I was recently introduced to the website JREC-IN, a portal for job listings in university teaching and research fields in Japan.
As tenure track positions here in the US (I apologize, I’m not familiar with the situations in Canada, UK, Europe, Aus/NZ, and elsewhere) become more difficult to reliably obtain, and as Japan (Even amid the downsizing of humanities departments, which we should either be terribly concerned about, or which has all been a big misunderstanding) continues to expand programs of courses taught in English, I for one am intending to keep my options open to look at jobs in Japan, and not only here in the US, once I finish my PhD. There is certainly plenty to say about the pros and cons of teaching in Japan, and that may make for a worthwhile blog post topic for another day, if we can find someone with expertise or experience in the matter.
But, for those who are looking for some sort of university teaching or research job in Japan, JREC-IN seems to be a great place to look. I’m kind of surprised to have never been introduced to it earlier.
I have not yet had a chance to explore the site too fully, so I apologize that this will not be a thorough or definitive guide to its use, but rather merely an introduction to the fact that the site exists.
As with many Japanese websites, there is an English version, as well as an English-language Help FAQ. And while my first tentative tests of the site in English seem to have yielded good results, I suspect it may be more fruitful to search in Japanese – after all, this is a general site for Japanese job listings, not one specifically catering only to English-language positions. A search for “okinawa,” for example, yielded 37 results, while one for 「沖縄」 yielded 288.
The site allows you to narrow your search by a number of different criteria, including:
*Institution type (e.g. public vs. private university, public vs. private corporation)
*Location within Japan
*Job type (e.g. executive; engineer; assistant, associate, or full professor)
*Employment status (full-time vs. part-time, tenure track vs. not)
A sample search, which you can see above, with the search terms 日本 AND (歴史 OR 文化), yielded results including a post-doc at Ritsumeikan’s Art Research Center (one of the preeminent institutions helping to catalog & digitize ukiyo-e collections around the world); an adjunct 非常勤講師 position in the Manga Department at Kyoto Seika University, which is associated with the International Manga Museum; and an associate professor 准教授 position in the International Education & Cooperation Center at Kwansei Gakuin University.
Click through to the individual job descriptions, and you’ll find much, if not all, of the information you’d be looking for from a job listing – job description, qualifications, job type and status (e.g. associate professor, part-time), compensation, application deadlines, date the posting was posted or updated, application process, and so forth.
The site is run by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), and as one might expect, the overwhelming majority of the jobs listed are in STEM fields. To give just a couple of examples, a tentative sample search in English for “okinawa” as the keyword, with nothing else specified, yielded 37 results, including one for EFL instructors, one in Linguistics, and 35 in STEM. And, a search on the English version of the website for jobs in “History” or “Art Studies” as the disciplines, with no keywords specified, yielded only two positions on that particular day. But, then, you never know.
The site also allows you to create an account, through which you can:
*keep and manage watchlists of job listings
*maintain a profile, and receive emails from potential employers
*apply online to certain positions
*make use of e-learning resources on the site
I’m afraid I have not delved into these Account Features, so I can’t comment on them further. But, if any of you make use of this site, please let us know in the comments about these extra features, and about your experience with the site.