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Seeking a Team Leader (Principal Investigator) (K24005)


New team (Informatics field (2): Life Science Informatics and Computational Science in a broader sense),
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research

Research Field

The RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) aims to understand the general principles of the temporal dynamics unfolding within living organisms throughout their lifespan, from embryonic development and birth to aging and death. Our interdisciplinary approaches to address this overarching theme include cell biology, molecular biology, structural biology, computational science, imaging, multi-omics, theory, stem cell biology, organoids, and the use of diverse animal models. In addition to striving to understanding the life cycle, the BDR plans to add life cycle prediction and control as major research aims going forward.

We are seeking to recruit a Team Leader (principal investigator) to conduct challenging research in the fields of informatics and computational science to understand biological systems, to predict and control biological systems, and to synthesize biological systems. One of the looming major challenges in the life sciences is making use of the enormous amount of life science data and increasingly detailed knowledge that is amassed to predict, control and synthesize biological systems. To address this challenge, developments of new informatics and computation science-based approaches will be critical, such as research related to prediction and control of cell fate based on analyses of large-scale data, to control of multicellular systems (e.g. organoids) based on human genetics, to improving research efficiency through robotics and AI, to spatial information analysis of imaging and spatial omics data, and to designing proteins. We are looking for someone who thinks beyond the conventional framework of informatics and computation sciences in the life sciences, who has a high level of awareness of and an interest in life sciences, who actively develops and incorporates new informatics and computational science technologies, and who leverages the Center’s resources to develop world-leading research. We look forward to receiving bold and creative proposals on a wide range of research topics, not limited to the approaches exemplified above.

- Opportunities provided by BDR -

BDR provides Principal Investigators (PIs) with an excellent environment for their independent research, including internationally competitive start-up packages (approximately 20 million JPY; negotiable as needed) and annual research funds (more than 25 million JPY per year). Early career PIs will be well supported by experienced senior BDR PIs. New PIs will be provided with approximately 150 m2 of dedicated space for their laboratory. All BDR researchers have access to RIKEN’s state-of-the-art supercomputers and data science infrastructure. They also have access to cutting-edge facilities for diverse animal models, for mouse genome engineering, for multi-scale imaging and omics, and for structural biology. They can participate in the BDR Center projects, which help to promote interdisciplinary research among research laboratories. PIs will also have opportunities for active collaborations with medical institutions and industry, and for mentoring graduate students through several joint graduate school programs with affiliated graduate schools. For more information, please visit the BDR website / PI recruitment introduction.

RIKEN is actively undertaking initiatives to promote gender equality and diversity and moving forward to establish a more diverse and vibrant research environment.
The working language for all discussions open to BDR members is English.

There is currently a separate recruitment being held for a Team Leader (principal investigator) for Informatics field (1) (K24004 Foundation Models for Life Sciences) at the RIKEN BDR. It is possible to apply for both positions.

Job title and Job description

Positions available

Team Leader

Number of positions

1 position

Job description

  • 1.Manage, conduct and promote research activities as a principal investigator.
  • 2.Tasks related to operations of the Center (contribute to committees, events, outreach activities, etc.)

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


  • 1.A holder of Ph.D. or equivalent degree.
  • 2.Has relevant knowledge, experience and ability to oversee and carry out the research projects outlined under Research Field.

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)
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (Kobe Campus-East-West)
6-7-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047 (MI R&D Center Building)
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (Kobe Campus-East-West)
6-7-1 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047 (Integrated Innovation Building)

Depending on the nature of your research plan, we may instruct you to establish your laboratory at the following location after consultation.
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (Yokohama Campus)
1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045

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.One-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable up to 7 years from the initial date of hire. Based on the performance review results, the fixed-term contract can be renewed for additional 3 years (in total, a maximum of 10 years).
  • 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.RIKEN has indefinite-term Team Leader positions, which are subject to the mandatory retirement age of 61 (applicable for fiscal year 2024). There is a subsequent re-employment program allowing hiring until the age of 65. Any RIKEN scientist, including fixed-term Team Leaders, are eligible to apply to open calls for indefinite-term positions.

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. As of April 1, 2024, the monthly base salary is 720,000 JPY. The monthly base salary and variable salary are subject to change due to amendments to RIKEN regulations. Commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied.
The approximate amount of annual salary at the time of employment:
The annual salary at the time of employment for a candidate with 7 years of experience, ability, and achievement after completion of their doctoral course will be approximately 9.2 million JPY.

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

Work hours: Employees may change starting and ending times at their own discretion if it does not interfere with work performance.
In principle, regular work hours are 9:00 to 17:20 (lunch break 12:00 to 12:50).
The number of hours worked per month must not be less than the "prescribed monthly work hours".
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.

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.

The Kobe Branch has an on-site daycare, Po-I Kids Kobe. For details, please send an email to the HR at kobe-kosei [at] riken.jp.
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.

*Information on daily life and diversity at BDR can be found at Careers & Study | RIKEN BDR.

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
    • *Please include the following information: your email and mailing address, current position, degree, education history, job history, and other relevant information helpful for evaluation.
    • *Application Number [K24005] should be clearly written in the margin on the top-right of the page.
  • 2.List of publications (categorized by original articles, review articles, books, conference presentations, invited lectures, grants, patents, other)
  • 3.Copies of three papers selected from your achievements based on their relevance to your proposal (in PDF format).
  • 4.Summary of past research (about two A4-size pages)
  • 5.Research plan for the five years and expected outcomes, and prospects for subsequent research (approximately two A4-size pages)
  • 6.Perspectives on the future of the entire informatics field as it relates to the life sciences (approximately one A4-size page)
  • 7.Name and contact information of three referees who can attest to your research capabilities or your suitability for the position.
    • *The submitted documents 1–6 above may be disclosed to the referees after they have agreed to maintain confidentiality of application details. If you do not wish for required documents 1–6 to be disclosed to a specific referee, please send the name of that referee to bdr-suishin-jinji [at] ml.riken.jp.
  • 8.Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR

How to apply

The above documents combined into a single ZIP file should be uploaded to the following link:

RIKEN/K24005 Application Box

  • Zip file name: K24005_position applying to_Applicant’s Name
  • The file name of each PDF file: K24005_position applying to_Applicant’s Name_submitted document No. (i.e. 1 through 8)
  • When uploading the application documents as a ZIP file to the BOX folder, please make sure to input your contact email address.
  • After uploading your application file, please inform us of the name of the file you uploaded by sending an email to: kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp. Please also ensure that you include your name and Job Ad number that are you applying for (K24005) in the same email.
  • If a confirmation email is not received within 7 days after submission, please contact: kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp.

*Please note that application documents will not be returned.


Applications must arrive no later than noon, Wednesday, July 31, 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 at RIKEN. 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 the screening of application documents and interviews.
After the initial document screening, only selected applicants will be invited for an interview.
Applicants who pass the document screening will be contacted around late September or early October.
Interview date: Around October 2024 (in person or at the RIKEN Kobe Campus or Yokohama Campus or online)

  • *Interviews may also be carried out online depending on the situation.
  • *We cannot answer any questions regarding the contents of the examination.

Start of Employment

Negotiable (After January 1, 2025)

Contact information

For inquiries on this open position, please contact below by email:
Human Resources Section, Kobe Administrative Division, Kobe Branch, RIKEN, with the subject line "[K24005]
Regarding New Team Leader Recruitment” at kobe-jobs [at] riken.jp

If you have any research-related questions, please contact Dr. Shuichi Onami (Laboratory for Developmental Dynamics, RIKEN BDR) at: sonami [at] riken.jp


Updated as of May 23, 2024: "Selection process"