Available Positions for Young Chief Investigators RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology (RCAI)

February 27, 2012 PRESS RELEASE

recruitment(PDF 145K)


The purpose of this new program is to provide a career path for young investigators who conduct multidisciplinary and/or strategic research that will bridge immunology with other research fields. The selected Young Chief Investigators will run an independent research laboratory but will be mentored by specialists in related research fields, selected as appropriate from among the Group Directors (GD) and Team Leaders (TL) of all of the RIKEN Institutes*. The Young Chief Investigators are expected to be pioneers in new research fields and, if successful, they will be candidates for future TL or GD positions to establish a new research field as one of the core research programs at RIKEN RCAI.

* RIKEN Institutes include Brain Science Institute (Neuroscience), Center for Developmental Biology, Plant Science Center, Center for Genome Medicine (Individual gene variation), Systems and Structural Biology Center, Omics Science Center (Genomics), Bioinformatics And Systems Engineering Division, Center for Research Network for Infectious Diseases, Advanced Science Institute (Basic science), Center for Molecular Imaging Science, BioResource Center (Biological resources), Harima Institute (SPring-8 synchrotron and SACLA(XFEL X-ray Free Electron Laser)), Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science (Physics), Research Cluster for Innovation (Drug discovery and Medical technology platforms, Biomass engineering, Computational science research), Advanced Institute for Computational Science (Super computer) and Quantitative Biology Center (Systems biology).
In addition, in 2011, RCAI launched a new human immunology consortium (Medical Immunology World Initiative (MIWI)) with 7 other institutions (IFReC, NIH, IMSUT, two departments of Zurich University, INSERM/Necker Hospital and Pasteur Institute). This program aims to develop integrative life science, which analyzes the mechanisms of immune homeostasis at multiple layers, and to link the resulting knowledge with medical care. In order to apply the results from mouse experiments to humans, humanized mice will be used for human immunology analysis. Plans in MIWI include nurturing young scientists who are capable of leading integrative immunology. If necessary, outside (MIWI-affiliated or other) researchers will be invited to participate as mentors in the YCI program.

Research structure

The Young Chief Investigator (YCI) will run a laboratory independently in terms of funding and research. The laboratory will, however, share space, equipment and facilities with a host laboratory (RCAI Research Group or Team). The Young Chief Investigators will be supported by the following mentor system and the RCAI Program Committee and will be evaluated by the RIKEN RCAI External Advisory Council (RCAI AC) and the RCAI Internal Review Systems as described in sections 3 to 5.


  1. The YCI reports progress to the RCAI Program Committee twice a year.
  2. The YCI makes a presentation to the RCAI AC (once every 1-2 years) and receives their review and recommendations.
  3. In the fifth year, the YCI will be reviewed by the RCAI AC and the RCAI Internal Review Board. If successful, his/her position may be extended for two years or s/he may be encouraged to apply for TL or GD positions.


(zoom in on click)

Approximately three specialists from related fields will serve as mentors (See attached figure). Mentors will:

  1. support the research of the YCI.
  2. provide guidance for experimental design, preparation of papers and presentations, promotion of international visibility, and obtaining research funding.
  3. attend the RCAI Program Committee meeting and offer their evaluation of the YCI.
  4. provide an annual report to the Director on the YCI’s research progress.

Role of the RCAI Program Committee

During the initial assessment of the proposed research project, the Committee will discuss its relevance and value as a part of the core research programs at RCAI. Subsequently, the Committee will consider necessary changes in the level of RCAI support for approved YCI (e.g. additional research budget).

Candidate eligibility

RIKEN RCAI publically announces that opening of the application process. Potential candidates must be young postdocs who are no more than 40 years old or who have obtained their Ph.D. within the last 10 years. They must be able to work full-time. Graduate students may also apply if the student’s mentor agrees them to start working after being accepted and hired.. The aim of this program is to facilitate multidisciplinary and strategic research in immunology.

Term and budget

The term is for 7 years (until March 31, 2019). The YCI will be evaluated at the end of the fifth year for the promotion to Group Directors (GD) or Team Leaders (TL). (However, this possibility is contingent on the national economic status, etc.). The lab will receive a maximum annual budget of 15 million yen, which includes the YCI’s salary as well as those of the other researchers in the laboratory. However, if necessary, additional funding will be considered by the RIKEN RCAI and the RCAI Program Committee.

Selection and appointment

Once the applications are received, the selection committee of the RIKEN Yokohama Institute will choose a candidate and the president of RIKEN (Dr. Ryoji Noyori: Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemistry, 2001) will appoint the YCI.


Electronically submit the following documents to:

Keiichi Abe (Mr.)
Personnel Group, Yokohama Research Promotion Division, RIKEN Yokohama Institute
1-7-22, Suehirocho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama,
Kanagawa, 230-0045, Japan
Phone: +81-(0)45-503-9119

  1. Research plan
    This should contain the project title, background, overall project description and its relation to the investigator’s previous research. (Maximum of 10 A4 pages, single spaced).
  2. Annual plans
    Briefly (Maximum of 4 A4 pages, single spaced) describe the annual plans for the first two years. Include for each year a research plan, research goals, employment plan and budget plan. Indicate expected major milestones for years 3, 4, and 5. If there are any outside funds available to support the research, they should be itemized.
  3. Host lab
    Nominate or specify, if possible, the names of the preferred host lab(s). RCAI will coordinate a host lab and mentors.
  4. Mentor
    Indicate the preferred field of research. Applicants may also specify the preferred PI mentor.
  5. Provide a critical self-evaluation to demonstrate your ability to complete the research project.
  6. A CV and two recommendation letters addressed to RIKEN RCAI Director Masaru Taniguchi are required.
  • Application deadline is March 31, 2012.
  • Inquiries
    Contact Dr. Haruka Iwano, Research Coordinator at RIKEN RCAI, at

    for any inquiries.
    Please refer to RCAI Laboratory webpages for the YCIs who already conduct research at RCAI. (