Cephalopod Husbandry and Research Technician Position

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see www.oist.jp) is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. Outstanding resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence un edycatuin and research.

Position summary

The individual should be a highly motivated, independent, and resourceful worker, also able to work well and coordinate with others.  A research or work background in marine invertebrate fieldwork, husbandry, and behavior, preferably with a focus on cephalopods, is required. Strong organizational skills are essential to animal husbandry, as is the ability to dependably maintain a regular schedule.  Much of the work will be conducted in English and Japanese, so at least basic proficiency in both languages is preferred, along with a willingness to improve skills, if needed. The position will offer a capable technician the opportunity to work with scientists in diverse fields from around the world.


1919‐1 Tancha, Onna‐son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495


Primary tasks include:

 1) Laboratory husbandry of cephalopods and their prey at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in compliance with OIST cephalopod welfare rules and regulations as stipulated by the OIST ARS/IUCAC. The focus for husbandry will be a few species of cephalopods and their prey.  However, short-term care for a diversity of octopus, cuttlefish, and squid may be required at times. Culturing of diatoms, rotifers, or other species may also be required to provide prey for the cephalopod prey. Basic responsibilities include tasks related to: feeding; monitoring and maintenance of water quality; monitoring and maintenance of animal physical and mental health. Established protocols for animal care will be provided. It is expected that the individual will creatively test, improve upon, and refine these protocols over time, particularly but not exclusively with respect to environmental enrichment. Additional responsibilities may periodically include set-up and take down of tanks, equipment, and preparing animals for experiments. 

2) Collection and identification of cephalopod prey species. Most cephalopod prey species are commercially available, and will only require ordering or pickup from local fishing supply shops or shrimp hatcheries. However, fieldwork for the collection of prey species may be required at times.

3) Ordering, shipping, and receiving of cephalopods and their prey to and from OIST. Animals will be ordered and received from companies or public aquaria in coordination with different OIST units. Cephalopods collected or maintained at OIST will also be shipped to other institutions and aquaria around the world.  Training will be provided as needed on how to properly package and ship cephalopod adults and eggs internationally.

Secondary tasks include:

4) Assistance in the design and execution of laboratory experiments in support of closing the life cycle for cephalopod species of interest and their prey, with the potential for co-authorship on scientific publications.

5) Assistance in the design and execution of laboratory experiments relating to cephalopod biology, with the potential for co-authorship on scientific publications.

Opportunities for training and networking through international conferences and/or visits to other institutions in Japan and elsewhere may be available to personnel who consistently demonstrate capable, reliable, and diligent execution of their duties and responsibilities.



  1. Bachelor’s Degree, MS or PhD in Marine Biology.
  2. A research or work background in marine invertebrate fieldwork, husbandry, and behavior. Strong organizational skills and ability to reliably maintain a regular schedule. Ability to work well and coordinate with others.
  3. Fluency in Japanese and basic proficiency in English, or vice versa, with willingness to improve skills if necessary.


Experience with cephalopods.

Report to 

Prof. Jonathan Miller/Physics and Biology Unit

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Term: Full-time, fixed term appointment for one year. Contract initially with 3-month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed.  

9:00-17:30 (Discretionary)

Compensation & Benefits 

Compensation in accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations


  • Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
  • Annual paid leave and summer holidays
  • Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid http://www.shigakukyosai.jp/ )
  • Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
  • Worker’s accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

How To Apply 

Please submit all required application materials by email to:


(Please replace # with @ before using this email address)

Submission Documents 

- Curriculum vitae in English (and Japanese if available)

- Cover letter in English (and Japanese if available)

* Please be sure to indicate where you first saw the job advertisement.

Application Due Date 

Applications deadline will continue until the position is filled.


  • OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages women and minority candidates to apply.
  • Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.
  • Please view OIST policy for rules on external professional activities
  • Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website www.oist.jp.