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Seeking a Research Scientist (20T03)


Cell Engineering Division
BioResource Research Center
(Laboratory head: Yukio NAKAMURA)

Research Field

BioResource Research Center (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. Cell Engineering Division has been collecting cutting-edge cell materials such as human cancer cell lines, animal cell lines (mouse, rat, etc.), iPS cell lines including disease-specific iPS cells, ES cells etc. 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 cell 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 innovations. In addition, the Division has been designated as the core facility of “Human and Animal Cell 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.

Job title and Job description

Job title, available positions

Research Scientist: 1 position

Job description

Cell lines derived from humans and animals are one of the most fundamental and major research materials in today's life science. They are essential for a wide range of fields from basic biology to medical research such as research and development of disease diagnosis and treatment methods, as well as industrial research including drug discovery. The importance of cell lines is expected to remain the same, or even it is expected to increase further in the future. In particular, cancer cell lines are indispensable and have high needs for research to conquer cancer, which is a serious health problem for Japan as half of its population suffer from cancer. Cancer cell lines are important research materials particularly in R&D of cancer immunotherapy, which has recently attracted global attention. Cell Engineering Division of BioResource Research Center has been highly regarded by the world's research community as the largest cell bank that offers cancer cell lines, iPS/ES cell lines and other cell lines with the highest quality. The researcher, whom BRC wishes to allocate this time, shall be an expert in cancer biology, genome science, immunology or cancer immunology, which is a fusion research area of them. The researcher of this position will play a central role in operation of the Division, and also conduct R&D in the fields related to the tasks of the Division, which are listed as follows:

  • Selection and collection of necessary cutting edges cell lines and their advanced derivatives, by comprehending research trends and needs in cancer biology, genome science, immunology and cancer immunology, as well as societal needs.
  • Analysis and release of the information regarding characteristics, genome sequence and published scientific papers of the cell lines.
  • Generation of new cell lines by introduction of marker genes or by gene modification using genome editing with existing cell lines, in the cases that the research community needs cell lines that are not available.
  • Active participation in policy making of resource development as well as operation of the Division, taking an overall view of the entire user community.
  • Offering professional guidance to inquiries from the research community and conducting dissemination activity to promote utilization of the cell lines.
  • Enthusiastic participation in cell-resource infrastructure activities in conjunction with the relevant community and leading national and international societies of the relevant fields.


Doctoral degree (or equivalent research ability and background) in the relevant research fields.
In addition, applicants should have outstanding experiences and achievements in the research using cultured cell lines. Applicants from overseas are welcome.

Initial work location

RIKEN Tsukuba Branch
3-1-1 Koyadai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0074, Japan


Type of employment

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. This position does NOT offer a retirement allowance.
As an exception, depending on screening results, the successful candidate may be initially employed on a fixed-term employment contract up to a maximum of 5 years with the possibility of being promoted to indefinite-term employment after a separate review process that will take place, as a general rule, at the end of the first 3 years of employment. Remuneration and work conditions for fixed-term employment are based on the same conditions as those for indefinite-term employment.

Work conditions

Full time

Remuneration and other provisions

In principle, the first two months of employment is considered a trial period.
The salary system is annual and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Commuting and housing allowances will be provided.
Social insurance will be applied. Membership in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (RIKEN Kyosaikai) is mandatory. This position falls under the specialized duties discretionary work system; one working day will be calculated as 7 hours and 30 minutes.
Days off include public holidays, New Year's holidays (Dec. 29 – Jan. 3), and RIKEN Foundation Day.
No smoking on site (designated smoking areas available)
These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.


Eligible to apply for Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi).
Eligible for an exemption from repayment for category 1 scholarship loans provided by the Japan Student Services Organization before fiscal year 2003.
RIKEN may instruct changes of work place or assignment due to closure of the laboratory or other management decisions.

Application and required documents


You may revise your basic information and upload revised documents later if necessary. Please double check, however, that you have successfully uploaded your final application documents by the deadline.
All files must first be converted to PDF format before you can upload them. Word files cannot be uploaded.

Application documents

  • (1)Research and development achievements (list of publications, list of patents, list of presentations etc.)
  • (2)Lists of external funds received, awards received, and other achievements including contribution to society through activities in scientific societies, joint research projects, technology transfers, and the like.
  • (3)Outlines of your research and development projects to date (3 pages, A4 size)
  • (4)Your future research and development plans and perspectives if you are accepted for the position (3 pages in A4 size in total)
  • (5)One set of copies of your major papers (maximum number: 5)
  • (6)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

  • (7)Letters of recommendation from two persons who can evaluate your work
    • One letter must be from your current supervisor or academic advisor.
    • Another letter must be from a person who is not affiliated with RIKEN.

All the application documents including letters of recommendation should be prepared in English or Japanese, and uploaded in PDF format. Documents may be in black and white or color.

About letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be directly sent to RIKEN by the referee. A request for a letter of recommendation will be automatically sent to the email addresses for references that you list when you register to apply. Please check if your referees have received the email request automatically sent from kjk-desk [at] spdr-fpr.com. You can also check on the status of your letters of recommendation through the online application system.
If none of your current supervisors or academic advisors are able to prepare a letter of recommendation, a letter from a third person will be accepted.
There is no set format for the letters of recommendation but they must meet the following conditions: they must be addressed to the President of RIKEN, Hiroshi Matsumoto, and include the date of issue. The letters of recommendation must bear the signature and/or seal of the person writing the letter.


For applicant registration:
Noon, April 21, 2020 (Japan time).

For revising or uploading application documents and letters of recommendation:
Noon, April 23, 2020 (Japan time).

Handling of personal information

All private data sent to RIKEN in applications for employment are handled in strict confidentiality, and will not be used 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.

Start of Employment

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


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

Contact Information

For inquiries concerning the research

Dr. Yukio NAKAMURA (Director)
Email: yukio.nakamura [at] riken.jp

For other inquiries

Research Personnel Affairs Section
Human Resources Division, RIKEN
Email: kjk-desk [at] riken.jp
Contact by phone is not available.