Staff Scientist position in Physics and Biology Unit (Miller 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 brains in the world to Okinawa to transform the way science and education is done in the global academic world.

Position summary:

A successful applicant will be highly motivated, independent, resourceful, able to put science first and work well and coordinate with others. Research or work experience in machine learning is required; theoretical physics background desired. Those with interests and experience in machine learning applied to animal behavior, NLP, imaging, and genomics and/or in basic science of machine learning are encouraged to apply. Much of the work will be conducted in English and Japanese, so at least basic proficiency in both languages is preferred together with a willingness to improve skills if needed. The position will offer a capable researcher the opportunity to work with scientists in diverse fields from around the world.


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


1. The researcher will be expected to devote around half of research effort to applications of machine learning for data generated by our unit and in collaboration with other OIST units, from genomics and NLP to detection, tracking, or identification of objects, in collaboration with unit head and unit personnel.

2. Remaining research effort the researcher will devote to basic science of machine learning toward its development and advancement, in collaboration with unit head and unit personnel.

3. As necessary for the position, you will learn:

- new skills (including programming machine learning and deep learning algorithms);

- new algorithms; 

- how to actively conduct research; 

- how to make presentation packages to communicate results to specialists, non-specialists and business decision-makers.



1. Ph.D. degree in computer science, machine learning or AI, or mathematics/physics Ph.D. with experience in machine learning.
2. At least five years relevant post-doctoral experience in industry or academia.
3. Ability to program in Python, Java, or C/C++.
4. Love of mathematics & theoretical CS and excited to learn new theory and implementation.
5. Fluency in Japanese and basic proficiency in English, or vice versa, with willingness to improve skills if necessary.
6. Friendly and collaborative.
7. Excellent communication skills.
8. Willingness to engage across disciplines.


1. Interest in animal behavior.
2. GPU/cluster experience.
3. Willing to learn above.

Report to 

Prof. Jonathan Miller/Physics and Biology Unit

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Full-time, fixed-term appointment for 1 year. Contract initially with a 3-month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed for up to a total of three years.


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 uploading your submission documents HERE*.
*This is a secure file uploading system for handling confidential materials.

Apply by emailing your Submission Documents to:


(Replace # with @ before using this email address)

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

Submission Documents 

-  Curriculum vita in English (and Japanese if available)

- Cover letter in English (and Japanese if available)

- Indicate in cover letter whether applying for Staff Scientist or for Senior Staff Scientist.

- Names and contact information of 3~5 referees, one of which should be a previous employer

* Please indicate where you first saw the job advertisement.

* Please be sure to indicate where you first saw the job advertisement.
* Up to 3 references may be requested during the final interview stage.
* 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 will be accepted until all positions are 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 OIST policy for rules on external professional activities
  • Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website