Senior Postdoctoral position / Staff Scientist to join the Brain Mechanisms for Behaviour 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 brains in the world to Okinawa to transform the way science and education is done in the global academic world.

Position summary:

The position is within an active neurophysiological research group with a long terminterest in the Basal Ganglia. We are looking for an imaginative and determined investigator with an interest in understanding the brain, and its control of movement in particular. Recent publications from the group include:

  •  Lopez-Herta, V. G., Nakano, Y., Bausenwein, J., Jaidar-Benavides, O.,  Lazarus, M.,Cherassse, Y., M, G.-M. & Arbuthnott, G. W. The neostriatum: two entities, onestructure? Brain Structure and Function, doi:10.1007/s00429-015-1000-4 (2015).
  •  Garcia-Munoz, M., Lopez-Herta, V. G., Carrillo-Reid, L. & Arbuthnott, G.W. Extrasynaptic glutamate NMDA receptors: Key players in striatal function.
    Neuropharmacology 89, 54-63, doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.09.013 (2015).
  • Garcia-Munoz, M. Arbuthnott, G.W. Basal ganglia-thalamus and the “crowningenigma” Frontiers in Neural Circuits (2015) doi:10.3389/fncir.2015.00071


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


We are looking for a postdoc with a (electrophysiological) neuroscience background to study the influence of patterned cortical activity on basal ganglia physiology.  We use calcium imaging and multielectrode (MEA) and patch recordings in slices of rodent brain. Our recording set up allows all three methods to be applied simultaneously. Some experience with these three methods would be a considerable advantage, but probably experience with any two techniques is sufficient.  The aim of the experiments is to explore the influence of pattern in neuronal networks on the transmission through brain systems.


  1. Excellent spoken English and an ability to read and understand the research literature.
  2. Excellent written English with some history of publications in the scientific literature


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

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Working Hours 

9:00-17:30 (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 ), welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin), worker’s accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

Submission Documents 

- Curriculum vita in English

- Cover letter in English

- Names and contact information of 3 referees, one of which should be a previous employer

- Summary of research interests and experience

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

Postal Address 

Brain Mechanisms for Behaviour Unit

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University

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

Email Address 

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


  • 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.
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Job Description PDF