Seeking a Research Scientist [TTT-1702]

Research field

The RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies has two core purposes. One is to develop key technologies for breakthroughs in the medical and pharmaceutical applications in life science. The other is to conduct groundbreaking research and development for the next-generation life sciences.

The Division of Genomic Technologies (DGT) plans to develop methods for screening of key regulatory factors with selection based on transcriptional networks, epigenome and ncRNAs, in order to establish a pipeline to accomplish complete cell conversion methods including differentiation of stem cells safely and terminally. We also develop methods for diagnosis of human biomarkers for human health and diseases.

The Transcriptome Technology Team develops technologies to comprehensively detect non-coding RNAs and comprehensively screen their functions. Using those technologies, we will explore regulatory interactions of ncRNAs within cells, with particular emphasis on the interaction of non-coding RNA with chromatin, retrotransposition and ncRNAs having a role in the regulation of protein synthesis. These technologies will be important for the development of cell conversion methods. Additional emphasis will be on standardization of transcriptome technologies like CAGE, to make a universal and finely quantitative transcriptome technology. Such standardization is essential for the identification of novel biomarkers and drug target candidates.

Job title and description

Position available

One opening for a Research Scientist

Job description

We seek a Research Scientist to extensively identify active domains and enhance the activity of a new class of long non-coding RNAs called SineUPs, which natural function is to enhance translation of specific protein coding mRNAs. The candidate will extensively use cell biology and molecular biology techniques. The experimental techniques will include cell culture, transfection, RNA expression measurements, construction of artificial and recombinant nucleic acids, and protein expression measurements by western blotting. Molecular biology skills for the analysis of the function of ncRNAs are also required. Though previous experience in one or more of these areas is preferred, a general background in molecular biology techniques coupled with a strong work ethic and desire to learn may be sufficient.

Project Name: “Establishing innovative drug development platform with the novel non coding RNA enhancing protein translation”
* This work is supported by “The Program for Development of Basic Technology to Discover Innovative Biotechnology-Based Drugs” of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

We aim to dissect the function of a novel class of non-coding RNAs, called SineUPs, which have the function of enhance translation of protein in mammalian cells. We propose to develop SineUPs as tools for biotechnology, having a function opposite to siRNAs and miRNAs. To do this, we will dissect their function by deletion mutants and will further explore the natural extent of natural SineUPs in mammalians. We will finally demonstrate the power of SineUPs to stimulate the production of a protein of interest, like a human antibody. SineUPs will be used in the future as general tools to perturb gene function by enhancing, and more importantly, they have the potential to become powerful RNA therapeutics.

The candidate will work with translation assays and cell culture system to analyze the features of the non-coding RNAs. Using molecular biology, cell biology and genomics tools. The candidate will lead the research of specific parts of the projects towards understanding of the function and mechanism of function of SineUPs, a novel class of long non-coding RNA. Also, the candidate will occasionally be asked to provide instruction to junior staff, etc. as Research Scientist.


  1. PhD holder in a field indicated under [Job description] with more than three years postdoctoral experience.
  2. Should have experience to develop technologies in molecular biology, cell biology, and/or genomics field
  3. Technical skills for cell culture, transfection, qPCR, western blotting are preferable
  4. Experience providing other experimental support for molecular biology is preferably required
  5. Basic computer skills (Email, Excel, Word, and Power Point) are required
  6. Must have good communication skills and be able to engage in the research in a coordinated manner

Work location

RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies (Yokohama Campus)
1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan

Salary and benefits

Terms of contract

  1. A one-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, to 31st March 2019, the end date of the project.
  2. RIKEN may adjust the above maximum period of renewability based on a) the employee's abilities, work load at the time of contract completion, performance and work attitude and b) the continuation of the employee's center, laboratory or project and RIKEN's management situation and budget at the time. In principle, employment contracts will not be renewed for individuals older than 65 years.
  3. The employee's period of fixed-term employment cannot exceed 10 years from the initial date of hire (or 10 years from April 1, 2013 for fixed-term employees already at RIKEN prior to this date).


Salary is determined annually on the basis of the employee's experience, abilities and performance. Commuting and housing allowances will be provided in accordance with RIKEN regulations and social insurance applies (health insurance, pension insurance, worker’s accident compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, etc.).
Mandatory membership in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (RIKEN Kyosaikai).


Saturdays and Sundays, Japanese National Holidays, New Year holidays (Dec.29-Jan.3) and RIKEN Foundation Day (4th Monday in October).

Other provisions

* Other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.
* RIKEN's gender equity program promotes various measures to create a workplace where both men and women can give full rein to their talents and abilities. When applicants are judged to be equally qualified on the basis of fair and impartial criteria, women applicants will be given preference.
* Eligible for an exemption from repayment of category 1 JASSO scholarship loans if they were enrolled in the program before fiscal year 2003.

Required documents and deadlines

Prepare the documents below as PDF files and send them to CLST-recruit[at] (replace "[at]" with "@"). Write “Application documents; [TTT-1702] CLST/DGT, Research Scientist” in the subject line.

Documents to submit

  1. CV with photograph and e-mail address
    *Indicate the open call ID [TTT-1702] and the desired position (Research Scientist) in the upper right corner of the CV.
    *Using the RIKEN format above is appreciated.
  2. List of publications (articles, reviews and books), presentations and others
  3. Brief description of previous research and achievements (About two A4-size pages)
  4. Brief description of future research plans (About one A4-size page)
  5. List of competitive external funds obtained (e.g. Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research [KAKENHI]; indicate whether you are the representative researcher or the collaborator)
  6. One letter of recommendation from your current supervisor
    *If it is not possible to obtain a recommendation letter from your current supervisor, a third-party recommendation is acceptable.
    *A recommendation letter should be addressed to “Director of the Center for Life Science Technologies” and include the recommender's name, affiliation, position, telephone number and e-mail address.
    *If a recommender will send the letter by e-mail directly to RIKEN, (s)he should write “Recommendation letter for [name of applicant]” in the subject line and send it to CLST-recruit[at] (replace “[at]” with “@”).
  7. PhD diploma

*Note: Application documents will not be returned.


Until the position is filled

Handling of personal data

Submitted documents are strictly protected under the RIKEN Privacy Policy and used only for the purpose of applicant screening and hiring. Personal information will not be disclosed, transferred or loaned to a third party under any circumstances.

Selection process

Only persons who pass the application screening will be interviewed.

Start of employment

1st December 2017 (negotiable)

Contact information

Recruiting staff for RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies
Administrative Division, RIKEN Yokohama Branch
CLST-recruit[at] (Replace “[at]” with “@”.)

*Any questions about this position should be sent to the Email address above. Write “[TTT-1702] CLST/DGT: Application for Research Scientist” in the subject line.
*If you would like to inquire about the nature of the lab's research, send your inquiry to clst-jobs[at] (replace “[at]” with “@”). Do not send application documents to CLST-jobs address.