Mar. 8, 2024

Seeking a Research Scientist
Laboratory for Glia-Neuron Circuit Dynamics(W23338)


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

Research area

Biology, Medical Science, Interdisciplinary


Neuroscience, Brain, Glia, Astrocyte, Behavior, Physiology, Molecular biology, Omics, Live imaging

Research field

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

Job title, available positions

Research Scientist, One position

Job description

We are seeking a dedicated and experienced Research Scientist to join our team and play a pivotal role in advancing our research projects focused on uncovering the intricacies of glia-neuron biology and physiology in behavior.
Key Responsibilities: The successful candidate will be expected to lead, oversee, and mentor others in running, analyzing, and publishing experiments simultaneously across the following projects:

  1. Developing, optimizing, and utilizing genetic tools to label and manipulate astrocytes and examine the consequences in neurons, brain circuits, and behavior.
  2. Conducting cellular and molecular mapping of behavior-associated astrocytes/neurons and utilizing CRISPR to investigate causality.
  3. Unmasking the functional diversity of astrocytes and understanding the in vivo consequences of astrocyte-neuron communications in relevance to adaptive and maladaptive behavior.

In addition, the Research Scientist will:

  • Take the lead in running, analyzing, and publishing experiments in ongoing projects.
  • Plan and lead new projects based on laboratory results.
  • Implement and optimize in vivo techniques such as fiber-photometry and/or two-photon imaging.
  • Establish complex behavioral paradigms such as IntelliCage and touchscreen experiments.
  • Integrate in vivo techniques with behavioral analyses.
  • Foster collaborative relationships with internal and external partners.
  • Engage in grant writing and securing funding to support their laboratory activities.
  • Mentor junior researchers, technicians and students, sharing expertise to enhance overall project outcomes.

The job description may be changed during the contract period or upon contract renewal to the extent described above.


  • Ph.D. degree with over 5 years of postdoctoral research experience (Life/Natural sciences or engineering preferred).
  • Demonstrated expertise in fiber-photometry and/or two-photon imaging/stimulation, behavioral analysis, cellular physiology, omics analysis, and molecular biology.
  • Proficiency in optogenetic and/or pharmacogenetic methods.
  • Proficiency in cell-specific CRISPR-Cas9 methods.
  • Active record in paper reviewing, conference society involvement, and educational activities such as university lectures and training programs.
  • Strong communication skills in both English and Japanese.
  • A strong work ethic and ambition to succeed, with a clear focus on career advancement toward a PI-level position.

Work Location

RIKEN Center for Brain Science (2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198)
RIKEN has implemented a work-from-home system. Employees can work from home in accordance with the prescribed procedures.

RIKEN may order the employee to change work locations, if necessary.

Salary and Benefits

  1. A one-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, to a maximum term of Oct. 31, 2029.
  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 70 years.

In principle, the first two months of employment is considered a trial period.
Salary will be an annual salary based on experience, ability, and performance, and will consist of a base salary and a variable salary. The variable salary will be determined each fiscal year based on experience, ability, and performance. The monthly base salary is 355,000 JPY as of April 1st 2024. The monthly base salary and variable salary are subject to change due to amendments to RIKEN regulations.

Discretionary work, commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied.

The approximate amount of annual salary at the time of employment:
The monthly salary including discretionary work allowance at the time of employment will be 403,000 JPY or more. (variable salary will be added)

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. Smoking will be entirely prohibited on site from April 2024.
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.

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).

RIKEN has a work-from-home system, but this position requires attendance at the work location. Therefore, the work-from-home system is not available for this position.

The Wako Campus has an on-site daycare, RIKEN Kids Wako. For details, please send an email to the HR at kids [at]

Application and required documents

  1. Complete CV (with photo and email address)
    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. W23338)
  2. List of research achievement and publications
  3. External funding awarded
  4. Summary of research experience to date
  5. Reason for applying for the post
  6. A letter of recommendation from the current supervisor (If unavailable, a letter from a substitute reference will be acceptable.)
    *Please specify the referee’s contact information (Name, affiliation, job title, phone number, and email address)
  7. Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR
    If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA)or UK, you are required to submit the document, “Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR and Regulation of the European Parliament and of the council of on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (UK General Data Protection Regulation)” with your signature. *You will find detailed information about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the following website:
    *You will find detailed information about Regulation of the European Parliament and of the council of on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (UK 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: All the submitted 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

As early as possible

Contact Information

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Laboratory for Glia-Neuron Circuit Dynamics
Email: jun.nagai [at]
For inquiries, please send an email.