Backend Web Developer

We are looking for a Drupal backend developer to join us in meeting the needs of a rapidly-growing English-language graduate university for science and technology. Work with people from over 50 countries. Experience life in Japan while learning about Okinawa’s own unique culture. Enjoy cultural events, explore coral reefs, travel around Asia, and participate in an active multicultural university community while contributing to the future of Japan’s most international university.

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.

OIST supports families with relocation support, services for living in Okinawa, and onsite preschool and afterschool childcare facilities.

OIST is seeking an experienced web developer to support our growing web presence and to help us take our web sites to the next level. You will work as part of a team to maintain and develop our Drupal websites and some other web systems at OIST. The Digital Services Section works mainly with the administration but also consults closely with researchers to help them design and build applications such as web portals and services.

Come live in sunny Okinawa and help us to build a new and different university in Japan.


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


The Digital Content, Brand, and Design Section supports the development of a wide range of digital assets that meet the needs of a growing university. The section advances the research-driven communication program of OIST and helps promote the university to its global audiences. The services of the section are built upon expertise in web design, web development, user training, and content strategy and management.

Develop and maintain web applications and required resources like API, predominantly based in Drupal and PHP.

  1. Develop and maintain web applications and required resources like API, predominantly based in Drupal and PHP.

  2. Develop custom tools and provide university-wide solutions to support the growth of the university.

  3. Lead university-wide projects and provide advice and support members of the research and administration in web development.

  4. Produce high quality documentation for all systems and services deployed.

  5. Perform other duties as assigned.



  1. Bachelor’s degree.

  2. Minimum 5 years of experience as a web developer and at least 3 years’ experience working with Drupal.

  3. Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate easily in spoken and written English.

  4. Ability to develop and maintain Drupal 7 and 8 websites.

  5. Experience with Drupal backend development, particularly module development and content and data migration.

  6. Expertise with HTML5, object-oriented PHP programming, MySQL and other SQL-based databases.

  7. Experience with Symfony and Twig development.

  8. Expertise with Unix/Linux.

  9. Experience with cloud hosting platforms.

  10. Experience with shell scripting.

  11. Ability to use Git version control.

  12. Familiarity with Drupal 7 Organic Groups or willingness to learn.

  1. Experience with Pantheon hosting.

  2. Experience with Agile and Jira.

  3. Experience with automated testing frameworks and Continuous Integration.

  4. Knowledge of JavaScript, jQuery and SCSS/CSS.

  5. Japanese language ability or an interest in learning.

Report to 

Manager Digital Content, Brand, and Design Section

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

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

Working hours: 9:00-17:30 or Flextime, depending on employee discretion. Flextime comprises working core time of 10:00-15:00 every working day, plus discretionary hours up to 7.5hrs per day, amounting to the prescribed total working hours per month.

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.

or send by post to the following address:

HR Recruiting Support Section

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University

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

If you have any questions, please contact us at recruiting[at]

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

Submission Documents 

- Letter of intent in both English and Japanese
- Curriculum vitae in both English and Japanese
* Up to 3 references may be requested during the final interview stage.

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.

*  Please view our policy for rules on external professional activities


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