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Getting Settled at Mizzou

Checklist for New Postdoctoral Fellows

The “Getting Started at Mizzou: New Postdoc Checklist” from the Office of Postdoctoral Education provides a checklist of important things to do: Upon Arrival; for International Scholars; Within First Three Months; and Within the First Year of your appointment at the University of Missouri.

Getting Started at Mizzou: New Postdoc Checklist

Upon arrival:

  • Find housing. Visit the City of Columbia website for helpful information. You can begin looking even before you arrive.
  • Meet with your unit’s or school’s human resources contact who can guide you through new employee paperwork and training.
  • Enroll in benefits through Human Resources. You must enroll within the first 31 days of employment.
  • Apply for a parking permit for campus parking.
  • Visit DoIT to set up email and explore MU technology offerings.
  • Familiarize yourself with MU postdoctoral policies.
  • Complete or update your compliance/IRB training and any other required training for your position.
  • Visit the Columbia Welcome webpage to set up a visit with a greeter and receive a complementary Columbia Welcome Basket.

International scholars

  • View the Pre-Arrival and After Arrival Checklists for J-1 Scholars. Upon arrival in Columbia, you must check in at the MU International Center. If you have an alternative/equivalent Visa, use this site as a guide and contact the International Center pertaining to what documents you will need to (1) apply for a social security card and (2) apply for a driver’s license.
  • Apply for a social security card. International students and scholars must wait two full weeks from their date of entry into the United States before applying for a Social Security card. You will need a Social Security Number (SSN) for a various purposes including insurance, rental applications, utilities, driver’s license, bank accounts etc.
  • Set up a bank account. Check if your bank at home has an affiliation with any in Columbia.
  • If applicable, apply for a driver’s license. Take all your relevant Visa documents with you to one of the Driver License & Vehicle Registrations Offices. You will need to complete a written, visual and road test to obtain a Missouri license.
  • Meet with the nonresident alien taxation specialist to set up a tax assessment appointment.

First three months:

  • Explore MU Postdoctoral Association social, professional development, leadership, and travel funding opportunities.
  • Sign up for your free NPA affiliate membership.
  • Complete self-assessment and Individual Development Plan (IDP) based on your career goals.
  • Review IDP with your faculty mentor(s).
  • Establish a meeting schedule with your faculty mentor(s).
  • Explore professional development opportunities with the Graduate School.

Within first year:

  • Set an annual review appointment with your faculty mentor(s) to review your updated IDP and CV/resume. It is recommended that annual review appointments occur at least 60-90 days prior to the end of your initial contract. Discuss your career goals and the possibility for renewal of your postdoctoral contract.
  • File your taxes. There are three forms of tax to be aware of: (1) Property tax (2) State tax and (3) Federal tax. Mizzou provides free taxation services for domestic and international (Nonresident Alien) scholars that will help file Federal taxes on campus. The others can be completed online.
More Information
Orientation Events

The Office of Postdoctoral Education offers Postdoctoral Orientation events in August and in January or February each year to serve new MU postdocs as well as returning postdocs who would like to learn more about MU resources. It is strongly encouraged that postdocs new to MU attend the Postdoctoral Orientation.

The upcoming Postdoctoral Orientation event is August 13, 2021 (9:00-10:45 am). Register in advance. Postdocs will be introduced campus resources, postdoctoral policies and procedures, and employee benefits. Contact Dr. Lissa Behm-Morawitz, with any questions.

Postdoctoral scholars are also invited to attend the MU New Faculty Orientation in August. Information about faculty orientation will be posted when it is available.

Postdoctoral fellows should also check with their department to see if there is an orientation session you should attend in your College/Division for your discipline. Various orientation events are held throughout the year in divisions/colleges across campus.

In addition, there are some campus events to help welcome new postdoctoral fellows to campus. Postdoctoral fellows can attend New Faculty Orientation in August, Postdoctoral Appreciation Week events in September, and MU Postdoctoral Association meet-n-greets throughout the year.

More Information


Postdoctoral Handbook

The University of Missouri Postdoctoral Handbook provides an overview of life as a postdoc on our campus. Information on where to find policies, procedures, and resources related to postdoctoral life is included.

MU Postdoc Handbook


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