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Seeking a Research Scientist, Postdoctoral Researcher or Research Associate (TME2101)


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.

Our laboratory studies how stem cells and their microenvironment, the niche, are spatiotemporally specialized and how they establish stem cell–niche communication networks to direct organ development, homeostasis and regeneration using mammalian skin as a model. We have recently tracked the fate and state changes of single cells in developing hair follicles and revealed the developmental origins and induction processes of diverse epithelial stem/progenitor cell populations (Morita et al., Nature 2021). We have also showed that the regionally-specialized basement membrane functions as an interface for the reciprocal communications between epithelial stem cells and surrounding niche cells (Fujiwara et al., Cell 2011; Donati et al., PNAS 2014; Cheng et al., eLife 2018; Tsutsui et al., Nat Commun 2021). We will further extend our study to better understand the principles of stem cell–niche interactions over the life course (from development to ageing) by combining single-cell level 4D imaging, transcriptomics and other methods. We are also interested in understanding how the niche instructs stem/progenitor cells to form various skin phenotypes during development, regeneration and evolution.

RIKEN BDR is an international, interdisciplinary and collaborative institution with state-of-the-art research core facilities, including microscopy, genomics, proteomics and transgenic animal facilities.

For more details, please contact Hironobu Fujiwara.

Job title and Job description

Positions available

Research Scientist, Postdoctoral Researcher or Research Associate

Position-specific tasks are as follows:

  • Research Scientist: Carry out research and other work in accordance with research themes of the team.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher: Carries out research and other work in accordance with laboratory research themes under the mentorship and training of supervisors.
  • Research Associate: Carry out the research in the team under the direction of their supervisor.
    • *The applicant will be assigned to an appropriate position based on their research achievements, etc.

Number of positions

A few positions

Job description

The successful candidate will carry out research in accordance with laboratory research themes under the guidance of the Principal Investigator and support the supervision of any students associated with the project. Collaborate with research colleagues and support staff as appropriate to achieve the research goals of the lab.


The candidate should possess a doctoral degree in a related field. Experience in developmental biology, cell/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.

Research Scientist

A PhD holder in the area related to the Job description.

Postdoctoral Researcher

A PhD holder who earned a doctorate within the past 5 years in the area related to the Job description.

Research Associate

A master’s degree holder in the area related to the Job description or a person recognized as having equal ability. Or, a person who actively pursues PhD in his/her future, with clear intention and determination for advancing to a higher position, such as Research Scientist.

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.(Research Scientist) One-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, up to the end of the fiscal year exceeding 7 years since the initial date of hire.
  • 2.(Postdoctoral Researcher / Research Associate) One-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, up to 5 years since the initial date of hire.
    • *Research Associate; upon evaluation, whether or not the employee actively pursues PhD in his/her future, with clear intention and determination for advancing to a higher position, such as Research Scientist, will be judged.
  • 3.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.
  • 4.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).

In principle, the first two months of employment is considered a trial period.
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Discretionary work, 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.
Paid leave includes annual paid leave (up to 20 days depending on the month of employment), special paid leave (childcare, family nursing care, etc.), and work life balance holidays (up to 7 days depending on the month of employment).
There are also additional leave systems such as maternity leave, childcare leave, and family nursing care leave.
RIKEN has introduced telework as a temporary and special measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may be asked to work from home according to the instructions of the institute. You can also choose to work from home with the permission of your supervisor.
No smoking on site.
These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.

RIKEN is actively undertaking initiatives to promote gender equality and diversity, and moving forward with the establishment of a diverse and vibrant research environment. If multiple candidates are found to have the same aptitude following a fair assessment, active efforts will be made to recruit female candidates.

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 with publication list
    • *Email address is required.
    • *Application Number [TME2101] and position to apply (e.g.: 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)
  • 4. Plans for the future research once appointed (about 1 page of A4 paper)
  • 5. Reference letters from two referees (including one from the current supervisor, if available)
    • *If it is difficult to obtain a reference letter from your current supervisor, please obtain a letter from a third party.
    • *A reference letter should be addressed to [Center Director, Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research]
  • 6. Certificate of degree awarded, Certificate of graduation from the last school, diploma(copy) or graduation certificate from the last school (copy)
  • 7. 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

How to apply

The above documents except the recommendation letters combined into a single ZIP file should be uploaded to the following website:
(TME2101) Application for Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment

  • The file name of the ZIP should contain your contact email address.
  • After you uploaded the ZIP file, please let us (kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp) know the file name of the uploaded file.

Recommendation letters must be directly submitted from the referees to the following website with the file name "Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment [applicant’s name] (Recommendation letter)". Please specify the applicant's name, referee's name and contact information in the recommendation letter.
(TME2101) Application for Laboratory for Tissue Microenvironment

  • After the referees uploaded the recommendation letter, please let us (kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp) know the file name of the uploaded file.
  • If a confirmation email is not received within 7 days after submission, please contact: kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp.


Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis till 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

For inquiries on this open position, please contact below by email:
Human Resources Section, Kobe Administrative Division, Kobe Branch, RIKEN
kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp

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


Updated as of Nov 10, 2021: "Job title", "Positions available", "Qualification", "Salary and benefits" and "How to apply (Link tittle)"