Jobs & CareersJobs & Careers


Oct. 29, 2018

Research scientist position
Joshua Johansen Lab. for Neural Circuitry of Learning and Memory
Center for Brain Science (W18058)


Laboratory for the Neural Circuitry of Learning and Memory, Center for Brain Science (Team leader: Joshua Johansen)

Research field

Our laboratory studies how aversive and rewarding experiences trigger changes in neural circuits resulting in emotional memory formation and adaptive alterations in behavior as well as how emotional responses are extinguished when they are no longer appropriate. We take advantage of a multi-disciplinary approach, employing state of the art optogenetic techniques to causally manipulate teaching signal circuits and in-vivo electrophysiological and microendoscopic imaging methods to examine the computations performed by neurons in these circuits during behavioral learning. Our goals are to define the circuit and molecular mechanisms that trigger or extinguish emotional memory formation. In addition, we aim to determine the computations performed by neurons in different parts of these circuits and establish how circuit processes give rise to these neural computations during behavioral learning and memory. Using this strategy we ultimately seek to discover general principles of neural circuit function, neural coding and plasticity as they relate to adaptive behavior.

The laboratory is located in the greater Tokyo area at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science. The research environment at RIKEN is collaborative, vibrant and international with over 35 high quality labs working on a variety of fundamental questions in neuroscience. English is the primary language at the Center making it a welcoming place for international or local Japanese postdoctoral fellows. In addition, RIKEN has many programs and financial incentives to aid foreigners in their transition to life in Japan.

Job title and job description

Job title, available positions

Research Scientist 1 position

Job description

Conduct experimental studies on the brain mechanisms of associative learning and memory.


We seek highly motivated postdoctoral fellows with an interest in learning and memory and/or motivated behavior. Applicants should have a PhD in neuroscience or a related field. Strong training in electrophysiology, brain imaging, optogenetics, programming/data analysis and/or behavior is desirable.

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*1 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).

In principle, there will be a trial period of employment (2 months).
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.

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. Complete CV (with photo and email address) WORD(56KB) or EXCEL(159KB)
  2. List of achievements including publication list
  3. List of references
  4. One letter of recommendation (Ideally from current supervisor)

In addition to the above 2 items, the following documents are required for all candidates:"Confirmation Sheet" and "Confirmation of employment duration and duties form".
For non-Japanese candidates, visa related documents will also be required.

How to apply

Send the PDF formatted application by email to jjohans [at] (Replace [at] with @)
Note: Application 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. Personal information will not be disclosed, transferred or loaned to a third party under any circumstances without just cause.

Selection process

Application screening and interview for selected applicants.

Start employment

Earliest start date would be January 2019, though this is flexible

Contact Information / Send application to

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Laboratory for the neural circuitry of learning & memory
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: jjohans [at] (Replace [at] with @)
For inquiries, please send an email.