Seeking a Team Leader


Plant-Microbe Symbiosis Research and Development Team (tentative)
RIKEN BioResource Center

Research Field

RIKEN BioResource Center (BRC) has been engaging in collection, preservation, and distribution of bioresources indispensable for R&D, i.e. experimental animals, experimental plants, human and animal cells, microbes and their genetic materials. In addition, it will pursue researches that make active use of its bioresources.
On April 1, 2018, RIKEN BRC will start a new team focusing on the field of the plant-microbe symbiosis research. In order to meet social and research needs for food production and protection of global environment, the team will reveal the features of symbiotic microorganisms, mainly mycorrhizal fungi, and will develop resources and technologies that are required for the promotion of research on the plant-microbe symbiosis. RIKEN BRC seeks a Team Leader.
The team will search and characterize symbiotic microorganisms, especially focusing on the mycorrhizal fungi such as Arbuscular mycorrhiza, through close collaboration with Experimental Plant Division and Microbe Division. Furthermore, the team will evaluate the effects of symbiosis on the growth and development of plants. To achieve the goal, the team will conduct researches on the following subjects: (i) development of Brachypodium and Arabidopsis mutants and transgenic plants useful for plant-microbe symbiosis research, (ii) metagenomic analysis of microorganisms in rhyzosphare, (iii) development of culturing technology and isolation of symbiotic microorganisms, (iv) analysis of their genome sequences, and (v) establishment of an evaluation system for the effects of symbiosis on the growth and development of model plants. The research results including resources, technologies and information useful for R&D on plant-microbe symbiosis will be distributed to the research community through the Divisions.

Job title and Job description

Team Leader*, one person, full-time

Task content: managing and leading a team in pursuit of the goals of the above research and development program.

*Research teams generally consist of two or three researchers and one or two technical staff members as necessary. The lab receives budgetary funds to cover all personnel costs. The laboratory is fully equipped and located at RIKEN BioResource Center, Tsukuba, Japan.


The candidate should have excellent research and development experiences and achievements in the research field of plant-microbe symbiosis, especially hardly cultivable microorganisms such as mycorrhizal fungi as well as deep understanding the significance of the BRC’s bioresource project. In addition, the candidate is expected to be capable of leading the above research and development while closely collaborating with BRC’s Divisions and plant and microbe research communities.

Work location

RIKEN BioResource Center
Add: 3-1-1 Koyadai, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki 305-0074, Japan

Salary and benefits

  1. A one-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, to a maximum of the end of the fiscal year (March 31) in which the employee completes 7 years of employment.
  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 will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied. Mandatory membership in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (RIKEN Kyosaikai). Days off include public holidays, New Year's holidays (Dec. 29 - Jan 3), and RIKEN Foundation Day.
These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.

*RIKEN is promoting a Gender Equity Program by taking various measures to create a workplace where both men and women are able to 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.
*Also, eligible for an exemption from repayment for category 1 scholarship loans provided by the Japan Student Services Organization before fiscal year 2003, and eligible applying for the MEXT Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi).

Application and required documents

  1. Complete CV
  2. List of research achievement and publications
  3. TWO letters of recommendation (including one from the current supervisor, If available)


November, 17, 2017 (application to reach)

Handling Personal Data

Handling of Personal Data: All private data sent to RIKEN in application for employment is handled in strict confidentiality, and such data is not utilized for any other purpose or disclosed to any third party. Application documents will not be returned.

Selection process

Selection will be made based on application screening and interviews.

Start of Employment

April 1, 2018

Send application to

Send your application to the following address (only overseas candidates may send applications by email).
Candidates in Japan should send application by postal mail with “kakitome”.
Please refer to URL below for job offering in Japanese.

Contact Information

Personnel Section, Tsukuba Administrative Division
RIKEN Tsukuba Branch
3-1-1 Koyadai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0074, Japan

Inquiry is available only by emails. We don’t accept inquiry phone calls. Your email subject should begin with “Team Leader Position – Plant-Microbe Symbiosis Research and Development Team”.
Email: koubo[at] (please replace [at] with “@”)