Call for applications for the position of Junior Research Associate (JRA) for FY2024
The call for FY2024 has been closed.
The Junior Research Associate (JRA) program provides part-time positions at RIKEN for energetic and open-minded graduate students enrolled in Japanese university PhD programs for the purpose of giving them the opportunity to carry out research alongside RIKEN scientists, enhancing RIKEN’s creative and basic research capabilities, and fostering talented young researchers who will play an active role in science both in Japan and abroad, as well as strengthening ties between RIKEN and universities in Japan.
Since FY2011, RIKEN has been making special efforts to foster the development of basic research in medical fields, and recent graduates of medical and dental universities who have acquired their medical or dental licenses are welcome to apply.
Mathematical Sciences (Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Information Science, Artificial Intelligence, etc.), Physics I (particle, nuclear, astrophysics, etc.), Physics II ( condensed matter), Chemistry, Biology (cell biology, developmental biology, plant biology, structural biology, microbiology, imaging, measuring, etc.), Medical science (brain science, psychology, immunology, oncology, genome science, etc.) and Engineering that relate to research being conducted at RIKEN.
As part of the screening process, the research category to which you applied may be changed to a different category.
Number of available positions
Candidates must fulfill both of the following requirements:
- 1. Must be enrolled in a doctorate program at a Japanese graduate school as of April 1, 2024. Candidates to be hired on October 1, 2024, must be enrolled as of October 1, 2024.
- 2. Must meet one of the following conditions:
- (1) Joint graduate school category
Enrolled (or will be enrolled) in a graduate school which has a joint graduate school program agreement*a with RIKEN. The research supervisor must be a RIKEN researcher who is also acting as the JRA’s supervising instructor at the partner university.
- (2) Joint research category
Enrolled (or will be enrolled) in a graduate school which is involved in joint research*b with RIKEN scientists under a joint research contract or agreement, and which is willing to give permission for the candidate to undertake research instruction at RIKEN.
- (3) Research collaboration category
Enrolled (or will be enrolled) in a graduate school which has a research collaboration agreement*c with RIKEN, and which is willing to give permission for the candidate to undertake research instruction at RIKEN.
- (1) Joint graduate school category
- Individuals whose term of study has exceeded the standard term for a PhD are not eligible. Some scholarships(*) prohibit receipt of a second scholarship. Before you apply, please confirm with the office handling your scholarship whether you are eligible to apply for the JRA position.
*Example: JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists (doctoral course). Contact the Junior Research Associate Desk for any questions.
- *a: Graduate schools participating in RIKEN’s joint graduate school program are listed at the Educational Partnerships website.
- *b: In principle, there must be an agreement for joint research in place by April 1, 2024, but application may be made before the joint research agreement has been signed. In the case of candidates to be hired on October 1, 2024, an agreement for joint research must be in place by October 1, 2024.
- *c: In principle, there must be an agreement for research collaboration in place by April 1, 2024. The collaboration may be between a RIKEN center and an equivalent department or center at the university or between RIKEN and the university. Application may be made before the research collaboration agreement has been signed. In the case of candidates to be hired on October 1, 2024, an agreement for research collaboration must be in place by October 1, 2024.
For laboratories eligible to host JRAs, please refer to the "Laboratories with JRA Openings" list to find out which laboratories have openings and contact the addresses shown on the relevant web pages. The laboratory will be shown as a laboratory which may host JRAs if it is not scheduled to close by the end of March 2025, and if there are researchers (host PI, or any of the Senior Research and/or Technical Scientists) still working in the laboratory on a full-time basis until the end of March 2025. However, in principle, laboratories that are 100% funded by commissions are not able to host JRAs.
Note: This list may be updated. Please take note of the date on which the list was last updated. The laboratories and other listed organizations may change even after the deadline.
Principal Investigator (PI)
- 1.The PI of the host laboratory will be responsible for the JRA and is the person who must submit the JRA application.
- 2.The PI of the host laboratory must take sufficient time to explain the program to the JRA candidate and must have the candidate’s agreement before submitting the application.
The research supervisor is the person who will directly oversee the research of the JRA. The PI and research supervisor may be the same person. The research supervisor, in principle, is affiliated with the host laboratory, and must be a full-time researcher working at RIKEN (excluding postdoctoral researchers and the equivalent; anticipating the host PI or any of the Senior Research and/or Technical Scientist positions to supervise). Also, the research supervisor must be able to advise graduate school students during the host period and meet one of the following criteria 1 to 3 (including cases where the pertinent contract or co-research agreement is in the process of being signed).
- 1.For a joint graduate school category JRA, the research supervisor must be a RIKEN researcher who is also acting as the JRA’s supervising instructor at the partner university.
- 2.For a joint research category JRA, the research supervisor must be the researcher in charge of the joint research project on the RIKEN side.
- 3.For a research collaboration category JRA, the research supervisor must be specialized in the field of research covered by the collaboration, must be directly involved in the collaboration, and must be the researcher working on the collaborative research project on the RIKEN side.
Location of the RIKEN host laboratory
From April 1 (or October 1), 2024 to March 31, 2025. If, however, the JRA student acquires a PhD or quits the university, the contract will terminate at such time regardless of whether a full year has passed.
The contract may be renewed up to a maximum of two times (for PhD programs requiring 4 years, up to a maximum of 3 times. In the case of a candidate who starts from October 1, the maximum limit is extended by 6 months).
This is a part-time position at RIKEN. Student trainee status will also be granted as an additional post.
5 days per week: Monday to Friday, 5 hours per day (you can choose one of the following shifts: 9 am to 2:50 pm, 10 am to 3:50 pm, or 11 am to 4:50 pm; lunch break, 12:00 to 12:50)
We may be able to change your schedule to 3 or 4 days per week, but only if you are certified as a doctor or a dentist. To make a request, contact the Junior Research Associate Desk.
Salary and benefits
JPY 200,000 per month (tax included)
Paid in accordance with RIKEN regulations (A maximum of JPY 55,000 per month)
Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end holidays (12/29–1/3), RIKEN Foundation Day.
Annual paid leave: 20 days per year (Unused days can be carried over into the next two fiscal years.)
Special annual paid leave for students: 42 days per year (Unused days cannot be carried over to the next fiscal year.)
- Depending on the number of work days per week, salary and benefits may be reduced in accordance with RIKEN regulations.
- Other provisions in accordance with RIKEN regulations
Application procedures and deadline
Application documents will be screened in the middle of December and results will be announced in the middle of January 2024.
Employment will commence on April 1 (or October 1), 2024.
Permission from graduate school
JRA candidates and PIs in the host laboratories must make sure that permission has been obtained from the supervising professor of the applying JRA. JRA candidates and PIs in the joint research and research collaboration categories must have the supervising professor’s agreement that the assigned JRA will be under the instruction of a RIKEN researcher.
For the joint research and research collaboration categories, it is the JRA candidate’s responsibility to make sure that all required procedures are followed at his/her university to acquire permission to participate in the program.
Application documents must be submitted through the RIKEN JRA Recruitment and Selection online system
1) For JRA candidate
Enter necessary information on the Application page and upload application forms from your login page by 13:00, Wednesday, October 20, 2023.
- Deadline for a. below: 13:00 on Friday, November 10, 2023
- Deadlines for b. - d. and f. - h. below: 13:00 on Friday, October 20, 2023
- Deadline for e. below: 13:00 on Friday, October 27, 2023
- a.Opinions of RIKEN research supervisor: The research supervisor will create the document, and upload it through the PI at the host laboratory during the application period.
- b.Candidate’s reason for applying and outline of current research
- c.Candidate’s research record, published papers, etc.
- d.Outline of candidate’s research plan
- e.Letter of recommendation from candidate’s research instructor (the referee will upload the document separately)
- f.Candidate's academic record (1 copy each: undergraduate, master's & doctorate transcripts )
- g.Candidate’s representative papers (excluding master’s thesis): No more than 3 papers
- h.“Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR” if the applicant is a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA).
- We will notify you of your login page in the e-mail confirming your online registration.
- Upon receipt of your registration form, we will send an e-mail request for a recommendation letter to your university instructor. Your university instructor must upload the letter by 13:00, Friday, October 27, 2023.
2) For Principal Investigator (PI)
Submit your application to host the JRA candidate through the RIKEN JRA Recruitment and Selection online system between Wednesday, November 1 and Friday, November 10. The Research Personnel Affairs Section will provide PIs with information on how to submit the application after the submission deadline for JRA candidates.
- a. Opinions of RIKEN research supervisor
3) Candidate’s research supervisor (in principle, must be a graduate school advisor)
The recommendation letter needs to be uploaded via the JRA recruitment/selection system by 13:00 on Friday, October 27, 2023. Research Personnel Affairs Section will inform each supervisor on how to upload the recommendation letter after the candidate fills out the registration form.
Junior Research Associate Desk
Research Personnel Affairs Section
Human Resources Division, RIKEN
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
NOTE: Please send queries by email. Telephone inquiries cannot be accepted.
Information cannot be provided on the details of the screening process.
Regarding the handling of personal information
Submitted documents will be handled with the utmost care in accordance with RIKEN's rules for the protection of personal data and will be used only for employment screening purposes. This information will never be divulged, assigned, or loaned to a third party without legitimate reason.
- 1.Incomplete or incorrect applications may be rejected.
- 2.Submitted application documents cannot be returned.
- 3.All costs incurred in making application for the JRA position are to be paid for by the PI.
- 4.The conditions for this position are subject to change if there are changes in RIKEN’s government budget allocations or other extenuating circumstances.