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Information for New VU Postdoc Hires

Welcome to Vanderbilt!

This orientation site is designed to help you navigate your arrival and first few weeks at Vanderbilt.  If you need additional information not covered here, please contact the OPA.

For additional activities and to get involved in the postdoc community, consider joining the Vanderbilt Postdoc Association.


Prior to Your Arrival at Vanderbilt

Check All Initial Appointment Requirements Have Been Completed

Check with your department to make sure that the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) has verified that all appointment requirements have been completed, including your background check.  Please note: the background check includes both the criminal portion and graduate degree verificationUnder no circumstances can a postdoc begin employment until all OPA requirements have been met.

Look for Housing

Vanderbilt does not provide housing for postdocs.  Here are some helpful resources:

Get to Know Nashville


Please note:  the information on below is for VU postdocs appointed by the OPA. VUMC postdocs will receive orientation information from either the School of Medicine or their department.


For VU postdocs – Complete Both Parts of the I-9

Both parts of the I-9 MUST be completed before your first day of work.  You will not be entered into the VU Human Resources systems until the I-9 is completed.  This process involves presenting original documentation that establishes your identity and employment authorization to the Vanderbilt I-9 office located on the 10th floor of the Baker Building (110 21st Avenue South, Nashville, 37203).  If you have questions regarding your I-9, please submit an email for assistance. Note: Postdoctoral Associate, Visiting (9136) should refer to their department for guidance regarding I-9 completion.


On Your First Day

Establish Your Vanderbilt User Account (VUnetID)

Your VUnetID is required to access VU services, including email.  Please note that access to VU systems is dependent on your completion of the I-9 form.

VU Human Resources is in the process of transitioning to a new system scheduled to go live by the end of June.  Please check back later for instructions.

Get Your Vanderbilt ID Card

It is recommended that you call or email the University Card Services Office to make sure they can recognize you in the system before proceeding to their office for your badge.  Make sure you bring a photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport) when you go to obtain your ID badge.

VU Card Services Office
Phone: 615-322-2273
Email:  commodore card
Address:  Sarratt Student Center, Room 184, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-7813

Set up Direct Deposit

Instructions and a paper enrollment form are available on the Human Resources website.

Parking Information

The University requires that all vehicles operated on campus by members of the University community be registered with the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD).  More information on the parking policy and how to register your vehicle for parking on campus is available on the Parking Services website.

International Postdocs

If you have a J1 visa, contact:
International Student & Scholar Services
Phone:  (615) 322-2753
Email:  ISSS

If you have an H1B visa, contact:
Global Support Services
GSS contact information

Please visit the ISSS and GSS Offices for additional resources.

Employment Visas

For more information regarding employment visas, refer to the GSS website  or email the Office of Immigration Services.


Your First Week

Attend the Mandatory Human Resources Benefits Orientation Session

Important:  This session is only for Vanderbilt University Postdoctoral Scholars, Research (job code 9145)

Your department staff administrator will register you for this session.  If you do not receive a confirmation email from Human Resources, contact the staff administrator in your department to make sure they have submitted your registration.  The confirmation email will contain the date, time, and location of the HR benefits orientation session that you should attend.


Your First Month

Health Insurance

Postdocs must enroll for health insurance within 30 days of your hire date (both Postdoctoral Scholars, Research and Postdoctoral Scholars, Trainees).  For enrollment and plan information, visit the postdoc HR insurance page.

Attend the OPA Orientation

The OPA Orientation is open to all VU Postdocs, which includes:

  • 9145:  Postdoctoral Scholars, Research
  • 9146:  Postdoctoral Scholars, Trainee
  • 9136:  Postdoctoral Associate, Visiting

Your department staff administrator will register you for this session.  If you do not receive registration confirmation from OPA, contact the staff administrator in your department to make sure they have submitted your registration.

OPA Orientation:  2nd Wednesday of each month, 9:00 to 10:30 AM

Complete Vanderbilt’s Initial Compliance Curriculum