case, the grants for the European students coming to CERN will be paid by the ch Foundation. 

Prospective students and interested CERN staff should contact the Erasmus offices of the University of Geneva or Lausanne before arranging any practical placement to CERN. 

Teacher / Staff mobility to CERN

The Swiss government has decided to fund both the outgoing (from CH to EU) and incoming mobility (from EU to CH) of teachers or university staff, based on the principle of reciprocity. This means that if a Swiss school or university receives 10 teachers for 5 days training coming from the EU, they must also send x teachers for the equivalent amount of days (50) to the EU. For teacher mobility (from primary and secondary schools), CERN is in principle not eligible for support and for tertiary education (university staff) CERN may be eligible provided that it is based on mutual exchange of visits. 

The teacher mobility is funded by Comenius and the university staff mobility is funded by Erasmus. 


* Note:

In the framework of the Swiss Interim Solution, all mobility for studying and teaching between higher education institutions (HEIs) shall be based on an inter-institutional agreement between the partner HEIs. The Swiss HEIs' partner must be established in one of the Erasmus+ programme countries and awarded with an Erasmus charter for higher education. 

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