Jobs & CareersJobs & Careers


Nov. 7, 2016

Research Scientist in RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Laboratory for Integrated Theoretical Neuroscience (Human fMRI)(W487)


Laboratory for Integrated Theoretical Neuroscience, Center for Brain Science
(Team Leader: Hiroyuki Nakahara)

Job title and research field

Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Human fMRI

Job description

We are interested in understanding neural systems and computations that realize decision-making and adaptive behavior; in particular, reward-based decision-making and learning (reinforcement learning), and social decision-making and learning. We seek a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow, with a strong background and interest in neuroscience, to work on these topics by conducting human fMRI experiment, often combined with quantitative approaches such as model-based analysis and neural decoding.

Examples of our current interest are

  • Neural reinforcement learning: valuation and decision-making with inference and/or emotion; model-free and model-based learning; on relations to learning environmental structure and representation
  • Social functions: quantitative theory of mind; learning and inference about the environment structure and others' understanding of it; individual traits in decision-making and learning; empathy

For more information, please see our HP: .


Applicants should have (or be expecting to receive soon) a Ph.D. in a relevant field (e.g., neuroscience, psychology, engineering or a related field). Robust experience and achievement in human fMRI or a related field (e.g., neurophysiology) is expected. Proficiency in programming (e.g., MATLAB, C++) is necessary. Generally, applicants are also encouraged to apply for JSPS or the other fellowships.

Work location

Branch and address
RIKEN Wako (2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198)

Salary and benefits

  1. A one-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, to a maximum of the end of the fiscal year (March 31) in which the employee completes 7 years of employment.
  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).

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). Days off include public holidays, New Year's holidays (Dec. 29 - Jan 3), and RIKEN Foundation Day. 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

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV WORD(56KB) or EXCEL(159KB) (with photo and email address)
  3. Statement of research interests and reasons for wanting to join the lab (up to ~2 page)
  4. Names and contact information of three references with a brief description of your relationship to each reference, including the current supervisor if available.
  5. (Optional) any additional information you think may be useful (e.g. skills, experience, and background; hobbies, general interests, and so on)

Application will be closed when the positions are filled.

[Handling Personal Data]
Handling of Personal Data: All private data sent to RIKEN in application for employment is handled in strict confidentiality, and such data is not utilized for any other purpose or disclosed to any third party. Application documents will not be returned.

Selection process

Selection will be made based on application screening and in-person interview.

Start of Employment

Negotiable, but an early starting time is preferred.

Send application to

itninfo [at] as email attachment. Informal enquiry should also be sent to the email account.

Contact information

Hiroyuki Nakahara
Lab. for Integrated Theoretical Neuroscience
RIKEN Center for Brain Science
2-1 Hirosawa
Wako, Saitama 351-0198 Japan
Email: itninfo [at] (please change [at] to “@”)