Junior Bioinformatics Researcher, Biological Systems Unit

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) is a model for change in education and research with the best international graduate students, working side by side with world-class faculty in modern well-equipped laboratories. Beautifully situated on the island of Okinawa, OIST relies on a cross-disciplinary approach, with an emphasis on creativity and exchange, to offer unique, individualized graduate training. OIST is a university with no departments, eliminating artificial barriers between people working in different fields, but many nationalities, with students and faculty being attracted from all over the world. Concentrating initially on Neuroscience, Molecular Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Environmental and Ecological Sciences and Physical Sciences, OIST is bringing some of the best researchers in the world to Okinawa to transform the way science and education is done in the global academic world.


Position summary

We seek a Junior Bioinformatics Researcher to work on metagenomics in environmental systems and synthetic biology



Junior Bioinformatics Researcher (Postdoctoral Scholar), Biological Systems Unit


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


Junior Bioinformatics Researcher is available in the Biological Systems Unit at the newly established Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) to work on development on new bioremediation and waste water treatment (WWT) technologies. 

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that can use bacterial metabolism to produce electrical current from a wide range of organic substrates. Research and development has increased in the last few years all over the world. MFCs have started to be used in practice, but for large-scale applications cost reductions and higher power output are required. To further enhance the technology a better understanding of the environmentally-derived microbiological communities as a system is necessary. We also wish to enhance the ability of electrogenic microbial communities to utilise and degrade wastes and toxic chemicals. Our primary R&D focus will be on a better understanding of microbial communities in MFCs as a system, together with further optimisation of the MFC technology.

The position holder will be responsible for the development and support of bioinformatics pipeline(s), development and implementation of methods and tools for meta-genomic and other omics data analysis.

Other responsibilities

  1. Collect, process, document and analyze high throughout experimental data. Document experimental and computational procedures and results.
  2. Provide help in teaching postgraduates in bioinformatics and systems biology.
  3. Supervision of younger researchers and technicians.
  4. Preparation of research publications.
  5. Primary R&D focus for the position will be computational and theoretical methods for a better mechanistic understanding of processes in waste water treatment systems, together with further optimization of these technologies.

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Igor Goryanin goryanin@oist.jp



  1. MSc or PhD in a relevant domain (bioinformatics, systems/synthetic biology)
  2. Fluent in English.
  3. The candidate is able to communicate well with fellow researchers in similar and other relevant disciplines. The candidate is a team player and enthusiastically co-supervise junior researchers, students and performing senior research tasks.
  4. Strong writing skills.
  5. Strong programming skills (Unix, Java, R).


  1. Working knowledge of other programming languages (Perl, Python, C++)
  2. Practical experience working with metagenomes.
  3. Working knowledge of bioinformatics databases, pipelines and tools.


Full-time, Fixed-term appointment for 1 or 2 years contract This contract may be renewed up to 3 years.

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Working Hours 

09:00-17:30 (Discretionary)


In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulation.


- 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)

Submission Documents 

  1. Curriculum vitae in English, including response to requirements for Responsibilities and Qualifications.
  2. Cover letter in English
  3. Names and contact information for 3 references

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

Application Due 

Applications deadline will continue until the position is filled.

Postal Address 

Please submit all required application materials by email to: goryanin#oist.jp  (Please replace # with @ before using this email address)

Or send documents via post mail to:

Biological Systems Unit (Goryanin Unit)

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University

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

*Information provided by applicants will be kept confidential. Documents will not be returned and prospective candidates may be notified for further information

*Further details about the Institute can be viewed on our website (www.oist.jp)


Email Address 

goryanin#oist.jp (Please replace # with @ before using this email address)