Positions for Research Scientists in Comparative Connectomics (Team Leader: Kazunari Miyamichi, PhD) Starting on September 1, 2017

Aug 3rd 2017 update

Research Field

Structure determines function in biology: The connection patterns of billions of neurons in the mammalian brain underlie how neural circuits process information essential for behavioral output. We systematically apply viral and genetic tools that enable visualization of neural circuits and perturbation of neural activities of genetically, anatomically, or functionally defined neurons in a given brain area. By using these tools, we study organization and function of hypothalamic neural circuits underlying various social behaviors in mice. We also try systematic comparison of circuit organizations and functions across species, by expanding the scope of Cre-dependent toolkits beyond mice to various mammalian species. We are looking for postdoctoral researchers who are interested in these topics. In particular, we are facilitating the following projects:

(1) Anatomical differences of neural circuit between male and female mice at the resolution of synaptic connection patterns, focusing on neurons that process sex-pheromones to regulate sexual behaviors and reproduction.

(2) State-dependent circuit switch in female mice during pregnancy, with respect to a particular type of hypothalamic neurons involved in parturition and lactation.

(3) Across-species comparison of anatomical and functional differences in the neural circuit underlying social behaviours by using CRISPR-mediated viral genome editing technology.

Selected references:
Ishii KK et al., Neuron 95, 123, 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.05.038.
Schwarz LA, Miyamichi K et al., Nature 524, 88, 2015. doi: 10.1038/nature14600.
Miyamichi K et al., Neuron 80, 1232, 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.08.027.
Miyamichi K et al., Nature 472, 191, 2011. doi: 10.1038/nature09714.

Job title, Job description

Research scientist (postdoctoral fellow)
We are looking for scientists who are interested in structure and function of neural circuits that regulate various social behaviors in mammalian species. Experience in viral tools in neuroscience is NOT necessary. Speaking Japanese language is NOT required in the research environment.


Candidates must possess a Ph.D. degree at the time of start.

Work location and environment

RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (Port Island, Kobe, Japan)
Address: Minatojima-minamimachi 2-2-3, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0047, Japan

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.
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).

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.

Application and required documents

The application package should include 1) Complete CV that contains a list of publications and email address, 2) Statement of research achievements, 3) A 1-2 page outline of your research proposal. In addition, two letters of recommendation (including one from your current supervisor) should be directly sent from the referees. All documents should be prepared in English. Application package is not returnable.

[Deadline] Until the positions are 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.

Selection process

Selection will be made based on application screening and interviews.

Start of Employment

April 2018 onward. Negotiable.

Send application to

Send your application to the following address (only overseas candidates may forward applications by email).
Candidates in Japan should send application by postal mail.
Kobe Human Resources Section, RIKEN Kobe branch, Kobe Administrative Division
2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047, Japan
Email: kobe-jobs (please add “” to complete address)
Please indicate “Application for Laboratory for Comparative Connectomics, CDB” in red on the envelope.

Please refer to URL below for job offering in Japanese.

Contact Information

Please direct further inquiries to :
Kazunari Miyamichi, Ph.D.
Email: Kazunari.Miyamichi[at] (*Please replace “[at]” with “@”.)