Postdoc Orientation for New VU 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.
Please note: the information on this site is for VU postdocs appointed by the OPA. VUMC postdocs will receive orientation information from their school/department.
GETTING STARTED AT VANDERBILT: 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
- Nashville Guru - a publication focusing on what makes Nashville, Nashville
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
Complete the W-4 Form
- Complete the W-4 Tax Withholding Form
- Take your completed W-4 to the HR Front Desk, 10th Floor Baker Building, 110 21st Avenue South, Nashville, 37203
- If you are not a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder), please contact the International Tax Office (ITO) in order to obtain access to the Glacier Tax Analysis Software. The Glacier program will determine your tax residency status and generate a Form W-4 for you when you complete your profile
- If you are an international employee, please contact the International Tax Office (ITO) in order to obtain access to the Glacier Tax Analysis Software
- A nonresident alien (for tax purposes) is a person who is not a United States citizen, refugee, asylee, or permanent resident, and has not met the substantial presence test
- A resident alien (for tax purposes) is a person who is not a United States citizen, refugee, asylee, or permanent resident, but has met the substantial presence test
- The substantial presence test is used by the IRS to determine residency for tax purposes. For additional information, visit the International Tax Topics page on the HR website
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
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, in 010 Alumni Hall