Cryo-Electron Microscopy Specialist

The Imaging Section as part of Research Support Division of OIST is a world class imaging centre with cutting-edge cryo-TEMs, analytical TEMs, serial block face SEM, focussed ion beam SEM, X-ray CT microscope, confocal (two photon) microscopes, super-resolution microscopes (SIM, STED, STORM), light-sheet microscope and the accompanying sample preparation instruments. The Imaging Section is supported by a high-quality Scientific Computing and Data Analysis Section.

The Scientific Imaging Section has been adopted as a member of the project “Basis for Supporting Innovative Drug Discovery and Life Science Research (BINDS, FY2022-FY2026)” funded by Japan Agency for Medical Research (AMED). We provide technical support and collaborations on molecular structural analysis using cryo-electron microscopy to external researchers through AMED. To spread this Nobel Prize winning technology, we set up an on-site training program for young scientists and hold an annual CryoEM Workshop with well-reputed Japanese scientists as instructors and international high-ranking scientists as keynote speakers (See program details).

The Electron Microscopy Specialist will be employed on the AMED grant for BINDS, and takes responsibilities described below, while reporting the Imaging Section Leader. The position is a grant position and is available until 31st March 2027. When qualified a prolongation on an OIST position can be considered.


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


  1. Maintain cryo-TEMs and relevant equipment including sample preparation devices at the best condition, and manage reagents and consumables for cryo-electron microscopy.
  2. Analysis of macromolecules within the demands of the BINDS project: quality control, cryo-grid preparation, imaging and solving the structure.
  3. Continue our successful 4 weeks training programme in cryo-electron microscopy.
  4. Provide support services on structural analysis of proteins, etc. on cryo-sample preparation, data acquisition and analysis.
  5. Provide users with appropriate trainings and fair access to the cryo-TEMs and relevant equipment, and monitor the usage of the facility.
  6. Provide consultations about cryo-imaging, measurement and analysis, and/or support services on cryo-sample preparation, machine operation for data acquisition, and data analysis.
  7. Support purchase and procurement by requesting necessary equipment based on the need from the users, by documentation of the specifications of the equipment, and by communicating with the makers and venders, etc.
  8. Additionally, to the daily communication with the users, hold periodical user meetings to encourage communication among the users for sharing understandings and solving problems.
  9. Expand the coverage of support by introducing the latest technologies to the users and by getting professional technical trainings.
  10. Contribute to collaborative relationships with other domestic and international institutes.
  11. Join the Japanese cryo-EM community and participate actively.
  12. Other duties required of a member of the Scientific Imaging Section.


  1. Specific expertise in cryo-electron microscopy, with ability to prepare samples, to manage cryo-TEMs, to analyse data, and to support users.
  2. Significant research track record, with Ph.D or equivalent qualification.
  3. Work experience in a core facility of universities or institutes for science is a plus.
  4. Sense of fairness, compliance and teamwork in diverse and multicultural settings.
  5. Excellent communication skill in English. Ability to communicate in Japanese is preferred, but not required.
  6. Proactive participation in technical and organizational improvement, collaborating with colleagues.

Report to 

Scientific Imaging Section, Research Support Leader

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Term: Full-time, fixed term appointment until March 31, 2023.  Contract initially with 3 month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed until 31st March 2027.
The total term of fixed-term employment with OIST will not exceed 10 years.

Working hours: 9:00-17:30

Compensation & Benefits 

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 )
  • Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
  • Worker's accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)
  • Access to Child Development Center
  • Access to Schooling Options
  • Language Educateion
  • Recource Center (Daily Life Support in Okinawa)

How To Apply 

Apply by uploading your submission documents HERE*.
*This is a secure file uploading system for handling confidential materials.

If you have any questions, please contact us at recruiting[at]
(replace [at] with @ before using this email address

Submission Documents 

  • Cover letter in English (and Japanese if possible)
  • Curriculum vitae in English (and Japanese if possible)

* Please be sure to indicate where you first saw the job advertisement.
* Up to 3 references may be requested during the final interview stage.
* Prior to the start of employment all new hires are required to successfully complete a background check. Personal information including employment history and academic background should be submitted to third-party administrators after a conditional offer of employment.

Application Due Date 

2022/10/28 *Application will be screened upon arrival, and the selection will end once 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 applications from underrepresented groups.
  • 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