About ELSI

Public Offering Positions

ELSI Principal Investigator (Professor or Associate Professor) Position

The Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) is soliciting applications for a new senior level faculty member pursuing original research and actively engaging in interdisciplinary discussions and synergistic collaborations on the origins of planets and life.

ELSI was established in December 2012 with generous support from Tokyo Tech and the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The WPI program has four major objectives; it aims to advance leading-edge research, establish international research environments, reform research organizations, and create new interdisciplinary research domains. As part of the WPI program, ELSI has a research and administrative vision to become globally competitive center that can attract the best scientists from around the world. For further information regarding the WPI program, please follow the link below:


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.

We are now seeking exceptional candidates for the role of Principal Investigator (Professor or Associate Professor) to lead world-class interdisciplinary research relevant to the origin and evolution of Earth and life. Position details are provided below.



Principal Investigator of ELSI (Professor of Associate Professor)

Number of Openings


Subject Area

Study of the early Earth and study of the origin of life


1) Candidates should hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent).

2) Candidates should have their own original research plans in the subject specified above and demonstrated abilities to acquire external or competitive funds to promote their own research.

3) Candidates should be qualified to offer graduate-level instruction and classroom teaching in English with demonstrated capacity to supervise and teach graduate students.

4) Candidates should have an international research network in a relevant subject and a strong commitment to the development and the strategic and operational management of the institute.

Form of Employment

Full-time (tenured or non-tenured)


1) Tenured position: retirement age system.

2) Non-tenured position: term of five years. During the term, a tenure assessment will be conducted, and the successful candidate’s employment may not have a fixed term.

In either case, appointment does not extend beyond the end of the academic year in which he or she attains the retirement age (65).

Starting Date

April 1st, 2018, or earliest possible date thereafter

Place of Work

Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology

2-12-1-IE-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan


Annual salary system. The salary will be determined in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the National University Corporation Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Selection process

The selection committee will start reviewing the submitted materials on November 1, 2017. Selected candidates will be interviewed and will be requested to give a public seminar on their research in English.


1. During the selection process, candidates may be requested to provide additional information.

2. Tenure assessment will be conducted in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the National University Corporation Tokyo Institute of Technology.

3. Tokyo Institute of Technology provides equal opportunities to all qualified applicants in all scientific research fields regardless of nationality, gender, religion, or any other characteristic protected by law.

4. Submitted materials are strictly protected under the Privacy Policy of Tokyo Institute of Technology and wil be used only for the purpose of applicant screening. Please note that the materials will not be returned.

5. Please visit http://www.elsi.jp/en/ for further information about the institute.

6. For inquiries, please contact Professor Kei Hirose, Selection Committee Chair via e-mail (faculty-recruitment[at]elsi.jp; replace [at] by @).


Application Materials

Please prepare the following materials in PDF format. There is no set formt. All documents must be provided in English.

1. 1-to-2-page cover letter including a statement of interests. Please indicate the desired position (Professor or Associate Professor).

2. Curriculum vitae including educational background, professional experience, honors and awards, mailing address, and e-mail address.

3. List of research achievements classified into the following categories (peer-reviewed journal papers, refereed international conference proceedings, books authored, reviews, and intellectual property). Please indicate publications in which you are the first author with an asterisk (*).

4. List of acquired external research grants, fellowships, or competitive funds. The type, project title, period of research, and budget should be provided for each item. Please specify applicant’s contribution as a principal or cooperative investigator. In case where you act as co-investigator, please specify the total and allocated budgets.

5. Abridged list of major honors and awards, academic society activities, editorial activities, grant proposal review panels, other service-related activities, committee activities, and social contribution or outreach activities.

6. List of up to five most important publications.

7. Outline of research achievements and current research objectives. Please limit the length to 3 pages of A4 or letter size.

8. Statement of research plans at ELSI that specifically address the origin and early evolution of life and/or Earth. Please limit the length to 3 pages of A4 or letter size.

9. Outline of past and current teaching activities and list of classes taught. Please specify the language used in classes. Please limit the length to 2 pages of A4 or letter size.

10. Statement of teaching and public outreach plans. Please limit the length to 1 page of A4 or letter size.

11. List of names and contact information of four references. Two or more references should be from researchers based in institutions outside of Japan. The name, affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and their relationship to the applicant should be provided.

Application Procedure

Please submit your application as specified above by registered mail/courier or electronically by October 31st, 2017. The application materials will not be returned. We will notify you via e-mail upon receipt of your application within 5 business days.

A. Submission by registered mail or courier service.
Please send your application as a single PDF file recorded on a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or USB flash drive to the following address:

Administrative Vice Director

Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology

2-12-1-IE-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-8550, Japan

* Please write “Application for the ELSI faculty position” in red on the front of the envelope.

B. Submission through ELSI's public position offering page.

Please generate and submit a single PDF file that includes all the documents specified above. The file size should not exceed 5 MB.

Application closing date October 31st, 2017