Seeking a Principal Investigator (indefinite-term position)

Research field and overview

RIKEN formulated the 4th Mid- and Long-term Plan (7-year plan from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2025). One of the plan is maximization of research and development (R&D) achievements and improvement in the quality of other operations. To attain this plan, promotion of R&D, maintenance, shared use, and utilization of the world’s top-level research infrastructure are being conducted. As one of measures, infrastructure-related improvements are being made for collection, preservation and provision of biological resources (bioresources) required for R&D in the life sciences. Research on the usage and application of bioresources are also being conducted. This call invites application for the position of Principal Investigator in Gene Engineering Division, RIKEN BioResource Research Center (BRC).

About Gene Engineering Division, BRC

BRC has been conducting collection, preservation and distribution of the most important five categories of bioresources (experimental animals, experimental plants, human and animal cell lines, microorganisms, and genetic materials) and associated information necessary for the R&D under the three principles of “Trust”, “Sustainability” and “Leadership”. In addition, BRC has been conducting R&D to promote active use and application of bioresources. Gene Engineering Division has been collecting cutting-edge genetic materials such as genomic DNA, clone sets of BAC and cDNA of human, animal and microbes origin, clones of fluorescent protein genes, and expression vectors developed by Japanese and international research community, and distributing these materials to scientists after strict quality control to ensure the reproducibility of experimental results. The Division also has been conducting R&D that facilitates active use and application of genetic materials. By these activities, the Division aims to contribute to and lead the advancement of wide fields of sciences encompassing from the basic research to the medical and green innovations. In addition, the Division has been designated as the core facility of "DNA Materials" in the upgrading program of the National BioResource Project by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and has been carrying out the task since 2002.

Available position and number of openings


Head, Gene Engineering Division (Indefinite-term PI position)

Number of opening



Applicants should have outstanding research achievements and the ability to carry out the above activity of the research infrastructure for the genetic resources in collaboration with relevant research communities and lead the field internationally. Applicants from overseas are welcome.

Work location

RIKEN BioResource Research Center
3-1-1 Koyadai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0074, Japan

Start of Employment

RIKEN expects that the successful applicant will be able to take up this position at the earliest opportunity on or after April 1, 2020.


The post is an indefinite-term employment position, subject to RIKEN's mandatory retirement age of 60. There is a re-employment program to hire individuals as fixed-term employees from age 60 to age 65. After evaluation, it is possible to keep the principal investigator position until age 65. This position does NOT offer a retirement allowance.

There will be a trial period of employment (in principle, 2 months).

Monthly salary will be paid based on an annual salary.
Social health insurance will apply.
Commuting and housing allowances will be provided.
Membership in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (RIKEN Kyosaikai) is mandatory.

Work hours: 9:00 to 17:20 (lunch break 12:00 to 12:50).

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 may require changes of responsibilities, job category, and work place based on RIKEN regulations due to management decisions, budgetary situation, and organizational restructuring.

RIKEN is promoting a Gender Equality 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).

Rights and responsibilities

  • Required to participate in RIKEN management activities in addition to conducting the infrastructure program and relevant R&D in the area described above as a Division head.
  • Eligible to apply for competitive funding from within and outside RIKEN.
  • Eligible to request allocation of scientists that are subjected to RIKEN’s mandatory retirement age of 60.
  • Eligible to hire fixed-term researchers (e.g., postdoctoral researchers).
  • Eligible to host RIKEN’s Special Postdoctoral Researchers and RIKEN’s Junior Research Associates.
  • Eligible to apply for the purchase of commodities, research funds, and laboratory space.
  • Responsible for overseeing laboratory members, managing the laboratory budget and handling the maintenance and use of all laboratory equipment and instruments.

Application Documents and submission deadline

Application documents to be submitted

  1. CV (with portrait photo. Contact email address should be provided.)
  2. Lists of research and development achievements (list of publications, list of patents, etc.)
  3. Lists of external funds received, awards received, and other achievements including activities for research infrastructures, research supports, contributions to University/Institution operations, contribution to society through activities in scientific societies, joint research projects, technology transfers, and the like
  4. Outlines of your research and development projects to date (2 pages, A4 size)
  5. Your future research and development plans (2 pages, A4 size)
  6. Your ideas on how you expect to manage your team and mentor young researchers if you are accepted for the position (1 page, A4 size)
  7. One set of copies of your main papers (maximum number: 5)
  8. Letters of recommendation from two persons who can evaluate your work.
    There is no set format for the letters of recommendation, but they must meet the following conditions: they must be submitted as PDF files and must be addressed to “Dr. Hiroshi Matsumoto President of RIKEN” and include the date of issue. The letters of recommendation must bear the signature and/or seal of the person writing the letter.
  9. Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR
    If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you are required to submit the document, “Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR” with your signature.
    *You will find detailed information about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the following website:
    Data protection | European Commission

Note:All the application documents should be prepared in English or Japanese.

How to submit

  • The application documents (items 1 to 7 and 9) combined into a single PDF file should be uploaded to the following website:
    RIKEN File Delivery
  • The file name of the PDF should contain your contact email address.
  • After you uploaded the PDF, please let us (kjk-desk [at] know the file name of the uploaded PDF.
  • if a confirmation email is not received within 7 days after submission, please contact to kjk-desk [at]
  • Letters of recommendation must be directly submitted from the referees to kjk-desk [at] by email with the subject line “Gene Engineering Division PI [applicant’s name] (Letter of recommendation),” by 5pm, September 30, 2019 (Japan Standard Time).

*replace "[at]" with "@"


The application must arrive no later than 5pm, September 30, 2019 (Japan Standard Time).

Handling of personal information

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.

Selection process

After application documents are screened, only the successful candidates will be asked to have an interview.
There will be final interviews with RIKEN executive directors as part of the hiring process.


  • No information can be released regarding application status or evaluation details before, during, or after the evaluation process.
  • Application documents will not be returned.
  • For further details on application or research activities at RIKEN, see RIKEN website.

Contact Information

For inquiries concerning the research

E-mail: atsushi.yoshiki [at] (replace "[at]" with "@")
Dr. Atsushi Yoshiki, Chair of the Selection Committee
Head, Experimental Animal Division

For other inquiries

E-mail : kjk-desk [at] (replace "[at]" with "@")
Contact by phone is not available.