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Checklist for New Postdocs

This page details what you should plan to do before and after your arrival at Tech. This list may not be completely comprehensive. So, be sure to consult with your hiring school/unit to ensure that all requirements have been met.

Questions? Email the Office of Postdoctoral Services.

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Before You Arrive

Complete Required Paperwork

  • Be sure to complete the necessary Georgia Tech Human Resources paperwork.
  • Contact your school or unit’s human resources representative to ensure that the required paperwork has been submitted.

Find Housing

Visit the Welcome to Atlanta page for helpful resources on finding housing options and roommates.

After You Arrive

In addition to the suggestions below, the Office of Postdoctoral Services has compiled this broad overview of administrative tasks you may need to learn and a list of general contacts.

Join Us for Opportunities To Meet New Postdocs

  • Postdoc Chats are an informal opportunity to meet other postdocs. The venue and time vary on postdoc interest and availability, so check the website often for updates.
  • Announcements of upcoming sessions of these and other events will be sent out via the newsletters.

Sign Up for the Postdoc e-Newsletter

The Office of Postdoctoral Services sends weekly newsletters that include information about events, fellowships, and other opportunities of interest to postdocs. You are welcome to subscribe to the newsletter. You may also want to ask your colleagues or unit administrator(s) if there are any mailing lists managed by the unit that would be useful for you to subscribe to.

Connect With Us on Social Media

Visit Human Resources

Your school or unit’s human resources contact will guide you through how to complete the necessary paperwork, including payroll and benefits forms. You can find out more about what documents to bring on your first day as well as orientation material on the Tech Human Resources onboarding page for new employees. You will then visit Human Resources to:

  • Complete new hire documents.
  • Sign tax forms (you'll need to show your photo ID and visa documents).
  • Obtain a BuzzCard, which is your Tech identification card.
  • Create an email account.
  • Obtain a temporary parking permit, if needed.

Attend Welcome to Tech New Employee Experience

New Employee Experience is held every two weeks. Schedule your orientation during your on-boarding session at the Human Resources (HR) Customer Service Center. You may also contact your department’s human resources representative for scheduling. This session gives you an opportunity to learn more about the culture, values, vision, and mission at Tech, including a Trolley Tour of campus.

Read Information for New International Scholars

  • J-1 exchange visitors, please read through the Office of International Education's information for J1 scholars and interns and complete the required forms on I-Start.
  • F1-OTP visa holders who graduated from Georgia Tech, please see the F student resources from the Office of International Education.
  • H-1B and incoming F-1 visa holders will need to complete online forms described on the Global Human Resources site.
  • If you don't have a Social Security card yet, you are required to apply for one within 10 days of your arrival in the United States. A social security number is required of every employee in the United States.

Enroll in Benefits: For Postdoctoral Fellows, Teaching Postdocs, Brittain Fellows and Other Employees

Information on benefits and an opportunity to talk with a benefits counselor is provided during new employee orientation. For enrollment information, view benefits for newly hired employees. If you need advice, benefits counselors are available to assist you. You can schedule an appointment or submit questions online.

  • Retirement. Participation in a retirement plan is mandatory for all employees (including postdocs) and the plan selection can never be changed. If you do not select a retirement plan within 60 days of hire, the system will automatically default you to the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS). The TRS plan requires 10 years of work within the USG system, which is unlikely for most postdocs. For this reason, the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) is selected by most postdocs. View instructions on how to select ORP (PDF).
  • Medical and Other Benefits. Participation is optional, and you must enroll within 30 days of hire.

Enroll in Benefits: For Affiliate Postdoctoral Scholars (Postdoctoral Fellowship Recipients Who Are Eligible for Employee Benefits)

You are eligible, but not required, to enroll in Georgia Tech’s voluntary student health insurance plan (SHIP). View instructions on how to enroll in the voluntary plan.

  • Note that many fellowships or training grants can reimburse you for health insurance benefits premiums. Contact your grant manager or program director to check on how this may work.
  • Postdoctoral Scholars enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) may use STAMPS student health center on a fee-for service basis (billed to the health plan). STAMPS services are not available at no-charge, as may be indicated on the SHIPS website, because Postdoctoral Scholars do not pay the student health fee (nor can they opt to do so). To make an appointment, you must call and identify yourself as an “Postdoctoral Scholar”.
  • If you have any questions on about the SHIP and how to enroll, please direct them to Jennifer White (

Obtain a Parking or Transportation Permit

If you need a parking permit, visit Parking and Transportation before your temporary permit expires. Tech encourages taking advantage of alternative transportation options like Marta, carpooling, and buses. View information on these programs on the Commute Options webpage, including discounted Marta passes for Tech employees.

Complete Required Training

Your appointment may require you to complete training such as Responsible Conduct of Research, animal care and use, or health and safety modules.

Your faculty supervisor/mentor and/or your Human Resources contact will direct you on what trainings are required and how to complete them.

Start Planning for Your Career

Once you get your research started, you should take advantage of the career development and networking opportunities that are available at Tech.

We offer many Cohort-Based Programs to advance your career and professional development while also providing an opportunity to build community with other postdocs. We want to prepare you for a career that amplifies your interests and values.

Many postdocs find it helpful to write down short-term and long-term goals to make sure they stay on track.

Annual Ethics and Compliance Certification

The University System of Georgia ethics policy applies to all Tech employees. Each year, Georgia Tech employees are required to affirm their understanding of the Institute’s and the University System of Georgia’s code of ethics, conflict of interest, and cyber security policies. You will receive an email with a link when it is time to participate, usually in March.