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May 24, 2018

Postdoc position (theoretical neuroscience: neural networks & machine learning)
Lab. for Neural Circuits and Behavior(W883)


Laboratory for Neural Circuits and Behavior, Center for Brain Science (Laboratory head:Andrea Benucci)

Research field

The research focus of the laboratory is to study how the dynamics of neurons in large cortical networks gives rise to a sensory percept, as well as to complex cognitive processes such as decision-making. We address this question using a combination of experimental and computational methods. Experimentally, we work with the mouse animal model and use cutting-edge techniques for the interrogation of neural circuits, such as fluorescence imaging and optogenetics. Computationally, we use the framework of recurrent neural networks (RNN), considered as an ideal tool to study the dynamics of biological recurrent neuronal networks (bRNN).

Job title and description

Postdoctoral position. The project will focus on implementing a large-scale RNN to capture key computational aspects of cortical processing using data recorded from the cerebral cortex of mice while engaged in a behavioral task. This work will be done in close collaboration with experimentalists to jointly design new experimental paradigms based on observations and predictions spurring from the theoretical simulations.


We seek candidates with a strong computational background, especially in the field of machine learning and recurrent neural network simulations. Candidates should have a Ph.D. in a relevant field (e.g., Computational Neuroscience, Computer Science, Math, Physics). Proficiency in programming (e.g., MATLAB, Python) is necessary. The ideal candidate will be comfortable working in an international environment, where researchers communicate primarily in English.

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).

The salary system is annual and will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will apply. Mandatory membership in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (RIKEN Kyosaikai) is required.
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 promotes a Gender Equity Program by taking various measures to create an equitable workplace where both men and women are able to give full rein to their talents and abilities. When the abilities of candidates are judged to be equivalent through a fair and impartial evaluation process, preference will be given to females.

*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 for applying for MEXT Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi)


Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for external funds.

Application and required documents

Required documents

    Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
    Candidates should provide:

    • A cover letter
    • CV WORD(56KB) or EXCEL(159KB) (with photo and email address)
      *Write the 4 digit number beginning with “W883”, indicated in the parentheses next to the job title, in the open call ID section in the upper right corner of your CV.
    • bibliography
    • the names and contact information of three references (including the current supervisor, if available) with a brief description of your relationship to each reference

    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

    Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to RIKEN-CBS for an in-person interview.

    Start employment


    Contact information/Send application to

    andrea.benucci[at], subject: postdoctoral position benuccilab
    Laboratory for Neural Circuit and Behavior
    RIKEN Center for Brain Science
    Room 101b, Neural Circuit Genetics Research Building
    2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198, Japan