Jobs & CareersJobs & Careers


Jul. 16, 2019

Research scientist position (computational)
Thomas McHugh, Lab. for Circuit and Behavioral Physiology(W19089)


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. Further, the identification of a general signature of neurons engaged by memory will allow us to train algorithms with data from the high density recording to permit the identification of engram neurons based on physiology alone, without the need for optogenetic identification. These efforts will allow us to create models to classify memory age and quality based on physiology and better understand how temporal and spatial organization of activity can improve memory and brain health in cases of disease.

Job title and description

Job title, available positions

Research Scientist (1)

Job description

The candidate will take the lead in generating analytical and computational approaches to capture key features of electrophysiological data recorded in mouse hippocampus and cortex. This work will be done in close collaboration with experimentalists conducting high density neural recordings combined with optogenetic methods to jointly design new paradigms based on observations and predictions spurring from the theoretical work.


We seek a highly motivated researcher with an interest in learning and memory and strong computational background, especially in the field of machine learning. Applicants 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. Applicants must be comfortable working in an international setting where the primary language of communication is 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 5 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).

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 “W19089”, 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.