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Seeking a Division Director (Professor Level, Indefinite-term) (T24015)


Cell Engineering Division (RIKEN BRC Cell Bank),
RIKEN BioResource Research Center

Research Field and Overview

RIKEN is moving forward with the establishment, operation, and advancement of world-class research infrastructure.
As part of those activities, at RIKEN BioResource Research Center (BRC), infrastructure-related improvements are being made for collection, preservation and provision of biological resources (bioresources) required for R&D in the life sciences. Research on the usage and application of bioresources is also being conducted. RIKEN is currently recruiting for the position of Director of Cell Engineering Division (Cell Bank) in RIKEN BRC, who is responsible for the research infrastructure program of the Cell Bank and related R&D.

About RIKEN Cell Bank:
As the core of bioresource research in Japan, the BRC’s motto is: “Trust,” “Sustainability,” and “Leadership,” and has five types of bioresources (experimental animals, experimental plants, human/animal cells, microorganisms, and genetic materials). In addition to collection, preservation, and distribution of these bioresources, the BRC is conducting R&D that contributes to promoting the utilization of bioresources.
Since being selected as the core facility for the National BioResource Project (NBRP) for Human/Animal Cells in 2002, RIKEN Cell Bank has been working on general cells (cancer cell lines, etc.) and stem cells (ES/iPS Cells, human umbilical cord blood cells, etc.). In accordance with ISO9001 certification, RIKEN Cell Bank is carrying out the highest international quality control and providing cell materials domestically and internationally as research materials that ensure the reproducibility of experiments. In addition to the core activities of the Cell Bank, we are proactively introducing new cell materials and cutting-edge technologies as well as conducting R&D to improve quality control and to enrich related information with the aim to accelerate research fields using cell materials.
Through these activities, RIKEN Cell Bank will advance the development of infrastructure for cell materials that contribute to a wide range of life sciences, and will deepen collaborations with the research community including academia and industry to solve global issues.

Job title

Division Director (Principal Investigator, Professor level): 1 position


As the PI of the Division, the applicant should have the ability to lead the above-mentioned infrastructure program for the Cell Bank while continuing the existing implementation system. Applicants must have an outstanding research record in R&D of cell materials and the ability to “expand the collection of cell materials according to the community needs,” “improve quality control,” “upgrade related information,” “develop innovative cell materials with originality,” “conduct research that significantly advances the field of cell material science,” and “provide the community related technology” as fundamental activities of the Cell Bank. We welcome applicants of all nationalities.

Work location

RIKEN Tsukuba (3-1-1 Koyadai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0074, Japan)

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

Salary and benefits

This post is an indefinite-term employment position. Mandatory retirement age for FY 2025 and FY 2026 is 62 years old. Note: RIKEN has been increasing the mandatory retirement age by one year every two years from FY 2023.
There is a re-employment program to hire individuals as fixed-term employees from the mandatory retirement age to age 65. After evaluation, it is possible to keep the principal investigator position until age 65. This position does NOT offer a retirement allowance.

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 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 15 years of experience, ability, and achievement after completion of the doctoral course will be at least 11.2 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, employee 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 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 workplace 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).

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 Special Postdoctoral Researchers, JSPS Researchers and Junior Research Associates etc.
  • 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

All the application documents should be prepared in English or Japanese.

  • 1. CV or CV (include your contact email address)
  • 2. List of your research (lists of publications (divide into sections for original papers, reviews, and others), patents, invited talks, etc.) and ResearcherID if available.
  • 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 activities including research support and outreach activities. (2 pages, A4 size)
  • 5.Your future research plan for a) the Bioresource Infrastructure Program and b) research activities (regarding research and development, licensing of technology, etc.) if you are accepted for the position (a) and b) should be at least 1 page each, 3 pages in total, 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
  • 9.Full names and contact information, including email addresses, of two researchers* who are able to provide opinions about you.
    • *Both of the researchers must be different from the referees listed in item 10.
    • *In some cases, we may contact the researchers.
  • 10.Letters of recommendation from 2 persons who can evaluate the applicant.
    At least one of the 2 recommenders is not currently 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 recommendation 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 9) combined into a single PDF file should be uploaded to the following link:
Upload your application documents For PI position (T24015),RIKEN BRC

Recommendation letters (item10) must be directly submitted from the referees to tsukuba-kjk [at] ml.riken.jp by email with the subject line “BRC Director [T24015_applicant’s name] (Recommendation letter),” by noon, September 3, 2024 (Japan Standard Time).
The file name of the PDF should contain your contact email address.
After you uploaded the PDF, please let us (tsukuba-kjk [at] ml.riken.jp) know the file name of the uploaded file.
If a confirmation email is not received within 7 days after submission, please contact: tsukuba-kjk [at] ml.riken.jp.

Note: All the submitted documents will not be returned.


The application must arrive no later than noon, September 3, 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

After application documents are screened, only the successful candidates will be asked to have an interview. The interview will be held on October 22, 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 April 1, 2025.
Other conditions at the time of appointment will be negotiable.


Questions and answers to this call are available at the link below.
Questions and answers related to open calls for Division Director positions (T24015)

Contact Information

For inquiries:
Email: tsukuba-kjk [at] ml.riken.jp

Note: No inquiries on the selection process and results will be answered.