Technician in The Physics and Biology 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 Physics and Biology Unit is looking to hire a Research Technician to work with a team at the OIST Marine Science Station, support aquatic animal-husbandry, assist researchers in designing and building research experiment apparatuses, and executing research experiments. Other tasks will include cephalopod husbandry and care, periodic field work in a marine setting, and communication with Japanese service and goods providers.

The individual should be a highly motivated, independent, and resourceful worker, also able to work well and coordinate with others. The successful candidate will have some hands-on prior experience in maintaining a marine experimental facility, preferentially where more than two research teams must coordinate activities. Extensive experience and certifications (where available) in safety and use of tools related to maintenance, repair, and construction of custom devices for researchers using mechanical, plumbing, and electrical knowledge and skills, is desirable. Strong organizational skills are essential to animal husbandry, as is the ability to dependably maintain a regular schedule. Much of the work will be conducted in English and Japanese, so at least basic proficiency in both languages is required, along with a willingness to improve skills, if needed. The position will offer a capable technician the opportunity to work with scientists in diverse fields from around the world.


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


Primary tasks include:

  1. Assistance in the designing and setup and execution of research experiments, set-up and take down of tanks and other devices.
  2. Maintenance of up-to-date chemical management system, identification and ordering research items, maintenance of personal protective equipment.
  3. Maintenance of a clear and organized laboratory notebook that is updated daily.

Secondary tasks include:

  1. Collection and identification of cephalopods and cephalopod prey species. Most of cephalopods and cephalopod prey species are available on site, and it will only rarely require ordering or pickup from local fishing supply shops or shrimp hatcheries. However, fieldwork for the collection of cephalopods and cephalopod prey species may be required at times.
  2. Laboratory husbandry of cephalopods and their prey in compliance with OIST animal welfare rules and regulations as stipulated by the OIST ARS/IUCAC. Basic responsibilities include tasks related to: feeding; monitoring and maintenance of water quality; monitoring and maintenance of animal physical health and welfare. Established protocols for animal care will be provided. It is expected that the individual will creatively test, improve upon, and refine these protocols over time, particularly but not exclusively with respect to environmental enrichment.

Opportunities for training and networking through visits to other institutions in Japan and elsewhere may be available to personnel who consistently demonstrate capable, reliable, and diligent execution of their duties and responsibilities.



  1. Bachelor’s Degree, MS or PhD in Aquaculture, Marine Biology or related fields.
  2. Hands-on prior experience in maintaining an aquatic experimental facility, preferentially where more than two research teams must coordinate activities.
  3. Background in aquatic husbandry and fieldwork. Strong organizational skills and ability to reliably maintain a regular schedule. Ability to work well and coordinate with others.
  4. Fluency in Japanese and basic proficiency in English, or vice versa, with willingness to improve skills if necessary.


  1. Experience with cephalopods.
  2. Experience and certifications (where required by law or OIST regulations) in safety and use of tools related to maintenance, repair, and construction using mechanical, plumbing, and electrical knowledge and skills.

Report to 

Prof. Jonathan Miller / The Physics and Biology Unit

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Full-time, fixed term appointment for 1 year.  Contract initially with 3-month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed.

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 uploading your submission documents HERE*.

*This is a secure file uploading system for handling confidential materials.

Submission Documents 

  • Curriculum vitae in English (and Japanese if available)
  • Cover letter in English (and Japanese if available)

* 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.


  • 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.  OIST Privacy Policy
  • Please view our policy for rules on external professional activities (
  • Further details about the University can be viewed on our website (