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Seeking a Laboratory Head (indefinite-term employment position) (M22Y02)


RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences

Research field and overview

RIKEN's research is based on synthesis and interdisciplinarity, and with free thinking as its basic philosophy, RIKEN promotes research that goes beyond the boundaries of conventional research fields, while at the same time responding to the needs of society from a strategic perspective.

RIKEN invites applications for the position of Laboratory Head (indefinite-term employment position) to serve in a leadership position in the following research area. The successful candidate will be responsible for directing research projects from a medium-to-long-term perspective.

Field: Non-coding RNA biology
Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are often correlated with human diseases and also contribute to various biological phenomenon. However, the mechanisms of how ncRNAs function and how their expression is regulated remain unknown. From a translational perspective, expansion of ncRNA research is expected to contribute to nucleic acids therapeutics. RIKEN seeks a principal investigator who will lead a laboratory with a focus on elucidating ncRNA functions in biology and in human diseases. The successful candidate is expected to conduct cutting edge researches in ncRNA biology with experimental approaches, such as biochemistry, cell biology and genetics, and/or with data-driven approaches, such as structural biology, genomics and large-scale data-sciences.

RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) provides the laboratory head with a starting-up package including research fund and a supportive environment for conducting independent research.

For an overview of RIKEN IMS, please visit the IMS website.

Open positions

Laboratory Head: 1 position (full professor level)


Applicants must have an outstanding research record and the ability to lead the above research field internationally. We welcome applicants of all nationalities.

Work location

Branch and address

RIKEN Yokohama Campus (1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045)

Work Conditions

As an Indefinite-term employee of RIKEN, you will work full-time as the laboratory head.
Unless there are special circumstances, we will not conclude a cross-appointment contract.
If you would like to take up a part-time position at the beginning of the appointment due to unavoidable circumstances such as succession at your previous job, please consult with us. However, the period of part-time appointment will be limited within 18 months.

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.

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

Salary will be an annual salary based on experience, ability, and performance, and will consist of a base salary and a variable salary. The variable salary will be determined each fiscal year based on experience, ability, and performance. The monthly base salary is 708,000 JPY (based on FY 2021 actuals). The monthly base salary is subject to change due to amendments to RIKEN regulations. Commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied. Bonuses or retirement benefits will not be paid.
(Approximate annual salary at the time of employment)
Annual salary at the time of employment for an employee with experience, ability, and achievement of approximately 15 years after completion of his/her doctoral degree, will be approximately 10.5 million JPY.

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) in principle. However, employee may change starting and ending times at their own discretion if it does not interfere with work performance.
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 (designated smoking areas available)
These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.

Staff are also eligible for an exemption from repayment for category 1 scholarship loans provided by the Japan Student Services Organization before fiscal year 2003 and are also eligible to apply for the MEXT Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi).

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

Rights and Responsibilities

  • Required to participate in RIKEN management activities in addition to conducting research in the area described above as a laboratory head.
  • Eligible to apply for competitive funding from within and outside RIKEN.
  • Eligible to host laboratory members such as research scientists, technical staffs, Special Postdoctoral Researchers and Junior Research Associates.
  • Eligible to apply for the purchase of commodities and the use of laboratory space.
  • Responsible for overseeing laboratory members, managing the laboratory budget and handling the maintenance and use of all laboratory equipment and instruments.

Application and required documents

Required documents

All documents should be prepared in English.

  • 1.CV (include your contact email address)
  • 2.List of your research and development (lists of publications, patents, presentations, etc.)
  • 3.List of external funds received, awards received, and other achievements including contributions to university/institution operations, contribution to society through activities in scientific societies, joint research projects, technology transfers, etc.
  • 4.Outline of your research and development to date (2 pages, A4 size)
  • 5.Your future plan for research and development if you are accepted for the position and background of the plan (5 pages, A4 size)
  • 6.Your plan on how you will manage your laboratory 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.Two recommendation letters from persons who are not affiliated with RIKEN.
    There is no set format for the recommendation letters, 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 recommendation letter must include the contact information (name, affiliation, job title, and email address) of the recommender.
  • 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

How to apply

The required documents (items 1 to 7 and 9) combined into a single PDF file should be uploaded to the following Web site:
Application for the Laboratory Head position, IMS, RIKEN
The file name of the PDF should contain your contact email address.
After you uploaded the PDF, please let us (kjk-desk [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: kjk-desk [at] riken.jp.

Recommendation letters must be directly submitted from the recommenders to kjk-desk [at] riken.jp by email with the subject line “Recommendation letter: Laboratory Head (IMS) [applicant’s name],” by noon, January 11, 2022 (Japan Standard Time).

Note: Application documents will not be returned.


The application must arrive no later than noon, January 11, 2022 (Japan Standard Time)

Handling of 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

After application documents are screened, only the successful candidates will be asked to have an interview (scheduled for mid-March 2022).
There will be final interviews (scheduled for May 2022) with RIKEN executive directors as part of the hiring process.

Start of Employment

RIKEN expects that the successful candidate will be able to take up this position at the earliest opportunity on or after October 1, 2022.


  • 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 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. In addition, RIKEN has been running Sechi Kato Program to promote the activities of female research leaders.

Contact information

For inquiries concerning the research:
Email: m22y02 [at] ml.riken.jp
The Selection Committee for ncRNA biology

For other inquiries:
Email: kjk-desk [at] riken.jp
Research Personnel Affairs Section,
Human Resources Division, RIKEN

Contact by phone is not available.