About ELSI

Public Offering Positions

ELSI Research Scientist Position

The Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) of Tokyo Institute of Technology was launched in December 2012 as part of the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The WPI grant is awarded to institutes with a research and administrative vision to become globally competitive centers that can attract the best scientists from around the world to come to work in Japan.

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 pursues 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 also work to establish a greater understanding of the likelihood of extraterrestrial life elsewhere in the universe.

In order to succeed in this mission, we are seeking a Postdoctoral Scholar to refine Earth's Precambrian paleointensity and paleomagnetic record, starting with a unique 'library' of over 160,000 well-curated geological samples amassed at the Tokyo Institute of Technology by Prof. Shigenori Maruyama and colleagues. The principal tool will be the new, third-generation scanning SQUID microscope (which uses cryogen-free, pulse-tube technology), built recently at TiTech's Earth-Life Science Institute in Meguro, Tokyo, Japan. Caltech facilities will also be available. The goal is to first exploit the in-house collections to identify the most promising units by focusing on single-crystal geochemical and paleointensity determinations. Work will be highly interdisciplinary, in collaboration with the Tsunakawa, Hirose, Ueno, Maruyama, and Kirschvink groups.

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. An unprecedented level of support for researchers to live and thrive in Japan is provided by our talented staff.



ELSI Research Scientist
Field of Research

Precambrian Paleointensity


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

Number of Openings


Starting Date

June 1, 2019 or earliest possible date thereafter.
Please discuss with us if this schedule poses potential problems, and we will try to meet your needs where possible.

Period of Employment

Two years, with a possible extension until March 31, 2022 based on the successful applicant’s performance and the direction and situation of ELSI.

Place of Work

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

Salary and Benefits

Salary: JPY 350,000 per month 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_15/index.php

All documents must be arranged in English.
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: Applicant should ask three individuals to submit a letter of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should be provided in English from external non-ELSI person. Referee should submit a letter of recommendation via e-mail ura_[at]_elsi.jp (please replace “_[at]_” with “@”) by April 1, 2019.

Step 3: Applicant screening begins only after Steps 1 and 2 above are completed. Based on the submitted materials, ELSI's recruitment committee will determine whether to proceed to the next step, which will be oral presentation and interview. We will notify our decision to each applicant.

Step 4: Oral presentation and 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. The interview is currently planned to be arranged in June 2019.

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 e-mail and we will get back to you.

Contact e-mail addresses:
To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact Joe Kirschvink, kirschvink_[at]_ELSI.jp, or Kirschvink_[at]_Caltech.edu. (please replace “_[at]_” with “@”)

About administrative procedures, please contact URA (University Research Administrator) of ELSI, ura_[at]_elsi.jp (please replace “_[at]_” with “@”).

Deadline for Application

April 1, 2019