Information for New 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 OPA.
For additional activities and to get involved in the Vanderbilt postdoc community, consider joining the Vanderbilt Postdoc Association (VPA).
NEW POSTDOC ONBOARDING CHECKLIST
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 verification. Under 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:
- Apartment Guide
- Apartment Finder
- Apartment Ratings
- Vanderbilt MyVU Classified Ads (must have a VUnetID to log in, so can only be used once you have completed that step)
Get to Know Nashville
- Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce – Getting Established
- The Tennessean FYI Guides to Davidson County & Middle Tennessee
- Visit Music City – A site to explore everything Nashville
- Nashville Guru – a publication focusing on what makes Nashville, Nashville
- Do615 – Things to do in Nashville today and in the future
- Nashville Sports Teams
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 or Before 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.
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.
Set up Direct Deposit
Instructions and a paper enrollment form are available on the Human Resources website.
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.
Please visit the ISSS and GSS Offices for additional resources.
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
Enroll in 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 OPA Orientation
OPA holds VU postdoc orientation on the second Wednesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. 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 is open to all VU Postdocs, which includes:
- 9145: Postdoctoral Scholars, Research
- 9146: Postdoctoral Scholars, Trainee
- 9136: Postdoctoral Associate, Visiting
For VUMC postdoc orientation, please contact Faith Bishop in the School of Medicine.