Resources for Incoming Postdocs

Whether you’re new to BU or wrapping up your time here, we’re here to help with any questions you have about postdoc life and connect you with the resources on campus that serve and support the postdoc community.

There are a few people, places, and things you’ll need to know to make the most out of your time at BU. Learn more about helpful, and sometimes required, resources by attending postdoc orientation, exploring the links below, and/or scheduling an in-person meeting. Check the Professional Development page frequently throughout your time as a BU postdoc to see events and resources offered throughout the year.

Critical resources for incoming postdocs are included below and in the PDPA Guidebook developed by PDPA. If you are moving to the city, you may find the resource on Finding Housing in the City helpful. Be sure to review the Boston University Postdoctoral Scholar policy before you arrive. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

Jump to: Arriving on campus | While you’re here | When you’re ready to leave BU

Benefits for Non-Employee Postdocs

Health insurance and subsidized transportation passes are now available to non-employee postdocs at BU. Visit the Non-Employee Benefits page to learn more about deadlines, tax implications, and the process to enroll.

Arriving on campus

BU’s Charles River and Medical Campuses span the Kenmore/Fenway, Allston, and South End neighborhoods of Boston and offer many resources for you to explore and use. Use Boston University’s interactive campus map to navigate your way around the Charles River Campus, the Medical Campus, and their surrounding neighborhoods, and use the resource for Finding Housing in the City if you are moving to the area.

Step 1 – Tell us you are here, and attend PDPA orientation

PDPA offers orientation sessions every month for new postdocs. Join us to learn more about our partners across the university, talk about your professional and career development goals, and get your questions answered.

Step 2 – Check in with Human Resources

HR is your one stop shop to sign up for employee benefits and learn more about your employment at BU. Human Resources has locations on both campuses, and offers new employee orientation sessions on the Charles River Campus each Monday morning from 9 am – 12 pm.

Step 3 (for international postdocs) – Check in with the International Students and Scholars Office

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident when you start your postdoc, please be sure to check-in with the ISSO so that they can insure that you have the proper immigration classification and employment authorization to get started. The ISSO has weekly walk-in/check-in hours and J-1 scholar orientations (required if you are here under BU’s J-1 sponsorship) on both the Charles River and the Medical Campuses. Please be sure to bring the required documentation when you check-in and/or attend your J orientation and feel free to contact your Scholar Advisor if you have any questions.

While you’re here

Step 1 – Identify your professional development needs

Individual development plans (IDP) are a planning process that help postdocs identify their career goals and their professional development needs. They can also be a great conversation tool between postdocs and their faculty mentors to ensure that postdocs develop the skills they need to be successful both here at BU and throughout their career. PDPA is developing templates and tools specific to BU, but in the meantime there are also resources online to get you started.

Step 2 – Develop your skills

PDPA and our partners offer many events throughout the year to help you develop your skills and facilitate connections within the postdoc community. Have ideas of things you’d like to learn that we aren’t covering? Send us an email to let us know.

Step 3 – Build your support network

Whether things are going smoothly or you are facing challenges, BU has offices that can help and support you. The Office of the Ombuds can be a good first step if you have a concern and you don’t know where to turn for help. The Faculty & Staff Assistance Office also offers free, confidential counseling and referral services for Boston University faculty, staff, and their families. Also check back in with HR or ISSO if there have been changes to your appointment or you have questions.

Step 4 – Get funding

Use COS Pivot to explore funding opportunities and work with your departmental administrator and the Office of Sponsored Programs to submit your proposal. Explore more options for funding through the Research website.

When you’re ready to leave BU

Step 1 – Get help with your job search

Propel Careers is a Boston based life sciences search and career development firm with the unique distinction of being dedicated to networking, mentoring and career development. Propel Careers was founded in 2009 to foster career development, entrepreneurship, and to cultivate leaders with an initial focus on the life sciences industry. Lauren Celano, co-founder and CEO, is a BU alumnae and a partner on our recent BEST award. Ms. Celano meets with postdocs and graduate students on BUMC on the second and fourth Friday of each month from 3:00 – 5:00 P.M. in room L-317, and off-site on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10:00 A.M. – Noon. Schedule an appointment through BEST’s website.

Step 2 – Find a job

There are many websites you can search to find a position that is right for you. Below are a few of the resources postdocs at BU have found to be helpful, but we are also here to help you find the resources to navigate your job search if these aren’t right for your career needs.

Science Careers
Academic Jobs Online
Arts and Humanities Jobs Online

Step 3 – Tell us you’re going and about your experience

PDPA wants to know what your postdoc experience at BU was like so that we can apply your feedback towards building better services and resources for postdocs. Make an appointment with us in person or take our short exit survey.