Dec. 22, 2020

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher Position
Andrea Benucci Lab. for Neural Circuits and Behavior(W20179)


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

Research Area

Computational Science

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

Job title, available positions

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher, 1 position

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.

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. Qualified candidates are expected to apply for a research fellowship from domestic or international funding programs (e.g. JSPS, HFSP).

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, 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. Cover letter, CV including a full list of publications, contact email for three referees
  2. 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 required documents to andrea.benucci [at]
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

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

Start of employment


Contact information/Send application to

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Laboratory for Neural Circuits and Behavior
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: andrea.benucci[at]