Information for New Postdocs

Welcome to MIT! You will receive specific information and instructions from helpful people in your department, lab, center or institute headquarters. Follow their guidance. Typically, you will be asked to check in personally upon arrival. Many of these areas also have designated website content for postdocs.

Below is an overview of first steps you will need to take:

  • Your MIT ID number is automatically generated and sent to you when your academic appointment to MIT is processed by your department, laboratory or center and by Human Resources.
  • Once you have your MIT ID number, you will receive instructions from MIT to go through MIT’s “new hire” activities, accessed through MIT’s online portal “Atlas.” This will include getting your “Kerberos ID” to set up email and MIT web certificates. Personalized web certificates ensure secure accessibility to otherwise protected sites, including MIT Housing and other sections of Atlas.
  • Review the PDA’s Postdoc Housing Resources Document if you’ll be looking for housing.
  • For those with children, review Relocation Information for Parents, for information on childcare, schools, and camps, and see additional information at the MIT Work-Life Center website.
  • Complete other “new hire” activities (also through Atlas). These include completion of Form I-9 (if applicable) and the MIT Intellectual Property Agreement form, and getting your MIT ID card (note the details regarding what identification you must present, such as a passport or U.S. driver’s license). Explore transportation options, enroll in benefits, and sign up for orientation. See HR's New Employees page for more information.
  • View and update your online MIT Information (including directory information). (In Atlas, click on the About Me tab, then the My Profile tab.) Be sure to enter your email address (under work address), complete the education history section, and include gender and other information if desired. The demographic information helps us to understand MIT’s postdoctoral population.
  • Sign up for direct deposit of MIT paychecks and reimbursements into your bank account. In Atlas, under Money Matters, complete any applicable tax withholding forms and your direct deposit preferences. If you are eligible for vacation benefits, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the Time and Vacation Entry forms that are reachable from the left menu of the Atlas HOME page. 
  • Foreign Nationals: Register with the International Scholars Office (ISchO) upon arrival at MIT and sign up for an orientation session. The ISchO has comprehensive information for international postdocs. (Helpful sections of their website include Before Coming to MIT, Upon Arrival, and General Information.) Also helpful is the National Postdoctoral Association International Postdoc Survival Guide.
  • Sign up for a Postdoc Orientation. This in-person orientation is run by the MIT Postdoctoral Association in collaboration with Human Resources. As an additional option, MIT also offers a general new hire orientation. Details are available in the PDA orientation slide deck.
  • Sign up for Health Insurance/Benefits: Benefits (including health, dental and vision plans) are available through MIT based on your appointment status, Postdoctoral Fellow or Postdoctoral Associate. See the Benefits section of our website, and follow the instructions provided by Human Resources and your unit's headquarters. Be attentive to all enrollment deadlines.
  • Sign up for the postdoc listserv, get involved in MIT Postdoctoral Association activities, and peruse Campus Services, Resources and Tips.
  • Let your spouse/partner (if applicable) know about MIT Spouses & Partners Connect, which supports spouses and partners of MIT community members who have relocated to the Boston area. They have resources, activities, and a weekly drop-in hour for newcomers.