Call for RIKEN Hakubi Fellows – A Junior PI Program (FY2019)

RIKEN offers junior PI (Principal Investigator) positions, the RIKEN Hakubi Fellows, for exceptionally talented researchers for a maximum of 7 years. RIKEN Hakubi Fellows are expected to independently engage in creative and ambitious research in natural and mathematical sciences, including research areas bordering the humanities and social sciences. Proposals intended to resolve urgent issues that humankind faces today are also welcome (See for example, Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations).

An important goal of the RIKEN Hakubi Program is to foster stimulating interactions among the Fellows with diverse backgrounds and to create an intellectual hub of scientists with different disciplines within and beyond RIKEN.

Several Hakubi Fellow positions are offered each year (see RIKEN Hakubi Fellows succeeded in 2018).

*What is “Hakubi”?—Hakubi is a proverb derived from classical Chinese literature. There were five siblings in ancient China, all excellent, but the most brilliant one had white (haku) eyebrows (bi).


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

Research environment

In addition to the salary, a successful candidate will be allocated a research budget of 10 to 40 million yen per year depending on the research plan. The Hakubi Fellow is assigned laboratory space of about 150 square meters in total at Wako campus and at one of RIKEN’s branches in Japan if necessary. 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 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 Fellow is encouraged to take maximum advantage of the RIKEN research environment such as applying for competitive grants and using shared facilities and equipment. Furthermore, the Fellow is entitled to be on the list of laboratories accepting the Special Postdoctoral Researchers, Junior Research Associates, and International Program Associates.
  • RIKEN promotes a Gender Equity Program by taking various measures to create an equitable workplace where both men and women are able to give full rein to their talents and abilities. Hakubi fellows who take maternity leave or childcare leave during the contracted period have their contract duration extended, in accordance with RIKEN regulations.

Term of employment and salary

Employment starts on April, 2019 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, the results of which will be notified by late August. Successful applicants will then proceed to the second stage, the interview, which is currently scheduled to take place in autumn.


For online registration: June 15 (Friday), 2018 (Japan Standard Time)
For upload of application documents: 15:00, June 29 (Friday), 2018 (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) Research results will be treated in accordance with the employment contract.
(3) No information will be released concerning application status or evaluation details.
(4) 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.
(5) 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