Two Postdoctoral Researcher Positions in the Evolution, Cell Biology, and Symbiosis 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 newly established Evolution, Cell Biology, and Symbiosis Unit (PI: Filip Husnik) is broadly interested in three main research topics:

  1. Endosymbiotic bacteria of protists and insects becoming highly integrated into their host cells (i.e. organelles).
  2. The origin and evolution of mitochondria and the eukaryotic cell.
  3. Marine microbiology and symbioses.

The recruited postdoctoral researchers will (based on their experience and interests) use selected multidisciplinary methods spanning field work, laboratory work, and computer work to address fundamental questions of the three research topics above.


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


  1. To carry out research related to one of the three main research topics of the unit.
  2. To publish research results in international journals and to present the work at international conferences.
  3. To work together with other lab members and foreign collaborators, and to co-supervise junior researchers such as interns and PhD students.



  1. PhD degree (in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, or any other discipline relevant to the project topic).
  2. Proficiency in spoken and written English.


  1. Own ideas complementing the research direction and enthusiasm to learn new approaches.
  2. Prior experience with Unix-based operating systems and at least one programming language (Python, R, etc.) and/or with some laboratory methods (cell biology, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, microbiology, biochemistry, etc.).
  3. Interest in both laboratory and computational work with ‘non-model’ organisms (protists, scale insects, and symbiotic bacteria) and in learning methods relevant for studying these systems such as super-resolution microscopy, SBF-SEM, FIB-SEM, Cryo-TEM tomography, genetic manipulations (transformation, gene tagging, knock in/out, RNAi, CRISPR-Cas9, etc.), microfluidics, single-cell approaches, micromanipulation and microinjection techniques, etc.

Report to 

Assistant Professor Filip Husnik (Evolution, Cell Biology, and Symbiosis Unit)

Starting Date 

April 1, 2020 (flexible, but preferably not later than September 2020)

Term & Working Hours 

Term: Full-time, fixed term appointment for 2 years. Contract initially with a 3-month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed up to total of 3 years.

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* in English (explaining why you are interested in this position and my group)
  • Curriculum vitae in English
  • Names and contact information of 2-3 referees, one of which should be a previous employer

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

Application Due Date 

February 15 or until 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

Job Description PDF