Postdoctoral Scholar/Staff Scientist in the Neurobiology Research 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 NBU is seeking a talented and enthusiastic neuroscientist to join a team researching the neural mechanisms of learning. The research focus is on the basal ganglia, and the neuromodulators dopamine and acetylcholine. The laboratory uses transgenic and wild-type rodent models in behavioral experiments, combined with electrophysiology, electrochemisty and imaging in both awake animals and brain slice preparations. There is some flexibility in the focus of the research project depending on the applicant. NBU=Neurobiology Research Unit.

  • Conduct research on the actions of dopamine or acetylcholine in the striatum
  • Contribute to the design, execution and reporting of experiments to understand the effect of   striatal dopamine and acetylcholine on brain physiology, learning and behavior.
  • Obtain, analyse and write-up high quality experimental data for publication.
  • Provide scientific and technical assistance to laboratory members. 
  • Work in a responsible manner, maintaining excellent laboratory safety standards
  • Experience and expertise in relevant methods (e.g. whole cell recording, two-photon imaging)
  • PhD in neuroscience or related area
  • Motivation to do high quality basic science research and publish in top journals
  • Willingness to work as a team member in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment
  • Ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English.

In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations


  • Cover letter written in English
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Names and contact information of 3 referees, at least one of whom should be a previous employer

* 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 OIST after a conditional offer of employment.

  • 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

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



9:00-17:30 (Discretionary)

Professor Jeff Wickens
メインキャンパス:沖縄県国頭郡恩納村字谷茶 1919-1
*Application will be closed once the position is filled.

We thank all those who apply but only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.