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Seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher or Research Associate (W24057)


Star and Planet Formation Laboratory
RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research
(Laboratory head: Nami Sakai)

Research Field

Star formation is one of the most fundamental structure-formation processes in the universe. By use of the state-of-the-art radio telescopes including ALMA, we are investigating chemical evolution along star and planet formation. At the same time, we are also revealing its formation mechanism by full use of physicochemical tools. When and how is a disk structure formed around a protostar, how is it evolved into a protoplanetary disk and eventually to a planetary system, and how does chemical composition change along them? Those are essential questions deeply related to the origin of the Solar system and even the life. Toward full understanding of the chemical evolution, we are also conducting related laboratory experiments; spectroscopy of molecules in astronomical interests in the millimeter and submillimeter regimes.

Job title and Job description

Job title, available positions

Postdoctoral Researcher or Research Associate: 1 postion

  • Postdoctoral Researcher: Carries out research and other work in accordance with laboratory research themes under the mentorship and training of supervisors.
  • Research Associate: Carries out research and other work in accordance with laboratory research themes under the direction of supervisors.

In principle, Postdoctoral Researcher is defined as those with a doctoral degree of 5 years or less.
The applicant will be assigned to an appropriate position based on his/her ability, aptitude, etc.

Job description

The successful candidate is expected to carry out research on “Impact of hydrocarbon Excitation to Astronomical Studies”.
This work is supported by the sub-team (Exploring Chemical Evolution along Formation of Planetary-System by High Resolution/Sensitivity Observations) of Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas(A)in Japan (FY2020-FY2024): Next Generation Astrochemistry: Reconstruction of Science by Understanding Microscopic Chemical Processes. Related works on the sub-team project can also be conducted under the agreement.

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


  • 1.Postdoctoral Reasearcher:
    A Ph.D. holder in the relevant research field (or expected to have it by the contract day). Experience on excitation calculation of hydrocarbons under non-LTE (local thermodynamic equilibrium) condition is especially welcome.
    Research Associate:
    A master’s degree holder in the area related to the Job description.
  • 2.Applicants must be comfortable with English for scientific discussion (Japanese language skills are welcome but not mandatory).

Work location

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.
RIKEN may order the employee to change work locations, if necessary.

Salary and benefits

A one-year fixed-term employment contract. Employment end date is March 31, 2025 (non-renewable), the end of the Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas(A).

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 305,100 JPY for Postdoctoral Researcher, and 248,700JPY for Research Associate, as of April 1, 2024. 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 annual salary at the time of employment:
The monthly salary including discretionary work allowance at the time of employment will be 400,000 JPY or more for Postdoctoral Researcher, 350,000 JPY or more for Research Associate.

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.

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).

RIKEN has a work-from-home system, but this position requires attendance at the work location. Therefore, the work-from-home system is not available for this position.

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

How to apply

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

RIKEN/CPR file upload Box

Zip file should be named as follow: W24057_position you apply for_appliant’s name
After you uploaded the ZIP file, please let us (sakai_lab_sec [at]ml. riken.jp) know the file name of the uploaded file.

Recommendation letters must be directly submitted from the referees to the website above with the subject line "[applicant’s name] (Recommendation letter)". Please specify the applicant's name, referee's name and contact information in the recommendation letter. After the referees uploaded the recommendation letter, please let us (sakai_lab_sec [at] ml. riken.jp) know the file name of the uploaded file.
If a confirmation email is not received within 3 days after submission, please contact: sakai_lab_sec [at] ml. riken.jp.

Note: All the submitted documents will not be returned.


Open until the position is filled.

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

We will first select the application documents that have arrived by June 14, 2024 (JST). Application screening, interview and oral presentation by selected applicants.

Start of Employment

As early as possible.

Contact Information

RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research
Star and Planet Formation Laboratory (Junko Nawata)
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: sakai_lab_sec[at]ml.riken.jp
For inquiries on the application, please send an email above.

For inquiries on the research themes:
RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research
Star and Planet Formation Laboratory
Chief Scientist: Nami Sakai
Email: nami.sakai [at] ml.riken.jp