May. 18, 2021

Research Scientist Position
Laboratory for Neural Computation and Adaptation(W21050)


Laboratory for Neural Computation and Adaptation, Center for Brain Science (Team Leader: Taro Toyoizumi)

Research Area

Physics, Mathematical Science, Computational Science, Interdisciplinary


Theoretical neuroscience, Computational neuroscience, learning, adaptation

Research Field

Our research is in the field of Computational Neuroscience. Computer models are used to study how information is processed in the brain and how the brain circuits adapt to and learn from the environment. We employ analytical techniques from statistical physics and information theory to investigate key functional properties for neural circuits. We use these techniques to reduce diverse experimental findings into a few core concepts.

We are particularly interested in activity-dependent forms of plasticity in the brain, which are known to have large impacts on learning, memory, and development. With the aid of mathematical models, we seek a theory that unites the cellular level plasticity rules and the computation. Efficacy of neurons to represent and retain information is estimated from the structure and behavior of resulting circuits.

More specifically, current interest of the lab includes:

Modeling learning and synaptic plasticity in the brain (PLOS Comput. Neurosci. 2021; Front. Comput. Neurosci. 2019; Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B. 2017; Neuron 2014; Neuron 2013) and its relation to cognitive function and mental diseases (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas 2018-2022; Brain Mapping by Integrated Neurotechnologies for Disease Studies).
Studying how complex neural activity dynamics are generated and utilized for information processing (PNAS 2017; PLOS Comput. Biol. 2018, 2015; Phys. Rev. E 2011; Phys. Rev. Lett. 2006, 2020)
Theoretically elucidating an optimal strategy for neural network learning and behavioral strategy and predicting experimental observations (Nat. Mach. Intell. 2021; Nat. Commun. 2019; Phys. Rev. Lett. 2017; Sci. Rep. 2018, 2016; PNAS 2005)
For more detailed information, please see

Job Title and Job Description

Job Title

Research Scientist 1 position

Job Description

Research on Computational Neuroscience


Applicants should have a PhD in physics, neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, engineering, or a related area. We seek highly motivated postdoctoral researchers with a strong analytical background and interest in neuroscience. Candidates who want to bridge theory and experiment are also encouraged to apply.

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.
  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 the RIKEN job ad number “W21050”, 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
  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. Two or three letters of recommendation; one by current supervisor (If a letter by current supervisor is not possible, a letter by a third party)
  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

Application screening and interview for selected applicants

Start of Employment

January 1, 2022 (Negotiable)

Contact Information/Send Application to

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Laboratory for Neural Computation and Adaptation
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: toyoizumilab[at]
For inquiries, please send an email.