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

Your department registers you for the next Benefits Session.  Please contact your departmental postdoctoral 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 15th 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 Caltrain Go Pass, register your bike, find a carpool, and/or buy a parking permit.

Stanford's Parking & Transportation Services website can help you plan the best way to get to work, purchase your Caltrain Go Pass, register your bike, find ride matching services to find carpool partners, or purchase a campus parking permit.

TRAIN: Caltrain provides train service up and down the Peninsula, as far as San Fancisco and Gilroy, and connects with the free Marguerite shuttle to campus. Subsidized Go Passes are now available for Stanford postdocs. If you take the train to campus, or to any of the wonderful nearby cities and/or events, the Go Pass allows you unlimited rides on Caltrain for the year. Review the Caltrain schedule and purchase a Caltrain Go Pass if you live in an eligible ZIP code. Join Commute Club to receive rewards which can cover the cost of the Caltrain Go Pass if you work at an eligible campus address.

Not sure if the Go Pass is right for you? Check out the Commute Savings Calculator.

WALKING/BIKING: Become familiar with the free Marguerite shuttle service, Commute Club rewards, and on-campus bicycle programs.

Please Note: Bicycles on-campus are required to be licensed, which can be done at the Parking & Transportation Office.

CAR: If you'll be driving a car to your new position on the main campus, use the Parking Information page to identify the parking location nearest to your building. You will need to purchase a parking permit (Stanford ID card or offer letter and photo ID required for proof). 

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

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:

International Postdocs: Stanford Federal Credit Union does not require a Social Security Number to set-up a new account.

Register to attend the next Quarterly New Postdoc Welcome Luncheon 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

"Emergency Preparedness for Your Home" free, in-person class at Stanford (must have your SUNet ID to register)
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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