Nov. 16, 2021

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher Position
Laboratory for the Neural Circuitry of Learning and Memory(W21214)


Laboratory for the Neural Circuitry of Learning and Memory (Laboratory Head: Joshua Johansen)

Research Area



Neuroscience, learning & memory, emotion, decision making, neural circuits

Research field

Our laboratory studies the neural basis of emotion, memory and decision making using carefully designed behavioral tasks, computational analysis of neural activity (in-vivo electrophysiology and calcium imaging) and neural circuit based perturbation approaches (optogenetics/chemogenetics).

Job title and description

Job title, available positions

Postdoctoral Fellow or Research Scientist (1 position)
Postdoctoral Researcher is defined as those with a doctoral degree of 5 years or less.
Research Scientist/Contract Researcher is defined as those with a doctoral degree more than 5 years.

Job description

The candidate will use combined in-vivo neuronal recording (electrophysiology or calcium imaging) and optogenetic approaches to examine the neuronal basis of complex learned behaviors.


We seek highly motivated postdoctoral fellows/research associates with an interest in the neural basis of emotional processing, learning and memory and/or decision making. Applicants should have a PhD in neuroscience or a related field. Strong training in electrophysiology, in-vivo calcium imaging, optogenetics, programming/data analysis and/or behavior is desirable.

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 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). However, employees who have previously worked at RIKEN may be subject to different rules for the period of fixed-term employment. Please refer to “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. Discretionary work, 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.
Paid leave includes annual paid leave (up to 20 days depending on the month of employment), special paid leave (childcare, family nursing care, etc.), and work life balance holidays (up to 7 days depending on the month of employment).
There are also additional leave systems such as maternity leave, childcare leave, and family nursing care leave.
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 actively undertaking initiatives to promote gender equality and diversity, and moving forward with the establishment of a diverse and vibrant research environment. If multiple candidates are found to have the same aptitude following a fair assessment, active efforts will be made to recruit female candidates.

Application and required documents

  1. Cover Letter (Reasons for applying for the post (personal strengths, motivation, future research plans, career aspirations, etc.)
  2. CV including full list of publications Word or Excel
    Write down in the notes section of your CV the number written next to the title of the job position (e.g. W21214).
  3. Summary of research experience to date
  4. Contact email for 2-3 references (ideally including current supervisor)
  5. External funding awarded
  6. 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 joshua.johansen[at] (Replace [at] with @ )
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

Application screening, interview and oral presentation by selected applicants

Start of employment


Contact information

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Laboratory for Neural Circuitry of Learning & Memory
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: joshua.johansen[at] (Replace [at] with @ )