[Careers, Training, Awards and Funding] Faculty and Other positions

Research scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher position
in Joshua Johansen Lab. for Neural Circuitry
of Learning and Memory, CBS, RIKEN

Lab for Neural Circuitry of Learning and Memory, Center for Brain Science, RIKEN
(Team leader:Joshua Johansen)
Research Field
Our laboratory studies the neural basis of emotion, memory and decision making using carefully designed behavioral tasks, computational analysis of neural activity (in-vivo electrophysiology and calcium imaging) and neural circuit based perturbation approaches (optogenetics/chemogenetics).
Job title and Job description
Postdoctoral Fellow or Research Scientist (1 position)
Postdoctoral Researcher is defined as those with a doctoral degree of 5 years or less.
Research Scientist/Contract Researcher is defined as those with a doctoral degree more than 5 years.
The candidate will use combined in-vivo neuronal recording (electrophysiology or calcium imaging) and optogenetic approaches to examine the neuronal basis of complex learned behaviors. 
We seek highly motivated postdoctoral fellows/research associates with an interest in the neural basis of emotional processing, learning and memory and/or decision making. Applicants should have a PhD in neuroscience or a related field. Strong training in electrophysiology, in-vivo calcium imaging, optogenetics, programming/data analysis and/or behavior is desirable.
Work location
Branch and address
RIKEN Center for Brain Science
RIKEN Wako (2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198)
Salary and benefits
  1. A one-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, The employment duration will not exceed the end of fiscal year (March 31) in which the employee completes 7 years of employment. (Maximum employment duration for a Postdoctoral Researcher / Research Associate is 5 years)
  2. RIKEN may adjust the above maximum period of renewability based on a) the employee’s abilities, work load 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 65 years.
  3. The employee’s period of fixed-term employment cannot exceed 10 years from the initial date of hire (or 10 years from April 1, 2013 for fixed-term employees already at RIKEN prior to this date). However, employees who have previously worked at RIKEN may be subject to different rules on period of fixed-term employment. Please refer “RIKEN employment duration for fixed-term employees” for more details if necessary.).
In principle, the first two months of employment is considered a trial period.
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied. 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.
RIKEN has introduced telework as a temporary and special measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may be asked to work from home according to the instructions of the institute. You can also choose to work from home with the permission of your supervisor.
No smoking on site (designated smoking areas available)
These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations.
RIKEN is promoting a Gender Equity Program by taking various measures to create a workplace where both men and women are able to give full rein to their talents and abilities. When applicants are judged to be equally qualified on the basis of fair and impartial criteria, women applicants will be given preference.
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
  1. Cover Letter (Reasons for applying for the post (personal strengths, motivation, future research plans, career aspirations, etc.)
  2. CV including full list of publications
  3. Summary of research experience to date
  4. Contact email for 2-3 references (ideally including current supervisor)
  5. External funding awarded
  6. 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: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection_en
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. Personal information will not be disclosed, transferred or loaned to a third party under any circumstances without just cause.
Selection process
Application screening, interview and oral presentation by selected applicants.
Start of employment
Contact information/Send application to
RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Laboratory/Research Unit for Neural Circuitry of Learning & Memory
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: jjohans [at] brain.riken.jp
Note: Application documents will not be returned.