Technician/Physics and Biology 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

The individual should be a highly motivated, independent, and resourceful worker, also able to work well and coordinate with others.  A research or work background in marine invertebrate fieldwork, husbandry, and behavior, preferably with a focus on cephalopods, is required.  Advanced scuba certification and experience in organizing and leading dive-based fieldwork is preferred. Strong organizational skills are essential to animal husbandry, as is the ability to dependably maintain a regular schedule.  Most of the work will be conducted in English and Japanese, so applicants should have at least a advanced proficiency in English and if possible basic skills in Japanese. To be willing to improve their skills, if needed is important for this job.

Candidate should be mobile and willing to relocate to the vicinity of the OIST animal husbandry facilities. Animals don’t necessarily adapt to regular work hours, and candidate must cooperate and coordinate work days and work hours in advance with other unit personnel to ensure coverage.




Physics and Biology Unit


〒904-0495 沖縄県国頭郡恩納村字谷茶1919-1


Primary tasks include:

1) Laboratory husbandry of cephalopods and their prey at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. The focus for husbandry will be on a few specific species of cephalopod and their prey. Culturing of diatoms, rotifers, or others species may also be required to provide prey for the cephalopod prey.  Basic responsibilities include tasks related to feeding, monitoring and maintenance of water quality, and monitoring and maintenance of animal physical and mental health. 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 in regards to environmental enrichment. Additional responsibilities may periodically include set-up and tank down of tanks, equipment, and animals for experiments.

2) Collection and identification of cephalopod species in Okinawa, the Ryukyu Islands, and elsewhere in Japan. Fieldwork includes scuba, snorkeling, and walking in reef, lagoon, sea grass, and mangrove intertidal and sub-tidal habitats. Work hours may sometimes be late at night or on weekends in order to collect nocturnal cephalopods, to take advantage of low tides, or to ensure health of animals.

3) Collection and identification of cephalopod prey species. Most cephalopod prey species are commercially available, and will only require ordering or pickup from local fishing supply shops or shrimp hatcheries; however, collection of prey species in the field may be required at times.

4) Ordering, shipping, and receiving of cephalopods and their prey to and from OIST.  Animals will be ordered and received from companies or public aquaria. Cephalopods collected or maintained at OIST will also be shipped to other institutions and aquaria around the world. If necessary, training will be provided on how to properly package and ship cephalopod adults and eggs internationally.  This responsibility will initially be infrequent but may increase, particularly, if the lifecycle is closed for laboratory care of species of interest.


Secondary tasks include:

5) Assistance in the design and execution of laboratory experiments in support of closing the life cycle for cephalopod species of interest and their prey.  This work would include the possibility of authorship on scientific publications.

6) Assistance in the design and execution of laboratory experiments relating to cephalopod behavior.  This work would include the possibility of authorship on scientific publications.

Opportunities for training and networking are possible through international conferences and/or visits to other institutions in Japan and elsewhere.



  1. A research or work background in marine invertebrate fieldwork, husbandry, and/or behavior.
  2. Strong organizational skills and ability to dependably maintain a regular schedule. Ability to work well and coordinate with others.  Work in the lab is done in English.

(Preferred but not required)

  1.  PhD in marine sciences
  2.  Experience with cephalopods. Experience in organizing and leading dive-based fieldwork. Advanced scuba certification for Japan (Sensuishi license)
  3.  Ability to speak Japanese

Starting Date 

After April 1st, 2018

Term & Working Hours 

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

Working hours: 9:00-17:30 (Discretionary) 

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 emailing your Submission Documents to:
(Please replace [at] with @ before using this email address)

Submission Documents 

  1. Curriculum vita in English (and Japanese if available)
  2. Cover letter in English (and Japanese if available)
  3. 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.

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 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 our policy for rules on external professional activities


* Further details about the University can be viewed on our website (