Vacancy of Special Postdoctoral Researcher (SPDR) for FY 2021


Deadline: 9 April 2020


The involvement of creative young scientists is critical in pioneering new frontiers of science and technology. RIKEN’s Special Postdoctoral Researcher Program is a program to foster the development of researchers who will become internationally active in the future, and provides creative young scientists with the opportunity to be involved in autonomous and independent research on a topic of their own choosing that is in line with RIKEN objectives and research fields.

Research fields

Mathematical Sciences (pure mathematics, applied mathematics, computer science, information science, artificial intelligence, etc.), Physics I (particle, nuclear, astrophysics, etc.), Physics II (condensed matter), Chemistry, Biology (cell biology, developmental biology, plant biology, structural biology, microbiology, imaging, measuring, etc.), Medical Science (brain science, psychology, immunology, oncology, genome science, etc.) and Engineering that relate to research being conducted at RIKEN. As part of the screening process, the research category to which you applied may be changed to a different category.

Number of openings

Around 60 (subject to change with any change depending on budget)


Applicants must fulfill all five conditions given below:

  • 1.Be prepared to independently and responsibly pursue a research topic.
  • 2.Have a PhD awarded on or after January 1, 2015, or expect to be awarded a PhD by the date of hire.

    Note: Those with PhDs acquired prior to December 31, 2014, may also apply if there was a lapse in their research activity, and if subtracting this period of non-research activity will allow them an equivalency that meets the above requirement. If applicable, please fill the details (specific reasons and period) in the application form.

  • RIKEN’s screening committee will determine whether the period of lapse is justifiable after the deadline for submitting the application.
    Examples of acceptable periods of lapse: maternity leave, childcare leave, and working in private industry in a non-research capacity.

  • 3.Able to start work in FY 2021 (April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022)
  • 4.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).
  • 5.Those who have previously participated in the SPDR and FPR programs are NOT eligible to apply.

Place of work

Location of RIKEN host laboratory
The address and work location written above may differ depending on the hosting laboratory. Please confirm the hosting laboratory's location on the website of its affiliated center.

Duration of contract

Three years from date of hire (in principle, April 1, 2021) (Actual starting date to be decided upon consultation)

Salary and benefits

  • 1.Annual salary paid in monthly installments of 487,000 yen (social insurance premiums and taxes included). Commuting allowance (actual cost up to maximum of 55,000 yen per month) and housing allowance (partial payment of rent) will also be paid.
  • 2.Travel cost to take up the appointment at RIKEN will be compensated according to RIKEN’s rules and regulations.
  • 3.Enrollment in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (Kyosaikai) is compulsory. A Kyosaikai membership fee will be automatically deducted from your salary each month.
  • 4.Days off from work include Saturdays and Sundays, national holidays, year-end/New Year holidays, and RIKEN Foundation Day.
  • 5.Other provisions as per RIKEN regulations.
  • 6.Research budget: 1,000,000 yen per year

Application procedures and deadline


  • 1.Contact the RIKEN laboratory where you would like to work

    Select a RIKEN laboratory where you would like to work from among the laboratories that have indicated their willingness to host a SPDR and contact the lab to confirm that it is ready to host from FY 2021. Refer to the "Laboratories with SPDR Openings (as of February 6, 2020) (PDF 334.9KB)The webpage will open in a new tab." list to find out which laboratories have openings and contact the addresses shown on the relevant webpages.
    Note: This list is updated regularly. Please take note of the date on which the list was last updated. The laboratories and other listed organizations may change even after April 16, 2020.

  • 2.Research topic

    After you find a laboratory that is willing to be your host, you should explain the research topic you propose to carry out at RIKEN. Discuss the topic thoroughly with the laboratory head to make sure that your final research topic proposal takes into account the work being conducted within the host laboratory.

    Applicant registration

    To register, visit the website noted below, and enter the required basic information.
    Registration: February 17 to April 9, 2020
    URL:RIKEN Application SystemThe webpage will open in a new tab.
    *You cannot access to the website above until February 17. After you have registered online, download and prepare the following application documents.

  • 4.Language

    Either Japanese or English is acceptable for SPDR application documents and interviews.

Source: Click