Manager of R&D Cluster Programs Section

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see 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.

Position summary:

The OIST R&D Cluster Programs Section promotes technology development research through the Proof-of-Concept (POC) Program, an internal, competitive grant program that provides funding to OIST researchers to help bridge the gap between lab discoveries and commercial applications. The POC Program supports a range of research activities, from applied research to establishing feasibility, developing prototypes, and exploring scale up, and also supports individual fellowships for science innovators The goal of the Program is to develop technologies towards licensing to industry or startup companies and is a key part of the broader strategy at OIST to seed an innovation ecosystem in Okinawa that is linked to technology transfer, industry partnerships, and startup incubation.

OIST is seeking a Manager of the R&D Cluster Programs Section with a strong background and skills appropriate to manage technology development research and with an interest and enthusiasm to foster the effective transfer of cutting edge OIST technologies to successful commercial development.


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


  1. Develop and implement multi-year strategies for the POC Program in close collaboration with the TDIC Management Team.
  2. Provide leadership and hands-on management in the day-to-day operations of the POC Program, including oversight of POC project team activities, directing administrative staff in the Section, and managing an external board of reviewers and mentors.
  3. Effectively oversee and execute the application, review, and implementation of POC projects and manage the portfolio of selected projects by tracking progress and outcomes.
  4. Arrange professional development opportunities for POC project team members, including mentorship and seminars/workshops that impact their commercialization efforts.
  5. Interface with Technology Licensing and Business Development staff to conduct IP assessment and develop commercialization strategies for technologies selected for the POC Program.
  6. Monitor proper budget execution with portfolio project teams and forecast year-end execution to plan and adjust the budget in close coordination with relevant University finance sections.
  7. Assist in the negotiation of agreements with industry, including NDAs, MTAs, Collaborative Research Agreements, and Licensing Agreements needed to support POC projects.
  8. Manage relationships with researchers, consultants and contractors, vendors, and potential industrial partners.
  9. Maintain effective outreach and communications with internal and external stakeholders, including OIST administration, faculty, researchers, students, program sponsors, industry partners, and investors.
  10. Market technologies supported by the POC Program through established social media channels and at industry meetings and exhibitions in Japan and abroad.
  11. Advise the TDIC Management Team on programmatic and policy development for intellectual property, business development, and entrepreneurship activities that impact the POC Program’s success.




  1. Bachelors degree in science, engineering, or business fields
  2. 5+ years of Managerial experience in technology transfer or business development
  3. Demonstrated success in building relationships with diverse stakeholders
  4. Demonstrated organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills
  5. Business-level English, including high level of reading comprehension and writing skills


  1. PhD or M.S. in science or business fields
  2. Experience supporting technology commercialization efforts in a university

Report to 

Executive Vice President for Technology Development and Innovation

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 


Full-time, fixed term appointment for 2 years. Contract initially with 3-month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed.

Working hours:



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)

How To Apply 

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

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
  • Names and contact information of 3~5 referees, one of which should be a previous employer

* 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 

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