Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

Getting Started: Prior to Arrival

The following is a list of important to-do items that new postdoctoral scholars at Stanford must or should do prior to arrival, in order to prepare for a smooth transition to Stanford University. 

Determine the Cost of Living in Silicon Valley (Palo Alto/San Jose) and San Francisco Bay Area

Strongly recommended to have funds available to cover at least one month of living expenses in the Bay Area until first salary or stipend payment is disbursed

Salary is paid twice a month: on the 22nd for the pay period for the prior 1st-15th of the month and on the 7th for the pay period from the 16th-last day of the month. For example, salary paychecks for the May 1st-15th pay period will be disbursed on May 22nd.

Stipend payments are disbursed at the end of the current month. For example, stipend paychecks for the May 1st-31st pay period will be disbursed on May 31st. See stipend paydays here.

Start the search for housing

Please check out housing information in the Postdoctoral Scholar Handbook to help with housing searches.

Create a Stanford University SUNet ID and setup an e-mail account

Go to for an overview of services provided when you obtain your SUNet ID.  In SUNet ID pages section, click on Request a SUNet ID link to start process. You will then be asked to enter your student ID and give some additional identification to verify that you are the person who owns this ID.  The SUNet ID creates an email account.  If you have been sponsored by your home department with a SUNet ID prior to your postdoctoral appointment, this affiliate sponsorship does not entitle you to postdoctoral privileges. Go to Check Status paragraph on to check the current status of your SUNet ID.  You will only be entitled to Postdoctoral privileges after you have been set up in AXESS as a Postdoctoral Scholar by our office.

Required Patent and Copyright Agreement (SU‐18)

Once you have your SUNet ID, log-in to Axess (; click the link to “Patent and Copyright Agreement (SU‐18)” to review and submit your electronic signature. The link to the SU-18 form is in the lower right corner of the main AXESS page under the heading "LEGAL".

Required Data Security Form - Only for Postdocs within the School of Medicine

Please go to and click on "Get Started" under the "New to Stanford" heading.

Once you know your arrival date, email your faculty mentor and your department/lab administrator of your arrival date

Setup an appointment to meet them.

Print out a campus map and Marguerite Shuttle

Check the Parking and Transportation website for information to learn about the GOPass for CalTrain and how to get to campus and to your department/lab when you arrive.  

Review List of Helpful Stanford and Palo Alto area Websites

This list includes information about getting started at Stanford, Postdoc Groups, discounts on cell phones for Stanford affiliates, food on campus, local attractions, and so much more:

HealthStream Training - Instructions and Checklist for Postdoctoral Scholars involved in clinical research

Mandatory for School of Medicine (non-faculty) postdocs and employees who: 1) May be assigned duties with potential for occupational health exposures related to clinical research participants and; 2) Performs job duties (including Epic access) within SHC, LPCH, and/or other Stanford affiliated research patient care locations.



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