Jobs & CareersJobs & Careers


Jul. 16, 2019

Research scientist positions (experimental)
Thomas McHugh, Lab. for Circuit and Behavioral Physiology(W19088)


Laboratory for Circuit and Behavioral Physiology, Center for Brain Science (Team leader:Thomas Mchugh)

Research field

We have recently combined our expertise in physiology with the emerging technology of memory engram labeling, based on the combination of immediate early gene expression and optogenetics, to functionally tag, identify & manipulate neurons involved in the encoding of a specific memory. Building on this we will collect and analyze high-density recording of neuronal activity in the other regions of the hippocampus and cortex, allowing us to examine the interactions of neurons across brain regions during memory consolidation and recall.

Job title and description

Job title, available positions

Research Scientist (2)

Job description

The successful candidate will be expected to take the lead in running, analyzing and publishing experiments in which high density neural recordings are combined with optogenetic methods to quantify network information processing during learning and sleep. The project will involve:

  • In vivo neuronal network recordings using chronically implanted electrode arrays in mice
  • Use of inducible, cell type-selective genetic lines to “tag” defined neural populations
  • Optogenetic stimulation and silencing
  • Training mice in maze-based tests of cognition
  • Matlab-based analysis of neuronal network recordings


We seek a highly motivated researcher with an interest in learning and memory and physiology. Applicants should have a PhD in neuroscience or a related field with a background including electrophysiological experience, optogenetic experience, analysis of neural spike train data, and knowledge of the neurobiology of memory. Candidates with direct experience of multi-channel recordings from the CNS, software programming and/or electrical engineering expertise for both data analysis and device control and experience of behavioral training of mice will be most competitive.

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 2023 (March 31, 2024).
  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)
    ①(RIKEN CV)*Write the RIKEN job ad number “W19088”, indicated in the parentheses next to the job title, in the RIKEN job ad number section in the upper right corner of your CV.
  2. List of research achievements and publications
  3. At least two letters of recommendation. including one from the current supervisor
  4. 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:

How to apply

Send the PDF formatted application by email to thomas.mchugh [at]
(Recommendation letters must be emailed directly from the reference to thomas.mchugh [at]
Note: Application documents will not be returned.


Until positions are 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 of employment

As early as possible

Contact information/Send application to

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Attn: Thomas McHugh
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: thomas.mchugh[at] (Replace [at] with @ )
For inquiries, please send an email.