Postdoctoral Affairs

Congratulations on your new position, and welcome to Brown!

Below are some of the first steps most University employees need to take to get started. Upon arriving at Brown to begin your postdoctoral appointment, please take the following steps related to employment and payroll, benefits, banking, and housing to ensure you get started. 

The Office of University Postdoctoral Affairs (OUPA) encourages you to review the welcome packet linked below as well as the links in the side navigation menu about housing and laboratory safety training.

Finally, your department's program administrator is a good point of contact if you have questions, and the Office of International Student & Scholar Services (OISSS) is an essential resource for international postdoctoral scholars.

OUPA Welcome Packet

The Office of University Postdoctoral Affairs (OUPA) has created a welcome packet for new postdoctoral appointees at Brown.

Welcome Packet

Steps for New Postdocs

Check in with your department administrator and follow these steps for new hires from University Human Resources. 

Register with OISSS

It is required that all new international scholars in either J-1, H-1B, O-1 or TN status register with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) upon arrival. When checking in with OISSS, please make sure you have all your travel documents (passport, visa, printout of I-94 record or I-94 card, DS-2019) and those for any dependents with you in the U.S.

Review Resources for Newly Arrived International Postdocs from OISSS

OUPA strongly recommends that international postdocs review the information on the “Once You Arrive” page of the OISSS website, including Your First Days at Brown” checklist, for additional check-in instructions and information.

Apply for a Social Security Number 

Please note, all postdocs must obtain a social security number (or proof that an application has been filed) to be paid by the Payroll Office at Brown. Review this important information from the OISSS about applying for a social security number and plan to visit a Social Security Administration Office once you have employment authorization.

To apply for an SSN, head to your nearest Social Security Office. Remember to bring your passport, DS-2019, I-94, and any other documentation to indicate that you are working in the US. It takes about ten days for your US entry status (for the I-94) to be updated, so plan your visit accordingly. 

When you receive your SSN, you need to report it to your department administrator. Keep your SSN safe, and do not give it to anyone who does not need it. It is common for banks and landlords to ask for your SSN.

Sprintax Calculus

Please note, international postdoctoral appointees paid by Brown University must enter their data pertaining to their immigration and tax status into Sprintax Calculus so that the Controller/Payroll Office can determine your level of taxation. You may submit the Form I-9 and begin employment at Brown University prior to completing the Sprintax Calculus process. However, until you complete the Sprintax Calculus process and submit the signed forms to the Brown Business Center, you will not benefit from any applicable tax treaty and will be taxed as a resident for tax purposes. Please refer to this page on the OISSS website for more information.

Complete Federal I-9 Form

The Federal I-9 form is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Complete your Federal I-9 form and other employment paperwork with the HR Service Center (HRSC). Located in Page-Robinson Hall (69 Brown Street), the HRSC can be found in the Brown Business Center on the second floor in suite 213. No appointment is necessary. Click here to review the list of acceptable documentation to complete your I-9. Please note, original documents are required–scans or photocopies are not acceptable.

Get a Brown ID Card

Get your Brown ID card at the Brown Card Office in Page-Robinson Hall (69 Brown Street) on the fifth floor in Room 511. Ask your department administrator to set up your key and card access to buildings as needed. After completing your I-9 form, a UHR staff member will give you a form to get your Brown ID card.

Complete W-4 Form and Enroll in Direct Deposit

Additionally, you should complete a W-4 form and enroll in direct deposit through Workday.

Check in with your department administrator and follow these steps for new hires from University Human Resources. 

Complete Federal I-9 Form

The Federal I-9 form is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Complete your Federal I-9 form and other employment paperwork with the HR Service Center (HRSC). Located in Page-Robinson Hall (69 Brown Street), the HRSC can be found in the Brown Business Center on the second floor in suite 213. No appointment is necessary. Click here to review the list of acceptable documentation to complete your I-9. Please note, original documents are required–scans or photocopies are not acceptable.

Get a Brown ID Card

Get your Brown ID card at the Brown Card Office in Page-Robinson Hall (69 Brown Street) on the fifth floor in Room 511. Ask your department administrator to set up your key and card access to buildings as needed. After completing your I-9 form, a UHR staff member will give you a form to get your Brown ID card.

Complete W-4 Form and Enroll in Direct Deposit

Additionally, you should complete a W-4 form and enroll in direct deposit through Workday.

In addition to the steps above, Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRAs) and Postdoctoral Fellows-NRSA (PDF-NRSA) should note that Brown University’s health insurance plans require that you elect coverage within 31 days of your hire date. You can learn more about benefits for the different types of postdoctoral appointments here. Please email the Benefits Office if you have any questions or concerns about your health insurance enrollment. 

Welcome Events for New Postdocs

The Office of University Postdoctoral Affairs (OUPA) hosts a quarterly postdoc welcome event and academic orientation. The event is a great chance to meet other postdocs new to Brown and the OUPA staff. It will include a presentation from OUPA director Audra Van Wart about planning a successful postdoc, plus an overview of resources available to postdocs at Brown. Postdocs will receive an email invitation after beginning their appointment at Brown.