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Seeking a few Research Scientists or a Postdoctoral Researchers (DEP2103)


Laboratory for Developmental Epigenetics
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research
(Team Leader: Ichiro Hiratani)

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.

Understanding the regulation of the three-dimensional (3D) organization of genomic DNA, which is the source of heredity in living organisms, is extremely important for life science in general because it would lead to a fundamental understanding of various genome functions. However, many important questions remain unresolved. To answer these questions, research in the Laboratory for Developmental Epigenetics centers around the regulation of DNA replication, which is known to reflect the 3D genome organization. In particular, we utilize our homemade single-cell genome-wide DNA replication sequencing technology, scRepli-seq (Feb. 26, 2019 Press Release Scientists lay foundation for single-cell level understanding of DNA replication), and combine it with Hi-C, a genome-wide method to analyze the 3D genome organization, to understand the regulatory principles of the 3D genome organization during development, growth, and disease progression. We are taking advantage of the excellent facilities and research environment at the RIKEN BDR to promote original research from a long-term perspective.

We are looking for a few research scientists or postdoctoral researchers to start new projects to investigate the developmental regulation of the 3D genome organization and DNA replication as well as their underlying mechanisms. We are looking for highly motivated individuals who can drive their own research centering around next-generation sequencing analysis such as Hi-C and scRepli-seq, incorporating various perspectives including molecular biology, genetics, and bioinformatics. We welcome applications from data scientists (‘dry’ researchers) with a background in bioinformatics, computational science, physics, or mathematics. We also welcome applications from experimental scientists (‘wet’ researchers) with strengths in molecular biology and genetics who would like to take on the challenge of diving into the research of 3D genome organization and DNA replication using genome-wide technologies.

We welcome laboratory visits and informal inquiries before application. For more details, please refer to the following laboratory website.
Laboratory for Developmental Epigenetics | RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research

Job title and Job description

Positions available

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher

Number of positions

a few positions

Job description

Devise and carry out a research project in line with one of the following research topics.

(1) To elucidate the principles and regulatory mechanisms of TADs and A/B subnuclear compartments, (2) To explore and elucidate potential destabilizing factors of mammalian chromosomes, (3) To establish a second-generation, multi-dimensional single-cell genome-wide sequencing technology

The duties of data scientists (‘dry’ researchers) include the analysis of various data from next-generation sequencing, including epigenetics-related data such as Hi-C and scRepli-seq, and in situ sequencing data, as well as theoretical modeling and numerical simulation based on the analysis, to drive research projects within the above framework. We are also developing bioinformatics analysis methods for high-dimensional data analysis. Please note that our laboratory provides an environment in which data scientists can conduct experiments in collaboration with experimental researchers in the team so that new phenomena revealed by organizing, classifying, and analyzing information from large-scale data can be experimentally tested. This is an ideal research environment for those who are willing to take on the challenge of making novel discoveries in life science through bioinformatics analyses.

The duties of experimental scientists (‘wet’ researchers) include the use of molecular biology and genetics approaches to drive research projects within the above framework. Our laboratory allows one to immediately acquire skills to use genome-wide methodologies related to epigenetics, including Hi-C and scRepli-seq, making it ideal for those who want to take on the challenge of incorporating these state-of-the-art experimental approaches into their research.

We are looking forward to receiving applications from highly motivated individuals with a flexible mindset who can think outside of the box and provide new perspectives to our research group.


Those with a Ph.D. degree in a field broadly related to the "job description" and who can communicate smoothly and cooperatively with collaborators inside and outside the laboratory. In principle, those who are within 5 years of obtaining a Ph.D. degree will be hired as a Postdoctoral Researcher, and those who are over 5 years will be hired as a Research Scientist. However, this does not apply to those with outstanding achievements or experience.

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

The following rules do not apply if the appointment is to begin on or after April 1, 2023, in accordance with the open recruitment procedure by RIKEN after October 17, 2022.

"The employee’s period of fixed-term employment cannot exceed 5/10 years from the initial date of hire (or 5/10 years from April 1, 2013 for fixed-term employees already at RIKEN prior to this date)."

  • 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) One-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, up to 5 years since the initial date of hire.
  • 3.However, the contract renewable period may be changed on the basis of the employee’s abilities, workload, performance, work attitude, the continuation of the center, laboratories, or the project in which the employee is involved, and on the basis of RIKEN’s financial 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).
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.Curriculum vitae or Curriculum vitae
    • * Email address is required.
    • * Application Number [DEP2103] and position to apply(e.g.:Research Scientist) should be clearly written at top-right in the margin.
  • 2. List of publications (1,2 can be substituted by a researchmap ID, ORCID ID or equivalent. Free format)
  • 3. A cover letter that includes an overview of your research to date, research interests, and future plans (research plans, etc.)
  • 4. Two reference letters, including one from your current supervisor
    • *If it is difficult to obtain a reference letter from your current supervisor, please obtain a letter from a third party.
    • *Reference letters should be addressed to “Center Director, Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research"
  • 5. 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:

(DEP2103) Applications for Laboratory for Developmental Epigenetics

  • 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 Developmental Epigenetics [applicant’s name] (Recommendation letter)". Please specify the applicant's name, referee's name and contact information in the recommendation letter.

(DEP2103) Applications for Laboratory for Developmental Epigenetics

  • 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.

*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 an interview. After documents screening, only successful applicants will be invited for an interview.

*We will not answer questions regarding the contents of the selection process.

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 ichiro.hiratani [at] riken.jp (Laboratory for Developmental Epigenetics, Dr. Ichiro Hiratani)
Email: ichiro.hiratani [at] riken.jp

*The [at] should be replaced by “@”.


Updated as of Nov. 7, 2022: "Salary and benefits"