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Seeking a Unit Leader (indefinite-term employment position) (M23W03)


Support Unit for Bio-Material Analysis
Research Resources Division
RIKEN Center for Brain Science

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 Unit Leader (indefinite-term employment position) to serve in a leadership position in the following research field. The successful candidate will be responsible for directing research and development projects from a medium-to-long-term perspective.

Field: Biotechnology support for brain science research

The RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) performs basic research and develops innovative technologies that contribute to our understanding of the brain and mind, by focusing on the following four areas: research on high-level cognitive functions of the human brain, multi-layered studies based on animal models, data-driven research led by theoretical and technological advances, and development of diagnostic and therapeutic methods for neuropsychiatric disorders. In order to efficiently carry out these activities, CBS operates general-purpose and/or state-of-the-art equipment that meets the needs of individual laboratories. These facilities are managed by the Support Unit for Bio-Material Analysis (BMA), Research Resources Division. CBS provides a wide range of technical support using these research instruments, as well as centralized maintenance and management of shared equipment for efficient operation.

BMA, which has 14 full-time technical staff and 3 part-time staff as of June 16, 2022, is primarily responsible for providing technical support related to molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, and analytical/synthetic chemistry. In addition to technical support, this unit also provides the following services:

  • BMA has more than 150 pieces of equipment ranging from general-purpose instruments essential for life science experiments to state-of-the-art instruments such as super-resolution microscopes, arranged in 14 rooms (including radiation controlled areas) according to their intended use. BMA manages these shared experimental facilities and explains their operation to users.
  • BMA has established a Technical Personnel Support Section to provide customized support for specialized or routine experiments, e.g. virus vector production, histology, bio-imaging, molecular biology, for which not all laboratories are prepared with the technology.
  • BMA is responsible for hosting educational seminars for technology dissemination and in-house exhibitions of new research equipment, as well as maintaining freezer space and ice machines as part of its administrative duties.

BMA aims to realize cutting-edge support services in line with advances in life science through the development of new technical support and the reorganization of support systems.

This position is for an individual who will supervise the aforementioned duties centering on technical support to laboratories within and outside of CBS, and who will head BMA under the supervision of the Director of the CBS Research Resources Division.

For an overview of the CBS organization, please refer to RIKEN Center for Brain Science.

Open Positions

Unit Leader: 1 position


  • Candidates must have Ph.D. or a record of achievements equivalent to a Ph.D.
  • Knowledge and skills in a wide range of technology in life sciences, as well as outstanding achievements in research and development (Experience in neuroscience research is a plus.)
  • Enthusiasm for technical support activities
  • Leadership, management skills, and the ability to lead the aforementioned activities
  • Any nationality, but must be able to smoothly perform the above duties and communicate with administrative departments in writing and orally in both English and Japanese

Work location

Branch and address

RIKEN Wako Campus (2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198)

Salary and Benefits

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.

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 of 599,000 JPY (paid monthly) and a variable salary. The monthly base salary is subject to change due to amendments to RIKEN regulations. The variable salary will be determined each fiscal year based on experience, ability, and performance.
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:
The annual salary at the time of employment, in the case that the employee has experience, ability, and achievement of approximately 20 years after completion of their doctoral degree, will be approximately 10.7 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.

Smoking is not permitted on site except in designated smoking areas. Smoking will be entirely prohibited on site from April 2024.

These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.

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

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.

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

Rights and Responsibilities

  • Responsible for supervising BMA as a Unit Leader and promoting technical support mainly in the field of life science. Also required to participate in RIKEN management activities.
  • Eligible to host indefinite-term researchers and fixed-term researchers.
  • Eligible to apply for the purchase of commodities and laboratory space.
  • Responsible for overseeing laboratory members, safety management, managing the laboratory budget, and handling the maintenance and use of all laboratory equipment and instruments.
  • Eligible to apply for competitive funding in and outside RIKEN.

Application and Required Documents

Required documents

All documents except 6. must be prepared in either English or Japanese.

  • 1.CV (include your contact email address)
  • 2.List of your research and technical 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 scientific communities, joint research projects, technology transfers, etc.
  • 4.Outline of your research and technical development to date (2 pages, A4 size)
  • 5.Outline of your technical support plan if you are accepted for the position (2 pages, A4 size)
  • 6.Your precise plan on how you manage the unit and mentor young staffs if you are accepted for the position (to be prepared in both English and Japanese, 1 page for each, A4 size)
  • 7.One set of copies of your main 5 papers.
  • 8.Recommendation letters from two person who can evaluate your work
    The recommendation letters must be from someone who is 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. Makoto Gonokami President of RIKEN” and include the date of issue. The recommendation letter must bear the signature and/or seal of the person writing the letter.
  • 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 above documents except the recommendation letters combined into a single PDF file should be uploaded to the following link:
For Unit Leader position, Support Unit for Bio-Material Analysis, RRD, CBS, 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.
Recommendation letters must be directly submitted from the referees to kjk-desk [at] riken.jp by email with the subject line “CBS unit leader [applicant’s name] (Recommendation letter),” by noon, September 15, 2022 (Japan Standard Time).
If a confirmation email is not received within 7 days after submission, please contact: kjk-desk [at] riken.jp.

Note: All the submitted documents will not be returned.


All the required documents must arrive no later than noon, September 15, 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. The interview will be held on October 28 or November 1, 2022.
There will be final interviews 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 April 1, 2023.

Contact Information

For research-related inquiries

Email: m23w03 [at] ml.riken.jp
Dr. Hiroyuki Kamiguchi, Chair of the Selection Committee
Deputy Director, RIKEN Center for Brain Science

For other inquiries

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