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Seeking a Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher (W23346)


Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team
RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science
(Team Leader: Ryuhei Nakamura)

Research Field

Our group is working on both artificial and biological catalysis. Namely, we are developing electrocatalysts for hydrogen production and other reactions related to clean energy, while also studying the reason behind the diversity of enzymes for amino-acid biosynthesis. While the two topics may seem distant at first glance, both systems are designed to promote specific chemical reactions, and therefore, there are similarities in the underlying principles of physical chemistry. Furthermore, we are currently expanding the theoretical framework such that not only activity, but also selectivity, stability, lifetime, self-replication, and other life-like properties can be predicted mathematically. Based on the multi-dimensional evaluation of both artificial and biological catalytic systems, we aim to promote sustainable energy-material conversion.

For more information, please refer to the following website:
Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team's Website.

Job title and Job description

Job title, available positions

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher, 1 position

Job description

The applicant will work on the Grants-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas A: Chemistry of the CO World project. In particular, the applicant will study networks consisting of multiple chemical reactions and provide theoretical hypotheses on the requirements for the emergence of autocatalysis and other higher order behavior. Additionally, the applicant will provide experimental guidelines to verify the hypothesis. The project is expected to end on March 31, 2027.

The job description may be changed during the contract period or upon contract renewal to the extent described above.

The role allocated to each position is as follows:

Research Scientist
Conducts laboratory research programs and other work.
Postdoctoral Researcher
Conducts laboratory research programs and other work based on guidance from their supervisor(s).


We are looking for members who can promote research independently and stimulate our research team.

  • There is no requirement on previous research topics, as long as the candidate is familiar with theoretical concepts required to tackle the research project.
    Examples may include applied mathematics such as dynamical systems analysis, control systems theory, mathematical biology, or statistical mechanics.
  • The applicant must be able to communicate in English.
  • The applicant must be able to communicate and work together with collaborators both inside and outside our research group.
Research Scientist
A person who has obtained a PhD five or more years ago, or, someone with similar qualifications.
Postdoctoral Researcher
A person who has obtained a PhD within the past five years, or, one who is able to obtain a degree by the starting date.

*From the viewpoint of career development at RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, the tenure as a RIKEN Postdoctoral Researcher is within five years in principle.

Work location

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (Wako Campus)
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako City, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

RIKEN has implemented a work-from-home system. Employees can work from home in accordance with the prescribed procedures.
RIKEN may order the employee to change work locations, if necessary.

Salary and benefits

  • 1. A one-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation until March 31, 2027.
    However, because the maximum employment duration for a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center for Sustainable Resources Science (CSRS) is 5 years, the tenure of a Postdoctoral Researcher at RIKEN (including the period that you worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at RIKEN before) reached to five years before the date indicated above that is the upper limit on the term of employment, that is your limit employment as a Postdoctoral Researcher at CSRS. If you wish to continue working at RIKEN after that date, you may apply for the open position.
  • 2.RIKEN may adjust the above maximum period of renewability based on a) the employee’s abilities, workload 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 70 years.
  • 3.In principle, the center is set to continue its research to the end of the Mid- to Long-term Plan (7 years from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2025). The renewable term may change if it is determined that the project will not continue after March 31, 2025.

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 355,000 JPY for Research Scientists and 300,000 JPY for Postdoctoral Researchers, as of April 1, 2024. The monthly base salary and variable salary are subject to change due to amendments to RIKEN regulations.

In addition to the salary above, 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:

Research Scientist
The monthly salary including discretionary work allowance for a candidate with 5 years of experience, ability, and achievement after completion of the doctoral course will be approximately 430,000 to 470,000 JPY.
Postdoctoral Researcher
The monthly salary including discretionary work allowance for a candidate with 1 year of experience, ability, and achievement after completion of the doctoral course will be approximately 340,000 to 420,000 JPY.

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 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.

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.

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).

Application and required documents

Required documents

[Research Scientist]

[Postdoctoral Researcher]

How to apply

Please combine all documents except recommendation letters into a single PDF file and upload it to the link below:

W23346_Application documents for Research Scientist or Posdoc (Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team)

  • The file name should contain your name.
  • After you uploaded the PDF file, please let us (nakamuralab-recruit [at] ml.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 " Recommendation letter_[applicant’s name]". Please specify the applicant's name, referee's name and contact information (affiliation, title, email address) in the recommendation letter.

W23346_Application documents for Research Scientist or Posdoc (Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team)

  • After the referees uploaded the recommendation letter, please let us (nakamuralab-recruit [at] ml.riken.jp) know the file name of the uploaded file.

*If the submission requirements are not met, your application will not be received.


Open until the position is filled

  • *Note: Application documents will not be returned.
  • *Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted via email after document screening.

Handling Personal Data

Submitted documents are strictly protected under the RIKEN Privacy Policy and will be used only for the purpose of applicant screening at RIKEN. Personal information will not be disclosed, transferred or loaned to a third party under any circumstances without just cause.

Selection process

Document screening and interview for selected applicants (face-to-face or remote).

Start of Employment

As early as possible (Negotiable)

Contact Information

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science
Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team
Email: nakamuralab-recruit [at] ml.riken.jp