Postdoc Onboarding Checklist

Welcome to Boston University!

Congratulations on accepting your postdoctoral position at BU. This onboarding checklist can be used as a quick guide for postdocs to ensure a smooth transition to Boston University.

Prior to Arrival

  • Review the Postdoctoral Scholars Policy
  • Send PDPA your signed offer letter 
  • Learn about our resources for living in Boston and working at BU 
  • Find housing
  • Contact your department administrator to ensure everything will be set up for your arrival (e.g. BU email address, HR orientation date)

Before Your First Day

  • Register for a BU email address 
  • Obtain a BU ID card
  • Set up a bank account (if needed)
  • For International Postdocs: Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
  • For Non-employee Postdocs: email PDPA to learn about benefits 

During Your First Week

  • Attend HR orientation (employee postdocs only)
  • Obtain a BU ID card
  • Set up direct deposit on BUWorks Central
  • Complete sexual harassment training 
  • Obtain a workspace, computer/laptop, and a phone from your department

During Your First Month 

  • Read the Postdoctoral Digest newsletter 
  • Attend PDPA Orientation (sign up here)
  • Sign up for benefits within the first 30 days of employment / training
  • For International Postdocs: Attend ISSO orientation and connect with your school/college’s ISSO Scholar Advisor

Settling In 

  • Attend a PDPA workshop
  • Ensure that you are meeting compliance and safety training requirements (e.g. RCR)
  • Sign up for the Postdoc Academy program
  • Familiarize yourself with research funding opportunities (visit BU’s Research Support webpage as a starter) 
  • Complete your annual IDP 
  • For International Postdocs: Establish a timeline for visa renewal deadlines

    Feel free to email us at if you have additional questions at any point in your postdoctoral experience.

    If you would like further guidance on your postdoc onboarding process, you can sign up for a meeting with the Director of PDPA, Pallavi Eswara, by filling out the form below.

    One on One Meeting