Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

Getting Started: Upon Arrival - the first few days

The following is a list of important to-do items that new postdoctoral scholars at Stanford must or should do during their first few days at Stanford University. 

Attend the mandatory Postdoctoral Scholar Benefits Session

The Postdoc Benefits Session is held in Redwood Hall G-19, 243 Panama Street, Stanford,  CA  94305 on most Thursdays at 10:00 a.m, unless otherwise noted.   Your department registers their postdocs for the Benefits Sessions.  Please contact your department administrator if you have not received a Benefits Session Registration Confirmation email.

Enroll in Health Benefits Within 31 days - REQUIRED

Postdoctoral Scholars are required to have medical insurance while at Stanford. Please review for plans offered and enrollment information.

INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARS: Confirm your arrival with the Bechtel International Center

Postdoctoral Scholars who are in the United States on visas must confirm their arrival in the United States (establish their physical presence) upon arrival at Stanford. This is a government requirement that is part of validating the scholar’s record in SEVIS. After an international postdoctoral scholar enters the US and arrives at Stanford, s/he must confirm the arrival with the I-Center by following the instructions available at This should be done no later than the 25th day after the "From" date on the DS-2019 form. Please read the "Limited Validity of the DS-2019" for instructions for more details.

Plan your commute to campus: Buy a parking permit or register your bike

Parking & Transportation staff can help you plan the best way to get to work, assist you in signing up for ride matching services to find carpool partners, or issue a parking permit. Visit the Parking & Transportation Services website to explore options.

  • If you'll be driving a car to your new position on the main campus, use the Parking and Circulation map (pdf) to identify the parking location nearest to your building or send an email to for assistance. You will need to purchase a parking permit (Stanford ID card or offer letter and photo ID required for proof). 
  • If you will be located on the main campus, become familiar with the free Marguerite shuttle service, Commute Club rewards, and bicycle program. Bicycles are also required to be licensed with the Santa Clara County & should be registered at the Parking & Transportation Office.

Obtain a Stanford ID Card

Obtain your Stanford Student (postdoc) ID Card from the Stanford Card Office. Bring a picture ID (driver's license, passport, etc.) with you to confirm your identity.

Tresidder Union
459 Lagunita Drive, 2nd Floor
Open Mon-Fri
9 a.m. -5 p.m.
(650) 498-2273

George Forsythe Hall
275 Panama Street, room 190
Open Mon - Fri
8 a.m. - 5 p.m
(650) 498-2273

You may also wish to bring your spouse/domestic partner along so he/she can get his or her own Affiliate card at a cost of $20.  The Campus Card office will request some proof of long-time partnership such as a marriage license, joint checking account, proof of living at same address, etc.

Setup a Bank Account

Banks on campus:

Register to attend the next Quarterly Postdoc Orientation and Postdoc Mixer

[ Sign-up for Emergency Alerts

Stanford University’s AlertSU System
San Mateo County’s SMCAlert System
Santa Clara County’s AlertSCC System

  Review Earthquake Preparedness Information

Stanford University’s Earthquake Information
Earthquake Country Alliance’s “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country – SF Bay Area

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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