Postdoctoral Position in Neuronal Rhythms in Movement Unit

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 Neuronal Rhythms in Movement (nRIM; unit at OIST is looking for an inspired applicant with a PhD in neuroscience, bioengineering, neuromechanics, biophysics or similar related field to lead a collaborative, generously-funded project exploring how abstract patterns of neuronal activity are translated into precisely-timed motor actions using rodents. Our main focus is on natural movements such as running on uneven surface, climbing and jumping that require rapid online modulation of behavioral programs rather than simple conditioned actions.

The successful applicant will be combining our novel, high-resolution 3D motion capture system with deep-brain imaging (Inscopix nVoke system) and optical/pharmacological manipulation to disentangle the circuitry mechanisms underlying fine motor control. The work will be conducted in tight collaboration with in vitro physiologists and anatomists, and complemented with computational approaches from our collaborators.

nRIM is a tight group of extraordinary individuals, and to ensure perfect fit to the group, shortlisted applicants will be invited to visit OIST for a 3-day interview meeting before any decisions are made.


Postdoc Scholar

Unit: Neuronal Rhythms in Movement Unit (Prof. Uusisaari)


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


  1. Operating and developing experimental systems for high-resolution 3D rodent kinematic analysis
  2. Planning and executing experimental research independently and in collaboration with the team



  • A PhD (obtained within last 5 years) in relevant disciplines, such as biosciences, neuroscience, bioengineering, physics or computer science
  • A record of first-author, high-impact publications is not required as we do not believe that scientific excellence necessarily correlates with them. However, a record of research and publication activity is required.
  • Prior experience with animal handling, olivo-cerebellar systems or calcium imaging is greatly appreciated even if not necessarily required; however, motivation and capability to learn new approaches such as these is a must.
  • nRIM is a team endeavor; thus, ability to work effectively with a group is a must. Capabilities related to managing complex data, record-keeping, and planning experimental schedules are indispensable.
  • High-level written and spoken English proficiency is required

Report to 

Professor Marylka Yoe Uusisaari/ Neuronal Rhythms in Movement Unit

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Full-time, fixed term appointment for 1 year and the contract is renewable up to 3 years maximum.

 Working hours: 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 )
Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
Worker’s accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

How To Apply 

Apply by emailing your Submission Documents to:


(Please replace [at] with @ before using this email address)

Submission Documents 

- Cover letter describing the source of your motivation for this position

- Curriculum vitae

- Publication List

- Names and contact information of 2 referees, one of which should be a previous employer

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

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 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