Postdoctoral Position at Tokyo College - Tokyo College

Postdoctoral Position at Tokyo College

About Tokyo College

Tokyo College is a new scheme of collaboration for members of the University of Tokyo to discuss 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 young 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 immediately to the public through lectures and seminars organized by Tokyo College.

1. Job Title

Postdoctoral Fellow (Project Researcher) 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 of 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.

  1. Digital Revolution and Future of Humanity
  2. Tackling the Planetary Boundaries through Interdisciplinary Approaches
  3. Japan Viewed from Inside and Outside
  4. Humanities in 2050 - World Philosophy, World History and World Literature
  5. 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 Japan;
  • actively expand research collaborations and networks within the country and overseas;
  • actively attend or host research seminars at Tokyo College, including seminars/events to be broadcasted online;
  • engage in academic outreach through dissemination of research outcomes.

4. Terms

The appointment must start anytime between April 1, 2022 and January 1, 2023. It is a fixed-term, three-year contract without extension.

5. Selection Criteria

  • A Ph.D. obtained not earlier than five years prior to the contract start date. (Note: we will consider extensions of this eligibility period for eligible career interruptions. For a list of eligible career interruptions, please see FAQ below.) 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 on career interruptions in their CV.
  • A description of past research activities and how they relate to at least one of the five research fields described in “2. Field of Expertise.”
  • A potential to contribute to interdisciplinary research.
  • A demonstrated ability to work as a part of a diverse team as evidenced by factors such as research collaboration, building external networks and linkages, and community building.
  • A description of independent research you plan to undertake during the three-year period at Tokyo College.
  • Good communication skills in English. No Japanese language skills required. Although English is a 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 is JPY 6,000,000 plus benefits, and it may rise within the range of JPY 6,000,000 – JPY 7,200,000 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 which can be used 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

  1. Cover letter (maximum 2 pages) including:
    • Name(s) of potential University of Tokyo faculty member(s) who you would like to be hosted by (you do not need to contact them in advance)
    • Names and contact details of 2 referees (we may request the letter after the first screening when necessary; please refer to the FAQ for more information)
    • Preferred start date
    • A summary of responses to the selection criteria
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Responses to Selection Criteria (maximum 4 pages; provide an answer to each selection criterion)

10. Application and Selection Process

Application deadline: September 30, 2021 in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Submission: All application materials should be uploaded via Academic Jobs Online by the application deadline:  Submission through email or postal mail will not be accepted. All documents are required to 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.

* Personal information will be handled according to the Privacy Policy of the University of Tokyo and will be used only for the purpose of selection processes.

* University of Tokyo is committed to the principles of gender equality in their recruitment. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental for knowledge creation and education, and achieving gender equality is one of UTokyo’s most significant challenges.

* We welcome applications from women, people with disabilities, those who identify as LGBT, and applicants from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including those from non-English speaking educational institutions.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 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.

  1. I am not sure how my research topic relates to one of the research themes of Tokyo College.

- Our five themes have room for new ideas and research topics. Please indicate the research themes that are closest to your research in “Responses to Selection Criteria” in your application documents.

  1. How should I select a potential faculty host?

- Please refer to the university website ( , to find a researcher 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.

  1. 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

  1. Will I be able to/expected to teach?

- In principle, this is a research position. However, limited co-teaching opportunities under existing courses may be available, but these do not exceed a few hours per year.

  1. When is the deadline for submitting reference letters?

- We do not require reference letters upon submission of the application. We require only the name and contact information of each of your referees. For candidates who pass the first document screening, we may contact your referees directly for references around November or December (depending on the number of candidates we take for the second round). You do not need to request your referees to prepare letters at the time of your application.

  1. What qualify as eligible career interruptions?

- Caring responsibilities, disaster, medical conditions, parental leave, unemployment, non-research positions.