[20140900] Research Scientist Positions at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI), Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

The Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) aims to answer the fundamental questions of how the Earth was formed, how life originated in the environment of early Earth, and how this life evolved into complexity.

ELSI will pursue these questions by studying the "origin and evolution of life" and the "origin and evolution of the Earth" through an interdisciplinary collaboration between the fields of Earth, Life, and Planetary Sciences. By understanding the early Earth context that allowed for the rise of initial life, we will also contribute to a greater understanding of the likelihood of extraterrestrial life in our solar and exosolar systems.

ELSI is a young and innovative institute (launched Dec. 2012) with a vision to become a world-leading interdisciplinary research hub for Origins of Earth and Life studies. In order to succeed in this mission, ELSI seeks to assemble a team of talented, highly motivated individuals from around the world who wish to pursue original research and also actively engage in cross-disciplinary discussions and synergistic research projects. ELSI as a young institute will provide a unique opportunity for those who wish to play a contributing role in the direction and development of an exciting new research institute.

ELSI will provide the environment and assistance necessary to support this endeavor.

The ELSI Research Scientist positions provide highly flexible connections to ELSI Principal Investigators or research groups. A research fund of at least JPY 0.5 million/year up to JPY 1.0 million/year will be available to each scholar.

Tokyo is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world. ELSI is situated in the Meguro Ward of Tokyo, with convenient and quick train access to all major city centers and attractions. ELSI has experienced staff who are dedicated to providing full relocation assistance to ease the transition to Japan, including help with immigration procedures, housing, health care, and all other basic needs.

We welcome all qualified candidates, regardless of nationality or gender. We encourage and support our candidates' close collaborations with overseas research institutes. Our institutional language is English; Japanese language skills are not required.

Research Fields:

Scientific fields related to research themes pursued at ELSI include but are not limited to:
• Formation of the Earth
• Early Earth environment and evolution
• Deep Earth properties and dynamics
• Solar system exploration
• Formation and characterization of exoplanets
• Abiotic chemical evolution
• Origin of Life
• Early biological evolution
• Bacterial ecology
• Metagenomics
• High performance computing
• Bioinformatics


ELSI Research Fellows must hold a Ph.D. degree from an accredited institution in a relevant field at the time of appointment.

Number of Openings:

Up to 20 positions are offered in the present recruitment.

Place of Work:

Earth-Life Science Institute
Tokyo Institute of Technology
2-12-1-IE-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku
Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

Starting Date:

January 1, 2014 or earliest possible date thereafter, preferably no later than September 2014. Please discuss with us if this schedule poses potential problems.

Period of Employment:

Three years, with a possible extension to five based on performance.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary: JPY 4,800,000 to JPY 7,000,000 per year depending on experience, including social insurance, taxes, and all allowances (commuting, housing, etc.).

Bonus and retirement allowances are not provided. The following social insurance is covered:
• Medical and dental insurance called "Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Mutual Society of Health Insurance" ("Monbukagakusho Kyousai Kumiai" in Japanese.)
• Employment Insurance ("Koyou Hoken")
• Worker's Accident Compensation Insurance ("Rosai Hoken")

Application Procedure:

Step (1): Submit an application through ELSI's public position offering page: https://var.elsi.jp/form/g/elsi/f_1/index.php
The application should include the following:
• Resume/Curriculum Vitae
• Publication list with your three most important papers marked clearly. The list may include conference talks and other relevant information.
• A statement of research interests and plans that specifically addresses intended contributions to the origin and early evolution of Life and/or Earth studies. (Please limit the length to 3 pages.)
• Contact information for three people who will provide letters of recommendation (name, email address, affiliation and position.)

Step (2): After sending your application, please ask three different individuals to submit letters of recommendation via e-mail to:recruitment@elsi.jp

Step (3): Applicant screening begins only after Steps (1) and (2) above are completed. Based on the submitted materials, ELSI's review board will determine whether to proceed to the next step, which will be an interview.

Step (4): Interview. We will contact you to arrange the dates and travel details. If you cannot travel to ELSI for an interview, we can arrange to conduct one over Skype or other means.

Step (5): Announcement of decision. If ELSI offers you a position, we will begin discussions with you regarding starting details.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact us by email and we will get back to you. Contact: recruitment@elsi.jp

Deadline for Application:

Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.