May. 14, 2021

Research Scientists and/or Postdoctoral Researchers Position
Laboratory for Imagination and Executive Functions(W21039)


Laboratory for Imagination and Executive Functions, Center for Brain Science (Team Leader: Kentaro Miyamoto)

Due to start July 1st, 2021.

Research Area

Mathematical Science, Computer Science, Biology, Medical Science, Interdisciplinary


Neuroscience,Psychology,Neural circuit,Behaviour,Learning,Decision making,Metacognition,Consciousness,Awareness,Brain function,Human,Macaque,MRI,Electrophysiology,Neuroimaging,Anatomy,Optogenetics

Research Field

In our daily life, we repeat decision making for future actions under continuously changing environments and human relationships. For a better decision making, conscious evaluation of one's own thought (metacognition) and understanding of others' will (sympathy) are essential. Our team aims to reveal how our "self-awareness" and "imagination for others" are generated by studying behaviours and brain mechanisms of primates including humans. We use (meta-)cognitive tasks and functional MRI for both humans and macaque monkeys. We will also apply transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS), electrophysiological recording and optogenetics to macaque monkeys.

Job Title and Job Description

Job Title

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher, 3 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.

Job Description

Our team is launched in July 2021. Candidate will join in either project of the three below:

1) Design of behavioural task paradigm to test metacognition and social cognition of healthy human participants and macaque monkeys. Performance of functional neuroimaging experiment in a 3T MRI scanner, brain stimulation experiments by TMS and TUS, and data analyses. (see also Miyamoto et al., 2021, Neuron, 109(8), pp.1396-1408.e7)

2) Development of experimental setup for functional and anatomical neuroimaging for awake and anaesthetised monkeys by 3T and 7T MRI. Comparisons of neural networks for 'sympathy' and 'metacognition' between humans and macaque monkeys (see also Miyamoto et al., 2013 Neuron, 77(4), pp.787-799)

3) Development of experimental setup for electrophysiology, neuropharmacology, and optogenetics. Performance of behavioural neurophysiological experiments and data analyses on metacognition, social cognition, novelty judgement and self-awareness (see also Miyamoto et al., 2017, Science, 355(6321), pp.188-193; Miyamoto et al., 2018, Neuron, 97(4), pp.980-989.e6)


The candidates should have a Ph.D. or expect to receive a Ph.D. before the date of employment in a relevant field (psychology, physiology, cognitive neuroscience and etc.). The candidates are expected to communicate proactively with team members and should be highly motivated to commit to ambitious research projects. Experiences of behavioural and/or neurophysiological experiments with humans or animals (especially macaques) are welcomed.

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, 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 / Research Associate 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). However, employees who have previously worked at RIKEN may be subject to different rules on period of fixed-term employment. Please refer "RIKEN employment duration for fixed-term employees" for more details if necessary.).

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.
RIKEN has introduced telework as a temporary and special measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may be asked to work from home according to the instructions of the institute. You can also choose to work from home with the permission of your supervisor.
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

  1. Complete CV
    WORD(56KB) or EXCEL(159KB)
    (*Write down in the notes section of your CV the number written next to the title of the job position (e.g. W21039))
  2. List of research achievement
  3. External funding awarded
  4. Summary of research experience to date
  5. Reason for applying for the post (personal strengths, motivation, future research plans, career aspirations, etc.)
  6. One or more letter(s) of recommendation (One letter should be by current supervisor. If unavailable, a letter from a substitute reference will be acceptable)
  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:


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

Selection will be made based on application screening and online interviews.

Start of Employment

Earliest after 1 July, 2021 [negotiable]

Contact Information/Send Application to

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Laboratory for Imagination and executive functions
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: miyamotolab-jobs [at] (Replace [at] with @ )
For inquiries, please send an email.