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Seeking a Research Scientist (TME2001)


Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research
(Team Leader: Hironobu Fujiwara)

Research Field

The Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) views the functions of molecules, cells, and organs that support all life stages of organisms as a dynamic system, and aims to elucidate developmental, growth and aging phenomena as well as apply their findings to develop regenerative medicine and diagnostics, thereby contributing to the extension of healthy life expectancies.

The Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment is recruiting research employees to carry out a new theme. The research overview of the laboratory is shown below.

The broad goal of the lab is to discover the principles of cell-microenvironment interactions that instruct cellular behaviour and communication, and the formation of organs. By focusing on skin biology, we are currently studying the following two mutually-related themes 1) cell–extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions and 2) crosstalk between skin stem cells and their microenvironment or niche.

Job title and Job description

Positions available

Research Scientist

Number of positions

1 person

Job description

Postdoc positions are being offered by RIKEN to work on a 5.5-year Japanese Science and Technology Agency (JST) funded CREST project entitled "Dynamic epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in the emergence of integumentary diversity (2019-2025, PI; Hironobu Fujiwara)" ([Multicellular interaction] Year Started : 2019). The outline of the project is as below.

Project outline:

Organisms have created a remarkable diversity in the structure and function of integument in order to adapt to various environments. However, the mechanism and theory, by which the integument develops various forms and functions from a 2D flat cell sheet, are not well understood. This is one of the major challenges in developmental biology, regenerative medicine and evolution. To better understand this, we will examine the dynamics of cell-cell interactions between the epithelium, mesenchyme and their microenvironments during the development of various integumentary appendages, including hair follicles, mammary glands and feathers. We will address this issue through a single cell multi-omics analysis (live-imaging and single cell transcriptomics). For more details, please contact Hironobu Fujiwara.


The candidate should possess a doctoral degree in a related field. Experience in developmental biology, organ culture, live imaging, and single-cell RNA-seq would be desired, but not essential. The candidate should be able to dedicate themselves to the job by communicating, coordinating and collaborating smoothly with people in and out of the laboratory.

Work location

RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (Kobe Campus-East-West)
2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0047 (Developmental Biology Buildings)

Salary and benefits

  • 1.One-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, up to 30 September 2022.
  • 2.However, the contract renewable period may be changed on the basis of the employee’s abilities, work load, performance, work attitude, continuation of the center, laboratory or project in which the employee is involved, and on the basis of RIKEN’s finance situation and budget condition at the time. In principle, no contract renewal will be made for people 66 years old or older.
  • 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).
  • 4.The research period of the JST CREST project is from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2025.

In principle, the first two months of employment is considered a trial period.
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).
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.

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 the fiscal year 2003, and eligible for applying for the MEXT Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi).

Application and required documents

Required documents

  • 1. Cover letter
  • 2. Complete CV or CV with publication list
    • *Email address is required.
    • *Application Number [TME2001] and position to apply(Research Scientist)should be clearly written at top-right in the margin.
    • *Format is free.
  • 3. Summary of research achievements (about 2 pages of A4 paper) and future research interests (about 1 page of A4 paper)
  • 4. Reference letters from two referees should be directly send to “kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp” from the referees (including one from the current supervisor, if available)
    • *If it is difficult to obtain reference letter from immediate manager or current supervisor, please obtain a letter from a third party.
    • *A reference letter should be addressed to [Center Director, Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research ]
  • 5. Certificate of degree awarded, Certificate of graduation from the last school, diploma(copy) or graduation certificate from the last school (copy)
  • 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

*Please understand that we will not return application documents.


We will examine application documents as they are accepted. Application will be closed as soon as the position is filled.

Handling Personal Data

Submitted documents are strictly protected under the RIKEN Privacy Policy and will be used only for the purpose of applicant screening. Personal information will not be disclosed, transferred or loaned to a third party under any circumstances without just cause.

Selection process

Selection will be made based on application screening and interview. After documents screening, only successful applicants will be invited for interview.

*We do not answer to questions regarding contents of the examination.

Start of Employment

As soon as possible (Negotiable)

Contact information and Send application to

By Email:

Send application materials (PDF format) to Email: kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp
The Email title should be: "[TME2001] Application for Research Scientist of Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment".

By mail:

Address: 2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047, Japan
RIKEN Kobe branch, Kobe Administrative Division
Kobe Human Resources Section
Please make sure to indicate "[TME2001] Application for Research Scientist of Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment" in red on the envelope or in the subject column.

*If you have any research-related questions, please contact hironobu.fujiwara [at] riken.jp (Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment, Hironobu Fujiwara, PhD)


Updated as of Aug 11, 2020: "Required documents"