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Chief Scientist - Radiation Effects Research Foundation

The National Academy of Sciences
Japan (JP)
Commensurate with Experience, up to $150k
Closing date
Dec 28, 2022

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Life Sciences, Cancer Research
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Organization Type
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The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) seeks candidates for Chief Scientist at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima, Japan. The Chief Scientist provides scientific leadership of the research programs at RERF in Hiroshima, Japan; plans and conducts research and participates in research collaborations with other RERF scientists, and; reports to internal and external audiences including at national and international scientific meetings. The Chief Scientist works at the direction of the Board of Directors. 

Candidates must be U.S. citizens, must have strong experience in epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, cancer biology, radiation biology, or a related field, and hold a Ph.D., Sc.D, Dr.PH., or MD degree in a relevant scientific discipline or have equivalent training and research experience. The successful candidate receives an appointment from NAS and RERF.

NAS offers an outstanding package of benefits and relocation allowances for this position.  Please visit the Academies’ website (link at the end of this notice) to apply for this position or contact Dr. Ourania Kosti at NAS ( for additional information.

RERF is a bi-national public interest foundation in Japan that conducts research for the benefit of the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and for humanity. RERF is supported by the governments of Japan (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) and the United States (U.S. Department of Energy) and is a global leader in the study of long-term effects of radiation exposure on human health and its interactions with genes, lifestyle, and environment. RERF and its predecessor, the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, have studied the health of Japanese atomic bombing survivors since 1947 in three large cohorts: Life Span Study, Adult Health Study, and a study of survivor offspring (F1 Study). The NAS has a long-standing cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to recruit and hire U.S. scientists to work at RERF.

The highest decision-making body at RERF is the Board of Councilors, consisting of Councilors appointed from Japan and the United States. The Board of Directors, consisting of the Representative Director/Chair, Executive Director/Vice-Chair (U.S. representative), and Executive Director (Japanese representative), is responsible for the management of RERF’s operations and reports to the Board of Councilors.





Position Responsibilities


  • Assists the RERF Board of Directors, with research program planning and execution and with improving RERF’s research systems and capabilities.  Provides scientific and programmatic advice to RERF directors when requested


  • Provides operations and fiscal management; reviews and approves publications for submission to scientific journals.


  • Fosters collaborative research activities across RERF and with external investigators. Serves as a resource to other RERF research staff.


  • Plans and conducts collaborative and independent research to answer complex scientific questions.


  • Writes/edits scientific papers and presentations and responds to reviewer comments.


  • Represents RERF within and outside the institution, and reports to internal and external audiences on the outcomes of RERF’s activities, including at national and international scientific meetings.


  • Remains up to date on current research trends and best practices. Identifies and applies advanced technologies to improve research capabilities.


  • Serves as a resource to other research staff.


  • Facilitates the implementation of RERF’s Research Resource Center.


  • Maintains an appropriate standard of confidentiality.  When handling secure, privileged, sensitive, or confidential information and matters, maintains strict confidence and exercises care to prevent disclosure to others.  Accesses confidential information for work-related reasons only, following the policies and procedures of the organization. Ensures that any privileged, sensitive, or confidential information is securely stored, disposed of, and transmitted according to the Institutional guidance.  Ensures procedures are in place to maintain and protect confidentiality and to prevent disclosure. 






Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Demonstrated record of scientific leadership and research productivity and advanced knowledge in a relevant scientific discipline. Strong program/project planning, management, and facilitation skills. Ability to operate with independent judgment and action. Ability to work successfully in a binational team environment. Ability to manage and maintain privileged, sensitive, and confidential information and matters appropriately. Ability to address important/controversial issues using effective persuasion, negotiation, and compromise skills.  Ability to understand and share technical/scientific issues with diverse audiences.  Ability to independently develop and manage multiple and complex projects. Ability to serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex problems and issues.  Excellent verbal and written communications skills.


Minimum Education/Training Requirements


Candidates must have strong experience in epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, cancer biology, radiation biology, or a related field, and hold a Ph.D. Sc.D, Dr.PH., or MD degree in a relevant scientific discipline or have equivalent training and research experience.


Minimum Experience


Ten years of related professional experience. 


Physical Capabilities


Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time. Ability to travel internationally. Ability to relocate to Japan.


Required Licenses, Certification or Registration


U.S. citizenship required.


Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls


Reports to the RERF Board of Directors and receives performance evaluation from the Executive Director (U.S. representative). 


Work Environment


Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan. Office environment, with frequent travel to RERF’s office in Nagasaki, Japan; to other locations in Japan; and to the United States and other international destinations.


In accordance with the National Academies’ commitment to provide a safe and healthy workplace, all employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except as otherwise permitted under a reasonable accommodation for medical or religious reasons.  Unless granted an accommodation, successful applicants will be required to confirm their vaccination status and proof of vaccination promptly upon beginning employment.  Applicants needing accommodations should indicate this in their application; applicants will not be discriminated against in the hiring process on the basis of requesting an accommodation.




The National Academies’ Statement on Diversity and Inclusion:


To promote diversity and inclusion in the sciences, engineering, and medicine, we are committed to increasing the diversity of the National Academies’ staff, members, and volunteers to reflect the populations we serve. We pledge to cultivate an environment and culture that promotes inclusion and values respectful participation of all individuals who help advance the mission of the institution.




Equal Opportunity Employer:


It is the policy of the National Academies to recruit, hire, transfer, compensate, and promote people in all job categories and to administer all other personnel actions, terms and conditions of employment in a manner that is consistent with equal employment, and does not discriminate on the basis of  race, creed, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, disability, medical condition for which a person has been rehabilitated or cured, marital status, family responsibilities, genetic information, political affiliation, personal appearance, matriculation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.  It is also the institution's policy to recruit, hire, promote, and provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities and covered veterans who are otherwise qualified.


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