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Seeking a Team Leader (Principal Investigator) (indefinite-term employment position) (M24Y06)


RIKEN Center for Sustainable resource Science

Research Field and Overview

RIKEN's research is based on comprehensiveness 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 Team Leader (Principal Investigator) 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: Research on plant-microbiota interactions
The successful candidate will lead a research team that focuses on the understanding of key factors involved in plant-microbiota interactions. The resulting research is expected to develop digital transformation of multi-omics data on plant, microbe, and soil in the ecosystem. Interdisciplinary and cutting-edge technologies leading to integrated models of biogeochemical cycle, plant growth, and environmental impact are highly anticipated for efficient food and biomaterial production.

The Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) is committed to six flagship projects, along with the goals of the UN-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and COP21. Among them, the Integrative Symbiological Solutions project develops sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural and environmental technologies as well as those to monitor symbiotic dynamics, by elucidating symbiotic relationships in the soil and hydrosphere and by utilizing symbiotic microbial functions. In addition, it aims to identify symbiotic microorganisms producing unknown useful substances to elucidate their biosynthetic mechanisms and to create useful compounds.
In this recruitment motivated leader is expected who can perform core activities of Integrative Symbiological Solutions area through the collaboration with Academia, Industry and Government. CSRS provides Laboratory heads with an excellent environment for their independent research, including internationally competitive start-up packages.

Job title

Team Leader (Principal Investigator): 1 position


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 (1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa)

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

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. After evaluation, it is possible to keep the principal investigator position until age 65.

*In accordance with the increase in the retirement age for government workers, the retirement age for RIKEN is also scheduled to be raised in steps of one year every two years starting FY 2023.

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 708,000 JPY. The monthly base salary and variable salary are subject to change due to amendments to RIKEN regulations.
The approximate amount of annual salary at the time of employment:
Based on RIKEN regulations, upon ensuring the salary of the candidate’s previous position, annual salary will be determined at the time of hire. The annual salary at the time of employment for a candidate with 10 years of experience, ability, and achievement after completion of the doctoral course will be at least 9.7 million JPY.

Commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied. Bonuses or retirement benefits will not be paid.

Mandatory membership in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (RIKEN Kyosaikai).

Work hours: 9:00 to 17:20 (lunch break 12:00 to 12:50) in principle. However, employees 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.

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.

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

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 indefinite-term researchers, fixed-term researchers, Special Postdoctoral Researchers and Junior Research Associates.
  • Eligible to apply for the purchase of commodities, and 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 the application documents should be prepared in English or Japanese.

  • 1. Complete CV (include your contact email address)
  • 2.List of your research and technical development (lists of publications (divide into sections for original papers, reviews, and others), patents, invited talks, etc.)
  • 3.List of competitive research 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 technical development to date (2 pages, A4 size)
  • 5.Your future plan for research and technical development if you are accepted for the position (3 pages, A4 size)
  • 6.Your ideas on how you expect to 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.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

  • 9.Letters of recommendation from three persons who can evaluate the applicant. At least one person of the three recommenders is not affiliated with RIKEN. There is no specific format for the letters of recommendation, but they must meet the following requirements:
    • The recommendation form must be in PDF format.
    • The nomination form must be dated and stamped or signed by recommender.
    • The name on the recommendation form should be "To: Makoto Gonokami, President, RIKEN”.

How to apply

The application documents (items 1 to 8) combined into a single PDF file should be uploaded to the following link:
Upload your application documents For a Team Leader (indefinite-term employment position M24Y06)

The file name of the PDF should contain your contact email address.
After you uploaded the PDF, please let us (kjk-desk [at] ml.riken.jp) know the file name of the uploaded file.

Recommendation letters (item 9) must be directly submitted from the referees to kjk-desk [at] ml.riken.jp by email with the subject line “CSRS Team Leader [applicant’s name] (Recommendation letter),” by noon, January 11, 2024 (Japan Standard Time).

If a confirmation email is not received within 7 days after submission, please contact: kjk-desk [at] ml.riken.jp.

Note: All the submitted documents will not be returned.


The application must arrive no later than noon, January 11, 2024 (Japan Standard Time)

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

After application documents are screened, only the successful candidates will be asked to have an interview. The interview will be held on March 1 or March 4, 2024.
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 October 1, 2024.
Other conditions at the time of appointment will be negotiable.

Contact Information

For research-related inquiries

Makoto Hayashi, head of the selection committee (Team Leader, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science)
Email: makoto.hayashi [at] riken.jp

For other inquiries

Email: kjk-desk [at] ml.riken.jp
Contact by phone is not available.