RIKEN Hakubi Fellows Program

The RIKEN Hakubi* Fellows Program offers an opportunity for exceptionally promising young researchers. RIKEN Hakubi Fellows (hereinafter referred to as “Hakubi Fellows”) are group leaders with Principal Investigator status at RIKEN, and independently engage in ambitious research topics for a maximum of 7 years. Research proposals are accepted in all natural and mathematical sciences, including research in boundary areas involving the humanities and social sciences. Proposals intended to resolve urgent issues that humankind faces today are also welcome.
Several Hakubi Fellow positions are offered each year.
Joint applications by two researchers from different fields proposing a new direction of research are also welcome.

*What is “Hakubi”?—Hakubi is a proverb derived from classical Chinese literature.
There were five brothers in ancient China, all excellent, but the most brilliant one
had white (haku) eyebrows (bi). RIKEN Hakubi Fellows Program seeks the best of
the best young researchers in their respective fields.


Applicants should be talented young researchers who will be able to engage in research at RIKEN on a full-time basis with knowledge and ability to manage their research laboratories. A doctoral degree is not necessarily required for this position.

Research environment

In addition to his/her salary, a successful candidate will be allocated a research budget of 10 to 40 million yen per year depending on his/her research plan. The Hakubi Fellow is assigned laboratory space of about 150 square meters at one of RIKEN’s branches in Japan. The final details will be decided through discussions with the Hakubi Fellows Program Head.

  • The Hakubi Fellow receives assistance and advice from the head of the Program and mentors (assigned separately to each Fellow) for setting up the research unit and for day-to-day matters on laboratory management as well as monthly meetings with the President of RIKEN.
  • The Hakubi Fellows are encouraged to take maximum advantage of the RIKEN research environment such as applying for competitive grants, using shared facilities and equipment, and entitled to be on the list of laboratories accepting the Special Postdoctoral Researchers, Junior Research Associates, and International Program Associates. 

Term of employment and salary

Employment starts on January, 2018 or later and the contract period is up to a total of 5 years. Upon evaluation the period is extended 2 years, for a maximum of 7 years.

The annual salary is approximately 10 million yen per year (tax included). In addition, commuting and housing allowances are provided according to the RIKEN rules. Social security benefits are included. Enrollment in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (Kyosaikai) is included. Other provisions as per RIKEN regulations.

-For those who already have a position at RIKEN when appointed as a Hakubi Fellow: The maximum term as the Hakubi Fellow is restricted so that the total sum of continued contract with RIKEN shall not exceed 10 years from April 1, 2013.

Application and screening procedures

Apply online through Application procedures.

The first stage of screening will be an evaluation of submitted documents. Successful applicants will then proceed to the second stage, the interview. The first stage results will be notified by late August. The second stage is currently scheduled to take place in autumn.


For online registration: June 16 (Friday), 2017 (Japan Standard Time)
For upload of application documents: 17:00, June 30 (Friday), 2017 (Japan Standard Time)

Other matters

(1)Part of the travel and lodging expenses incurred by applicants invited to interviews are reimbursed according to RIKEN policy.
(2)When the abilities of candidates are judged to be equivalent through a fair and impartial evaluation process, preference will be given to females and/or handicapped persons.
(3)Research results will be treated in accordance with the employment contract.
(4)No information will be released concerning application status or evaluation details.
(5)All personal information provided to RIKEN during the application process is handled in strict confidentiality, and will not be used for any other purpose or disclosed to any third party.
(6)The conditions for this position are based on RIKEN’s budget and are subject to change with changes in the budget.

Contact Information

RIKEN Hakubi Desk
Research Personnel Affairs Section, RIKEN