Research Scientist in Brain Science Institute, RIKEN (1)

Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development (Laboratory Head: Atsushi Iriki) in RIKEN Brain Science Institute is seeking a research scientist who will be working for the research project, “Primate model of ‘Mind-Body Interaction’ through the mechanisms of gut-brain axis via microbiome”.

  1. Research Field
    We try to uncover evolutionary precursors of human higher cognitive functions grounded onto physical morphologies and patterns of structured bodily actions, based on behavioral and neurophysiological analyses on primates, which were trained to use tools and other high-tech apparatus.
  2. Job title and Job description
    Research Scientist, one person
    We are seeking for a person who will be working for the research project, “Primate model of ‘Mind-Body Interaction’ through the mechanisms of gut-brain axis via the gut microbiome”. The project aim to decipher interactive processes between higher cognitive functions and gut microbes using nonhuman primates, including macaque and marmoset monkeys. The project is supported by one of CIFAR (Canadian Institute For Advanced Research) Catalyst Projects, to establish cross-disciplinary collaborations between Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness ( and Humans & the Microbiome ( projects. Whereas Professor Sven Pettersson ( at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, is focusing on implementation of microbiome mediated gut-brain effects on behavior using germ free mice, Atsushi Iriki ( and his team at RIKEN have developed a strong program in behavior in non human primates. The team in RIKEN is interdisciplinary including (neuroscientific, cognitive, behavioral ecological, bacteriological, and clinical scientists). The successful candidate will travel around the world for collecting and analyzing the samples. We seek highly motivated candidates with interests in our research fields.
  3. Qualification
    Applicants should have a PhD in a related field with research experience in microbiome HOST INTERACTIONS and in experiments using nonhuman animals.
  4. Work location
    Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development is located in following address.
    RIKEN Brain Science Institute,
    2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
  5. Salary and benefits
    • One-year fixed-term employment contract, renewable based on evaluation, up to the end of the fiscal year exceeding seven years since the initial date of hire.
    • RIKEN will decide whether to enter into a new contract on the basis of the employee’s abilities, work load, performance, work attitude, continuation of the center, laboratory or project in which the employee is involved at the time of termination of the original contract, and on the basis of RIKEN’s situation and budget conditions at the time.
    • For contracts entered into on or after April 1, 2013, RIKEN will not enter into a new fixed-term employment contract that extends the employee’s total years of employment at RIKEN to more than 10 years.
    • When the center to which the Employee is affiliated is scheduled for a final review in FY 2017 to decide its operations from FY 2018 and beyond, and it is decided that the Employee’s research will not be continued, the provision given above for projects of limited duration applies and the Employee’s contract will not be renewed for FY 2018 year that would extend employment beyond the center’s final fiscal year.
    • 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). 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).

  6. Application and required documents
    1) Complete CV with a photograph
    2) List of research achievement and publications
    3) Research statement (including your research interests and future plans)
    4) Two letters of recommendation (including one from the current supervisor, if available) and the contact information (affiliation, address, telephone number, e-mail address, brief description about the relationship with the applicant) of the references.
    Application will be closed when the position is filled.
    [Handling Personal Data]
    Handling of Personal Data: All private data sent to RIKEN in application for employment is handled in strict confidentiality, and such data is not utilized for any other purpose or disclosed to any third party. Application documents will not be returned.
  7. Selection process
    Selection will be made based on application screening and interviews.
  8. Start of Employment
  9. Send application to
    Please send your application documents in a PDF format by email to the following address.
  10. Contact Information
    Team assistant: Nobuko Nakajima
    Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development
    RIKEN Brain Science Institute
    2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
    For inquiries, please send an email.