Postdoctoral Affairs

Getting Started

Information about employment and payroll, benefits, banking, housing and more to help you settle in to your new position.

Upon arriving at Brown for graduate studies, you will want to tend to several academic and financial matters, while settling into the area. If you have questions, your program administrator is a good point of contact.

For international students, the Office of International Student & Scholar Services (OISSS) is an important resource.

The most important first step is to complete your I-9 paperwork.

I-9 and Other Employment Paperwork

Paige-Robinson Hall
Suite 520
69 Brown Street (corner of Brown and Waterman)
(401) 863-2427

  • OISSS will verify that your visa is ok.
  • Please bring passport and visa.
  • Those on J-1 Visas should also bring DS-2019 form; F1 holders should bring I-20.

South Street Landing
350 Eddy St, 4th floor
(401) 863-9970

  • You MUST go to Human Resources first.
  • Then you MUST stop by or contact the Benefits Office to set up an appointment for the benefits orientation to discuss health and retirement benefits.
  • Brown University’s health insurance plans require that you elect coverage within 31 days of your hire date.

HR Service Center/Cashier's Office
Brown Business Center 
Page-Robinson Hall, Room 213
69 Brown Street
Providence, RI 02912

  • To complete an I-9 in Paige-Robinson Hall on the second floor.

South Street Landing
350 Eddy St, 4th floor
(401) 863-2361

  • You must fill out a W-4 form through Workday, Brown's payroll system, or you will not have the proper taxes taken out of your paycheck.
  • You may also enroll in direct deposit through Workday.
  • *Foreign Postdocs must complete FNIS (pertains to immigration/tax status) prior to going to Payroll to get your home country tax treaties set up.

Paige-Robinson Hall
Suite 511
69 Brown Street (corner of Brown and Waterman)
(401) 863-2273

  • You MUST get a Brown photo ID card to access buildings.
  • After completing your I-9, a Human Resources representative will give you a form to allow you to get your Brown card.
  • *International Postdocs should bring the OISSS Release Form and Passport to the Brown Card Office.

(401) 528-4501

Federal Center
380 Westminster Street, Third floor
(second building in from corner of Empire and Westminster streets)
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Social Security Administration
55 Broad Street
Pawtucket, RI, 02860

Social Security Number application and instructions can be found at

Note:  All postdocs MUST have a social security number or PROOF that an application has been filed in order to be PAID by the Brown University Payroll Office. Documents to bring to Social Security Office include: passport, visa or Green Card, DS-2019 form, and your appointment letter. 

*International Postdocs must wait ten (10) days from date of arrival before going to the Social Security Office/Federal Center because the Social Security Office needs time to verify your immigration entry records.


New students typically open a local bank account. For convenience only, we offer a list of banks with offices near the Brown campus.  


Most postdocs live off-campus in the neighborhoods surrounding Brown. The Housing webpage in the Graduate School's Admitted Students Guide offers some helpful links to connect you with on and off campus options.

Automobile Registration and Driver's Licensing

If you are considering becoming a Rhode Island resident, you must register your vehicle within 30 days of moving to the state. Proof of auto insurance is required in Rhode Island.

If you drive a vehicle and plan to establish residency in Rhode Island, you must obtain a Rhode Island driver’s license within 30 days of your arrival in Providence.

Visit the Division of Motor Vehicles


To register to vote, U.S. citizens must be at least 16 years of age (18 years of age to vote on Election Day) and a legal resident of Rhode Island. For further information on registering to vote, please visit the State of Rhode Island Board of Elections website.

Laboratory Safety Training

Any Brown community member who is working in a lab is required to attend a laboratory safety training session. These are three-hour classroom sessions covering chemical guidelines, emergency procedures, accident reporting and other essential information that you will need to work in a lab at Brown. You can sign up for a lab safety session