Postdoctoral Researcher or Research Scientist

Greater Tokyo Area, Japan
Internationally competitive
January 13 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher Position
Neural Circuits and Computations Unit(W20220)


Neural Circuits and Computations Unit, Center for Brain Science (Laboratory head:Louis Kang)

Research Area

Physics, Engineering, Mathematical Science, Computational Science, Computer Science, Biology, Interdisciplinary


Computational neuroscience, Theoretical neuroscience, Machine Learning, Neural networks

Research field

Our Unit studies how computations performed by circuits in the brain produce neural phenomena and cognitive functions. We are particularly interested in the hippocampal region and its role in memory, spatial representation, and neurological diseases. We employ a broad range of theoretical techniques, from mathematical analysis to machine learning, and we work closely with experimental data. Please visit the Unit website at for more information.

Job title and description

Job title, available positions

Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher, 1 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

The successful candidate will work towards understanding hippocampal circuits by training neural networks, running simulations, performing mathematical derivations, and/or analyzing experimental data. The ideal candidate will use the Unit’s new GPU server to investigate how features of hippocampal computation relate to principles in machine learning. The Unit supports the scientific curiosity of its members and would encourage the concurrent development of independent research topics and/or collaborations.


We seek outstanding researchers with a strong theoretical/computational background and an avid interest in neuroscience. The candidate should possess a doctoral degree in computer science, physics, engineering, neuroscience, psychology, mathematics, statistics, or a related field. The ideal candidate has broad experience in neural network design and implementation. Candidates from underrepresented groups in science are vigorously encouraged to apply.

Work location

Branch and address
RIKEN Wako (2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198)

The Unit is newly established at RIKEN Center for Brain Science, a world-class research institute with dozens of faculty spanning all areas of neuroscience. The Center is located 30 minutes away from central Tokyo, and English is its working language.

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 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.
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. Cover letter stating your reasons for applying for the position
  2. CV that includes a list of references/referees with contact information
    Write down in the notes section of your CV the number written next to the title of the job position (W20220).
  3. Recommendation letter emailed directly from your current or most recent supervisor
  4. Copies of 1–2 noteworthy publications/preprints (hyperlinks are sufficient if file size limits are prohibitive)
  5. 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, research talk, and interview by selected applicants.

Start of employment

As early as possible (subject to negotiation)

Contact information/Send application to

RIKEN Center for Brain Science
Neural Circuits and Computations Unit
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198
Email: louis.kang[at] (Replace [at] with @ )
For inquiries, please send an email.