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Seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher or Contract Researcher (W23079)


Astro-Glaciology Laboratory
RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science
(Director: Yuko Motizuki)

Research Field

Our laboratory is establishing a new cross-disciplinary field that combines astrophysics, astrochemistry, and glaciology. We measure isotopic and ionic concentrations in terrestrial ice cores and develop analytical techniques and instrumentation. The ice cores preserve atmospheric information of the past, and some of them may contain stratospheric components that are affected by cosmic radiation. The research thus encompasses establishment of those databases, volcanic eruptions, solar activity, the relationships with climate change, and more. To extract signatures of astronomical events is one of our ultimate targets. We are also studying the evolution of molecules in space. These investigations will all contribute to an enhanced understanding of the relationships between the Universe and Earth.

Job title and Job description

Job title, available positions

Postdoctoral Researcher or Contract Researcher, one position

Postdoctoral Researcher is defined as those who obtained a doctoral degree no more than 5 years ago.
Contract Researcher is defined as those who obtained a doctoral degree more than 5 years ago.

Job description

To promote ice core research in collaboration with laboratory members. To be specific, ion analyses using Ion Chromatography (ICS-6000), water isotopic analyses, nitrate isotopic analyses on ice core samples obtained by our original Laser Melting Sampler (LMS) system, and work on research themes such as the extraction of astronomical phenomena from ice cores and the relationship between climate change and solar activity.


The candidate should possess a doctoral degree in relevant fields or is a prospective PhD candidate who is scheduled to obtain a doctoral degree before the first day of work. The ideal candidate will be able to communicate smoothly, work collaboratively and cooperatively with researchers inside and outside the laboratory. We welcome those who have knowledge, skills, and experiences specialized in chemical analyses related to the “Job description”. Note that those who are motivated to promote this research theme and have the spirit and the basic skills to jump into new fields as needed do not necessarily require research experience and deep knowledge in astronomy.

Work location

Branch and address;
RIKEN Wako (2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198)

RIKEN has implemented a work-from-home system. Employees can work from home in accordance with the prescribed procedures.

Salary and benefits

  • 1.A one-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, to a maximum of 5 years from the initial date of hire.
  • 2.RIKEN may adjust the above maximum period of renewability based on a) the employee’s abilities, work load at the time of contract completion, performance and work attitude and b) the continuation of the employee’s center, laboratory or project and RIKEN’s management situation and budget at the time. In principle, employment contracts will not be renewed for individuals older than 65 years.
  • 3.There will be an interim review on the third year.

In principle, the first two months of employment is 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 295,100 JPY as of April 1, 2023. The monthly base salary and variable salary are subject to change due to amendments to RIKEN regulations.

Discretionary work, commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied.

The approximate amount of monthly salary at the time of employment:
The monthly salary including discretionary work allowance at the time of employment will be 331,685 JPY or more.

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

The Wako Campus has an on-site daycare, RIKEN Kids Wako. For details, please send an email to the HR at kids [at] riken.jp.

Application and required documents

Required documents

  • 1.Curriculum Vitae (CV) or (CV) (with photo and email address)
    • *Write the RIKEN job ad number “W23079”, indicated in the parentheses next to the job title, in the RIKEN job ad number section in the upper right corner of your CV.
  • 2.List of publications and presentations
    • *The papers must be indicated whether it is peer-reviewed or not, and the first author and co-author cases should be separated. Invited talks should be indicated.
  • 3.Research statement (summary of current and past research relevant to the position; 2 pages max)
  • 4.Research proposal (description of your research objectives over the time-scale of the position; 1 page max)
  • 5.Copies of major papers (up to 3 papers)
  • 6.More than one Letter of recommendation (2 letters are preferred, including one from the current supervisor, if available)
    • *Please specify the referee’s contact information (Name, affiliation, job title, phone number, and email address)
  • 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:

Application documents for PD: Astro-Glaciology Laboratory, RNC

  • *The file name of the ZIP should contain your name.
  • *After you uploaded the ZIP file, please let us (motizuki [at] riken.jp) know the file name of the uploaded file.

Recommendation letters must be directly submitted from the recommenders to the following website with the file name " Astro-Glaciology Laboratory W23079, [applicant’s name] (Recommendation letter)"

Application documents for PD: Astro-Glaciology Laboratory, RNC

Note: All the submitted documents will not be returned.


Application must arrive by November 30, 2023 (Japan 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

Only candidates who pass the initial document screening will be invited for have an interview.

Start of Employment

As early as possible (negotiable)

Contact Information

Astro-Glaciology Laboratory
RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science
Director: Yuko Motizuki, Dr.
Email: motizuki [at] riken.jp
For inquiries, please send an email.


Updated as of Nov. 28, 2023: "Deadline"