Dec. 22, 2020

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher Positions
Jun Nagai Lab for Glia-Neuron Circuit Dynamics
Center for Brain Science (W20173)


Laboratory for Glia-Neuron Circuit Dynamics, Center for Brain Science (Laboratory head:Jun Nagai)

Research Area

Biology, Interdisciplinary


Neuroscience,brain,glia,astrocyte,behavior,physiology, molecular biology,omics,live imaging,tool development

Research Field

The lab has newly started in July 2020 ( The lab’s mission is to discover fundamental mechanisms how the brain functions and malfunctions at molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral levels by including “the other half” of the CNS; a type of glia called astrocytes, which tile the entire brain contacting neurons, synapses and other glia. By developing and utilizing genetic and optical tools, the team aims to unveil astrocyte contributions to adaptive and maladaptive animal behaviors for delivering insights on future therapeutics.

Job title and job description

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher, a few positions

Research Scientist

Carries out research and other work in accordance with team research themes. Basically defined as those with a doctoral degree more than 5 years.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Carries out research and other work in accordance with team research themes under the direction of supervisors. Basically defined as those with a doctoral degree of 5 years or less.

Job description

The successful candidate will be expected to take the lead in running, analyzing and publishing experiments in at least one of following projects:

  1. developing, optimizing and utilizing genetic tools to label and manipulate behavior-associated astrocytes/neurons within in vivo brain
  2. understanding mechanisms and in vivo consequences of astrocyte-neuron communications
  3. unmasking functional diversity of astrocytes in relevance to adaptive behavior

The projects in the team will take multiple integrated experimental approaches to uncover the ground truth of glia-neuron biology and physiology.


Key qualifications include:

  • Ph.D. degree (Life/Natural sciences or engineering preferred)
  • Applicants with demonstrated expertise in some or all of the followings will be most competitive: two-photon imaging/stimulation, cellular physiology, omics analysis and molecular biology (including cloning). Proven research ability in behavioral/optogenetic/pharmacogenetic methods and electrophysiological recordings is also an advantage.
  • Fluent and open-minded communication in English, work ethic and an ambition to succeed

Please feel free to contact for potential projects and available fellowships to support.

Work location

Branch and address

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

Salary and benefits

  1. A one-year fixed-termemployment contract, renewable based on evaluation. The employment duration will not exceed the end of fiscal year (March 31) in which the employee completes 7 years of employment.  (Maximum employment duration for a Postdoctoral Researcher is 5 years)
  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, the first two months of employment is considered a trial period.
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.
No smoking on site (designated smoking areas available)
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)
    (RIKEN CV: WORD(56KB) or EXCEL(159KB) )
    ①(RIKEN CV)*Write the RIKEN job ad number “W20173”, 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 achievement, publications
  3. External funding awarded (including fellowships)
  4. Summary of research experience to date
  5. Reasons for applying for the post (personal strengths, motivation, future research plans, career aspirations, etc.)
  6. 1-3 letters of recommendation. including one from the current supervisor
  7. 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

Please make inquiries to the contact address listed below, then send the PDF formatted application by email at the same contact address jun.nagai[at]
(Recommendation letters must be emailed directly from the reference to jun.nagai[at]
Note: Application documents will not be returned.


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, interview and oral presentation by selected applicants

Start of Employment

As early as possible (subject to negotiation)

Contact Information / Send application to

RIKEN RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Attn: Jun Nagai
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: jun.nagai[at]
For inquiries, please send an email.