Research Scientist (Indefinite-term) 

Research Field and Overview
Peptide:N-glycanase (PNGase; NGLY1) releases N-glycans from glycoproteins/glycopeptides. The cytoplasmic PNGases, ubiquitously found throughout eukaryotes, are now widely recognized as a component implicated in the ERAD (ER-associated degradation) process, which constitute one of the quality control machineries for newly synthesized misfolded glycoproteins exported out of the ER lumen. While the biosynthetic pathway for N-glycans has been clarified in detail, the catabolic pathway for the "free" N-glycans released by the cytoplasmic PNGase remains largely unknown. Although this "non-lysosomal" metabolic path for N-glycan may represent one of the very basic biological phenomena in eukaryotes, there are still many more enzymes/transporters that remains to be identified. We are currently trying to identify other players involved in this process, and also taking a number of approaches to analyze the physiological importance of this non-lysosomal metabolic pathway.

Open Positions and Job Description
Research Scientist: 1 position
NOTE: We are seeking individuals at the level of full-time university Assistant Professor to Associate Professor or Full-Time Lecturer for this open position.

Job Description
Successful candidate will work on projects to clarify a novel catabolic pathway for glycans. Ambitious candidates aiming at identifying genes encoding the ER/lysosomal transporters will be strongly encouraged to apply. The successful candidate is expected to conduct research and development on topics specified above and to contribute to the management of the laboratory.

Doctoral degree (or equivalent research ability and background) in the relevant research field

Initial w
ork location 
RIKEN Wako Campus (2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198)
RIKEN has implemented a work-from-home system. Employees can work from home in accordance with the prescribed procedures.

Conditions, Salary and Benefits
The post is an indefinite-term employment position, subject to RIKEN's mandatory retirement age of 60*. There is a Special Temporary Employment program to hire individuals from age 60* to age 65. This position does NOT offer a retirement allowance.

As an exception, depending on screening results, the successful candidate may be initially employed on a fixed-term employment contract up to a maximum of 5 years with the possibility of being promoted to indefinite-term employment after a separate review process that will take place, as a general rule, at the end of the first 3 years of employment. Remuneration and work conditions for fixed-term employment are based on the same conditions as those for indefinite-term employment.

*In accordance with the increase in the retirement age for government workers, the retirement age for RIKEN is also scheduled to be raised in steps of one year every two years starting FY 2023.

Work conditions
Full time. This position falls under the specialized duties discretionary work system; one working day will be calculated as 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Remuneration and other provisions
In principle, the first two months of employment is considered a trial period. Salary will be an annual salary based on experience, ability, and performance, and will consist of a base salary and a variable salary. The variable salary will be determined each fiscal year based on experience, ability, and performance. The monthly base salary is 421,900 JPY (based on FY 2023 actuals). The monthly base salary is subject to change due to amendments to RIKEN regulations. Discretionary work, commuting and housing allowances will be provided. Social insurance will be applied. Bonuses or retirement benefits will not be paid. (Approximate annual salary at the time of employment) The monthly salary at the time of employment, in the case that the employee has experience, ability, and achievement of approximately 5 years after completion of his/her doctoral degree, will be approximately 560,000 JPY.

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.

Paid leave includes annual paid leave (up to 20 days depending on the month of employment), special paid leave (childcare, family nursing care, etc.), and work life balance holidays (up to 7 days depending on the month of employment).There are also additional leave systems such as maternity leave, childcare leave, and family nursing care leave. 

Smoking will be entirely prohibited on site from April 2024.

These and other provisions are in accordance with RIKEN regulations. RIKEN may require changes of responsibilities, job category, and work place based on RIKEN regulations due to management decisions, budgetary situation, and organizational restructuring.

Eligible to apply for Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi).
Eligible for an exemption from repayment for category 1 scholarship loans provided by the Japan Student Services Organization before fiscal year 2003.
The Wako Campus has an on-site daycare, RIKEN Kids Wako. For details, please send an email to the HR at kids [at]

Application and Required Documents & 
  1. Applicant registration
    To register, access the website noted below, and enter the required basic information.
    Glycometabolic Biochemistry Laboratory, CPR Research Scientist
  2. After you have registered online you will automatically be sent an email from kjk-desk [at] with your user ID, registration number, and password. Go to the website indicated in the email and upload your application documents (1) ー (6).

    Note: You may revise your basic information and upload revised documents later if necessary. Please double check, however, that you have successfully uploaded your final application documents by the deadline.

    All files must first be converted to PDF format before you can upload them. Word files cannot be uploaded.

Application Documents
(1) Research and development achievements (list of publications, list of patents, list of presentations etc.)
(2) Lists of external funds received, awards received, and other achievements including contribution to society through activities in scientific societies, joint research projects, technology transfers, and the like.
(3) Outlines of your research and development projects to date (3 pages, A4 size)
(4) Your future research and development plans and perspectives if you are accepted for the position (3 pages in A4 size in total)
(5) One set of copies of your major papers (maximum number: 5)
(6) Consent form for handling personal information based on GDPR
(7) Letters of recommendation from two persons who can evaluate your work
  • One letter must be from your current supervisor or academic advisor.
  • Another letter must be from a person who is not affiliated with RIKEN.
Note: All the application documents including letters of recommendation should be prepared in English or Japanese, and uploaded in PDF format. Documents may be in black and white or color.

About letters of recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be directly sent to RIKEN by the referee. A request for a letter of recommendation will be automatically sent to the email addresses for references that you list when you register to apply. Please check if your referees have received the email request automatically sent from [email protected]. You can also check on the status of your letters of recommendation through the online application system.
If none of your current supervisors or academic advisors are able to prepare a letter of recommendation, a letter from a third person will be accepted.
There is no set format for the letters of recommendation, but they must meet the following conditions: they must be addressed to the President of RIKEN, Makoto Gonokami, and include the date of issue. Please specify the referee’s contact information (Name, affiliation, job title, phone number, and email address).

Deadline f
or applicant registration:
Noon, October 13, 2023 (Japan time).

For revising or uploading application documents and letters of recommendation:
Noon, October 20, 2023 (Japan time).

Handling of personal information
All private data sent to RIKEN in applications for employment are handled in strict confidentiality and will not be used for any other purpose or disclosed to any third party.

Selection process
After application documents are screened, only the successful candidates will be asked to have an interview. There will be final interviews with RIKEN executive directors as part of the hiring process.

Start of Employment
RIKEN expects that the successful applicant will be able to take up this position at the earliest opportunity after April 1, 2024

  • No information can be released regarding application status or evaluation details prior to, during, or after the evaluation process.
  • Application documents will not be returned.
  • For further details on application or research activities at RIKEN, see the  RIKEN website.
  • RIKEN is actively undertaking initiatives to promote gender equality and diversity, and moving forward with the establishment of a diverse and vibrant research environment. If multiple candidates are found to have the same aptitude following a fair assessment, active efforts will be made to recruit female candidates.

Contact Information
For inquiries concerning the research
Dr. Tadashi Suzuki (Chief Scientist)
Glycometabolic Biochemistry Laboratory,
RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research
Email: [email protected]

For other inquiries
Research Personnel Affairs Section
Human Resources Division, RIKEN
Email: [email protected]
Contact by phone is not available.
posted September 11, 2023