Postdoctoral Affairs

Getting Started

Welcome to Brown! The Office of University Postdoctoral Affairs (OUPA) has created a welcome packet for new postdocs. Please note: you must be signed into your Brown email account in order to access the file.

Upon arriving at Brown for your postdoctoral appointment, take the following steps related to employment and payroll, benefits, banking, and housing to ensure you get started. Your program administrator is a good point of contact if you have questions, the Office of International Student & Scholar Services (OISSS) is an essential resource for international postdoctoral trainees.

The most crucial first step is to complete your I-9 paperwork and you can find more information about that step below.

I-9 and Other Employment Paperwork

The most crucial first step is to complete your I-9 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 postdocs typically open a local bank account. Please refer to this list of banks with branches near campus provided by the Graduate School.


Most postdocs live off-campus in the neighborhoods bordering Brown’s campus. Click here to review housing information provided by the Graduate School.

Vehicle Registration and Driver's License

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.



U.S. citizens must be 18 years old to vote on Election Day) and a legal resident of Rhode Island. Please visit the State of Rhode Island Board of Elections website for further information on registering to vote.

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 here.