Electron Microscopy Specialist

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 in education and research.
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 Imaging Section has been adopted as a member of the project “Basis for Supporting Innovative Drug Discovery and Life Science Research (BINDS, FY2017-FY2021)” 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 setup a on-site training program for young scientists and hold an annual CryoEM Workshop with well-reputed Japanese scientists as instructors.

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 available until 31st March 2022. When qualified a prolongation on an OIST position can be considered.


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


  1. Contribute to the development of electron microscopy at OIST in the cell biology
  2. Maintain electron microscopes and relevant equipment including sample preparation devices at the best condition and manage reagents and consumables for electron microscopy
  3. Provide users with appropriate trainings and fair access to the equipment, and monitor the usage of the Facility.
  4. Provide consultations about imaging, measurement, and analysis, and/or support services on cryo-sample preparation, machine operation for data acquisition
  5. In addition to the daily communication with the users, hold periodical user meetings to encourage communication among the users for sharing understandings and solving problems.
  6. Expand the coverage of support by introducing the latest technologies to the users and by getting professional technical trainings.
  7. Contribute to collaborative relationships with other domestic and international institutes.
  8. 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.
  9. Other duties as required in the Section.


  1. At least 5 years’ experience in biological electron microscopy
  2. Experienced in conventional sample preparation for TEM and SEM
  3. Good understanding in cryo-electron microscopy, with ability to prepare samples based on cryo-fixation (cryoEM, freeze-substitution, freeze-fracturing) as well as Tokuyasu cryo-sectioning.
  4. Experienced in immunolabelling for light and electron microscopy
  5. Interest in light microscopy to support correlative microscopy
  6. Knowledge of image processing software: e.g., IMOD, ImageJ, Amira, Imaris, Chimera, Relion.
  7. Knowledge of volume microscopy: focussed ion beam scanning electron microscopy, serial block-face SEM and/or array tomography, and/or cryoTEM and cryoSEM are an additional advantage.

Report to 

Imaging Section Research Support Leader

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Term: Full-time, fixed term appointment until March 31st 2022.
Contract initially with 3-month probationary period (inclusive).
This contract may be renewed when qualified for a prolongation of funding.

Working hours: 9:00-17:30 (Discretionary)

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 http://www.shigakukyosai.jp/ )
Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
Worker's accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

How To Apply 

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

or apply by emailing your Submission Documents to:
(Please replace [at] with @ before using this email address)

or send by post to the following address:
HR Recruiting Support Section
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
1919-1, Onna, Onna-son, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan

Submission Documents 

  • Cover letter in both English and Japanese
  • Curriculum vitae in both English and Japanese

* Please be sure to indicate where you first saw the job advertisement.
* Up to 3 references may be requested during the final interview stage.

Application Due Date 

Applications deadline will continue until the position is filled. (Applications will be screened upon arrival)


  • 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 www.oist.jp.