RIKEN Hakubi Fellows Program

Description of program

In the Hakubi Fellows Program, RIKEN offers junior PI positions for independent research by exceptionally talented individuals. The program, established in 2017, encourages active exchange between the fellows, and seeks to develop the next generation of leading researchers with a global outlook.


Research fields

All areas of the natural sciences, including the mathematical sciences; research in boundary areas with the humanities and social sciences. Research topics with the potential for high impact scientifically or socially, including unexplored areas, and research on issues humanity currently faces, are welcome.


We seek the best people from a wide range of candidates; doctoral degrees are not a prerequisite.


Maximum term of 7 years
Individuals taking prenatal, postnatal or childcare leave may extend their terms commensurate to the period they take for their leave, as provided in RIKEN regulations.

Research budget

10 to 40 million JPY per year, depending on research plan
(RIKEN’s facilities and equipment are available for use)


Salary: 910,000 JPY per month, based on an annual salary (social security and tax are deducted from salary)
Commuting expenses: Actual amount is paid up to maximum of 55,000 JPY per month
Housing allowance: Half of monthly rent up to a maximum of 40,000 JPY per month for single units and 60,000 JPY per month for family units
Relocation allowance: Available (based on RIKEN regulations)
Other: Membership in the Science and Technology Health Insurance Society and the Science and Technology Welfare Pension Fund

Location of research team

Teams may be located on RIKEN’s Wako Campus, and other RIKEN campuses when necessary


Active exchange encouraged between fellows
Regular meetings with RIKEN president

FY2020 calls for proposals

RIKEN Hakubi Fellows Program (Eng.)
Sechi Kato Program for Female RIKEN Hakubi Fellows (Eng.)

RIKEN Hakubi team leaders

FY2019 (newly appointed)

萩原 将也の写真

Masaya Hagiwara

Starting date

April 1, 2019

Research topic

Controlling self-organized pattern formation by spatio-temporal control of culture environments

Name of laboratory

RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, Human biomimetic system RIKEN Hakubi Research Team


The overall objective of my research is the development of in-vitro experimental platform to reconstitute the biological system outside our bodies by controlling cellular micro-environments. Especially lung airway is the one of my major targets. The scientific question is how the airway cells can organize such a sophisticated structure by themselves. The repetitive feedbacks between in-vitro experiments and mathematical model give us a tremendous amount of useful information, and I am challenging to unveil the system underlying self-organization of tissue formation by directing complex tissue structure. Development of Organ or Body-on-a-Chip system is another research target for the animal testing alternative. I would like to cross the border of research fields to tackle what I am interested in.

武石 明佳の写真

Asuka Takeishi

Starting date

July 1, 2019 (tentative)

Research topic

Neural and molecular bases of multi-stimuli processing

Name of laboratory

RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, Neural circuit of multisensory integration RIKEN Hakubi Research Team

RIKEN Center for Brain Science, Neural circuit of multisensory integration RIKEN Hakubi Research Team


I am interested in how animals make behavioral decisions. Animals are exposed to continuously changing environmental stimuli, such as temperature, odor, light and sound. We sense and integrate these environmental cues in the nervous system in order to choose appropriate behavioral responses. I am studying the neural and molecular mechanisms of thermotaxis using C. elegans and its relatively simple nervous system. At RIKEN, I will investigate the mechanism of multi-sensory integration in the nervous system by analyzing behavior strategies and neural circuits of C. elegans that are exposed to multiple stimuli. In addition to this biological approach, I’d like to incorporate mathematical and computational models to reveal the evolutionally-conserved fundamental mechanism of behavioral decision.

榎戸 輝揚の写真

Teruaki Enoto

Starting date

October 1, 2019 or later (tentative)

Research topic

Collective Power of Science: Detector Network for High-Energy Atmospheric Physics and Beyond

Name of laboratory

RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, Extreme natural phenomena RIKEN Hakubi Research Team


Extreme natural phenomena are unexplored frontiers of science. I have been studying X-ray astrophysics of neutron stars, which are the most extreme (strongest) magnets in the Universe. Applying my expertise of astronomical radiation measurement techniques, I started a new project to study high energy radiations from terrestrial lightning and thunderstorms, namely extreme natural phenomena on the Earth. Our newly deployed multi-point observation network monitors winter lightning and thunderstorms in the coastal area along the Sea of Japan. This project is opening a new interdisciplinary field, that is high-energy atmospheric physics, where we are aiming at solving the mystery about elusive photonuclear reactions triggered at lightning, and more. The slogan of the project is “collective power of science”. It expresses our scientific methodology of using multiple-detector network instead of a single huge detector, and also implies a novel way of scientific collaboration not limited within researchers but also with citizen supporters by means of academic crowdfunding and open-science publicity. Furthermore, I would like to extend this concept to space science, launching a fleet of CubeSats to perform scalable X-ray astronomical observations for gravitational-wave astronomy and exoplanet science.


新宅 博文の写真

Hirofumi Shintaku

Starting date

April 1, 2018

Research topic

Microelectrokinetic tools for sequencing at sub-cellular resolution

Name of laboratory

RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, Microfluidics RIKEN Hakubi Research Team


I actively study problems involving fluid dynamics and transport phenomena in micro/nano confined spaces. The problems are inspired by microfluidic systems for biochemical analysis and cellular engineering. We are especially interested in electrokinetic phenomena, e.g., electrophoresis, electroosmotic flow, and electrowetting of complex fluids including cells and biomacromolecules. I recently developed a microfluidic system that enables the high-throughput sequencing of cytoplasmic and nuclear RNA with the physical fractionation of the RNA species via electrical lysis and isotachophoresis. I leverage this system to uncover the regulation of gene expression involving RNA localization and transport in single cells.

Nicholas Parrishの写真

Nicholas Parrish

Starting date

August 1, 2018

Research topic

Immunobiology of endogenous viral elements in mammals

Name of laboratory

RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, Genome Immunobiology RIKEN Hakubi Research Team

RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Genome Immunobiology RIKEN Hakubi Research Team


I am interested in the interactions between an organism’s genome and its viruses, especially how “self,” in the immunological sense, is established at the genome level. As a medical doctor with training in surgery, I am seeking new understanding that could enable practical innovations in preventing and treating virus infections and allowing tolerance to specific “non-self,” for example transplanted organs. My colleagues and I found that viral sequences present in some organism’s genomes can generate small RNAs called piRNAs. My team will test the hypothesis that this enables RNA interference to prevent or ameliorate virus infection. I am honored to join the first group of Hakubi team leaders at RIKEN and the Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, organizations with rich histories and exciting visions for the future. Having loved living in Kyoto in 2014, I look forward to moving back to Japan and exploring the Kanto area with my wife, Erica.

川口 喬吾の写真

Kyogo Kawaguchi

Starting date

September 1, 2018

Research topic

Nonequilibrium statistical mechanics of stochastic fate choices and collective migration in cultured stem cell pools

Name of laboratory

RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, Nonequilibrium physics of living matter RIKEN Hakubi Research Team

RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, Nonequilibrium physics of living matter RIKEN Hakubi Research Team


Trained as a theoretical physicist, I started conducting biology experiments during my PhD studies, and am now interested in addressing themes of biology through concepts of theory and simple experiments. My motivation is based on the seemingly huge gap between the fascinating progress made in bio-experiments and the fundamental questions that remain unanswered in biology. I am currently most curious about the underlying mechanism of cell fate commitment, and I wish to find universal rules in multicellular dynamics in development and homeostasis. Through this program, I am hoping to develop interdisciplinary approaches for understanding living systems.