Postdoctoral Position at Tokyo College
About Tokyo College
Tokyo College is an international institute for advanced study based at the University of Tokyo (UTokyo). Our mission is to serve as an interface between UTokyo and researchers/research institutions around the world and create a shared vision of an ideal future with people from across the globe and to take action together to pursue its realization. Leading scholars, promising early-career researchers, and influential intellectuals from overseas gather and stay at Tokyo College, where they have frequent opportunities to exchange ideas with our scholars and students, creating synergy and generating new knowledge, which help us shape our future. Knowledge created by these activities is delivered directly to the public through lectures, seminars, and symposia organized by Tokyo College.
1. Job Title
Postdoctoral Fellow at Tokyo College, the University of Tokyo
2. Field of Expertise
Tokyo College is looking to invite researchers from a broad range of fields under the research theme "The Earth and Human Society in 2050" to carry out interdisciplinary collaboration that will contribute to the realization of a sustainable and inclusive future for humanity. Applicants’ field of expertise should be related to at least one of the following five research foci; topics that span multiple themes are also welcome.
- Digital Revolution and the Future of Humanity
- Tackling Planetary Boundaries through Interdisciplinary Approaches
- Japan Viewed from Inside and Outside
- Humanities in 2050 - World Philosophy, World History & World Literature
- Life and its Value for Future Society
3. Job Description
Postdoctoral fellows are expected to:
- pursue their own research objectives through an interdisciplinary lens;
- undertake collaborative research with researchers both within and outside of Tokyo College;
- actively expand interdisciplinary research collaborations and networks within the country and overseas;
- actively attend or host research seminars at Tokyo College, including online seminars/events to be broadcasted;
- pursue public engagement, such as outreach and social/cultural/artistic activities that connect with constituencies beyond academia
The appointment must start on either June 1, September 1, or December 1, 2024. It is a fixed-term, three-year contract without extension.
- A Ph.D. obtained within five years prior to the contract start date. Applicants scheduled to receive a Ph.D. degree before the start date are also eligible to apply. We encourage applicants, where relevant, to include a statement regarding career interruptions in their CV. (Note: We will consider extensions of this eligibility period for eligible career interruptions. For a list of eligible career interruptions, please see the FAQ below.)
- Good communication skills in English. No Japanese language skills are required. Although English is the main language of communication in Tokyo College, we encourage applications from those with diverse cultural or linguistic backgrounds. We also encourage applications from promising scholars who have had no or limited opportunities to be based at Japanese institutions and wish to build academic networks in Japan and abroad.
6. Compensation & Benefits
- Annual gross salary of JPY 6,000,000 plus benefits (may increase depending on annual performance
- Commuter allowance: Maximum JPY 55,000 per month
- Social Insurance: Eligible for MEXT* Mutual Aid Association membership, employees’ pension, unemployment insurance, and workers’ accident compensation insurance (*MEXT: Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
- Vacation: Annual paid vacation, sick leave (paid), special vacation (paid)
- Research fund: Maximum JPY 1,000,000 per annum will be provided to cover research related expenses, including books or references, travel expenses, etc.
- Relocation support for researchers from overseas: Tokyo College will provide support including obtaining a work visa and finding accommodation.
7. Employment Status and Working Hours
In principle, postdoctoral fellows are employed full-time by the University of Tokyo. The working hours may be made more flexible by adopting a discretionary labor system (exemption system) for this position and are left to the employees’ discretion. Other terms and conditions on this employment status shall be subject to the University of Tokyo working regulations.
8. Place of Work
This position is based at the Hongo Campus of the University of Tokyo.
(7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 JAPAN)
9. Application Materials
- Cover letter (maximum 1 page) including:
-Name(s) of potential University of Tokyo faculty member(s) who you would like to be hosted by and to work with. You do not need to contact them in advance.
-Names and contact details of 2 references.
-Please describe your career interruptions in detail if you are eligible
-Preferred start date (either June 1, September 1, or December 1, 2024)
-Any messages the applicant wants to convey to the examiners with respect to your career, experiences, research statement, and/or other relevant aspects
- Curriculum Vitae including list of publications
- Research Statement including the following aspects (maximum 4 pages)
-A description of outstanding research you have conducted (or demonstrated potential to develop outstanding research)
-A description of independent research you plan to undertake during the three-year period at Tokyo College and how it relates to one or more of the five research fields described in “2. Fields of Expertise.”
-Demonstrated or potential contributions to interdisciplinary research
-A demonstrated ability to work as a part of a diverse team as evidenced by activities such as research collaboration, building external networks and linkages, and community building.
- Two Reference Letters (to be submitted by the reference writers at the application site)
- One writing sample (this can be published or unpublished but should not be a full dissertation)
10. Application and Selection Process
Application deadline: September 30, 2023, Eastern Daylight Time (11:59PM, EDT)
Submission: All application materials should be uploaded via Academic Jobs Online by the application deadline: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/25215
Submission through email or postal mail will not be accepted. All documents must be in English.
Selection process: After an initial screening process, shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview. Applicants who have not been shortlisted will be notified about the decision.
* The University of Tokyo is committed to the principles of gender equality in their recruitment. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental for knowledge creation and education.
* We welcome applications from people of all genders, those who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and applicants from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including those from non-English speaking educational institutions.
- Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (FEFTA)
If you are personally in contract with foreign governmental bodies, corporations, or you are in receipt of a large benefit (financial or any other form) from foreign governmental bodies during the period of your employment(*), the provisions of the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (FEFTA) may prohibit or restrict the sharing of technology that are designated as controlled technology possibly making it difficult for you to fulfill your duties as an academic or administrative staff of the university as a result. Therefore, in such cases it is necessary to keep such contracts/benefits within the scope where it does not hinder the sharing of technologies necessary for your duties by the university.
(*) Receiving funds for the purpose of conducting research from a university or other entity with which you are not in an employment relationship (excluding foreign governments, foreign government agencies, foreign local governments, foreign central banks, or foreign political parties or other political organizations) is not subject to the above restrictions.
- Status of measures to prevent passive smoking
Smoking is prohibited on the premises (smoking areas are located outside).
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there an age limit to apply for the position?
- No, all we require is that applicants have completed a Ph.D. within five years of their proposed start date.
- I am not sure how my research topic relates to one of the research themes of Tokyo College.
- Our five themes are flexible and have room for new ideas. However, we expect you to frame and situate your research in the broader contexts indicated by one or more of these themes so that we can understand how it contributes to our research agenda. Click here (YouTube playlist of short interviews), to see how some of our current fellows interpret the themes.
- How should I select a potential faculty host?
- Please refer to the university website at (UTokyo Faculty Search) to identify faculty you would like to be hosted by or who you think most closely fits your research theme. You do not need to contact the potential host in advance.
- Can I learn Japanese at the University of Tokyo?
- Yes, the university provides free Japanese language courses for researchers. The course has two modes (intensive and regular) and offers 5 levels from beginner to advanced. For more information, please refer to http://www.nkc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/index2_e.html.
- Will I be able to/expected to teach?
- In principle, this is a research position. However, co-teaching opportunities are available under existing courses and offerings in the framework of the UTokyo undergraduate liberal arts program. Click here: The Future of Law and Language Education - Tokyo College (u-tokyo.ac.jp) and here: Toward 2050: Hospitals of the Future – The Role of Art - Tokyo College (u-tokyo.ac.jp) for examples of student work done in previous courses offered by Tokyo College.
- What qualify as eligible career interruptions?
- Caring responsibilities, disaster, medical conditions, parental leave, unemployment, non-research positions.
- How does a fellowship at Tokyo College fit into my career path?
- Tokyo College offers you an outstanding and innovative research environment that allows you to hone your collaboration, communication, and networking skills across disciplines and beyond the university while pursuing independent and original research. Previous members are now working at the University of Tokyo, The University of Sydney, Radboud University, United Nations University, and YouTube. Click here: https://www.tc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/weblog/7273/ for testimonials.