Many postdocs will be traveling long distances, finding a new apartment, and facing cultural and logistical challenges in their transition. Before an individual begins his or her postdoctoral appointment, the faculty mentor should discuss issues such as housing, schools for children, money needed upon arrival, health insurance, visas, and English language courses. The smoother the transition, the quicker that postdoc will be able to contribute to the laboratory or clinic. This includes the postdoc’s time to transition into his or her new research responsibilities.
Faculty and Business Administrators should introduce new postdocs to all lab members, critical collaborators, departmental business office staff, and other important resource people. Postdocs should also be told what types of mandatory research training they should receive.
Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs has Orientation Packets which are given to each new postdoc upon arrival. Packets are available from the Office for faculty who wish to mail them in advance of a postdoc’s arrival or use them as a recruitment tool. Postdocs should also be told that BPP holds a triennial New Postdoc Orientation Programs (each April, September, and December). The Biomedical Postdoctoral Council (BPC) holds an informal orientation on the last Thursday of each month. In addition, the Foreign National Committee of BPC (http://www.med.upenn.edu/bpc/foreign_nationals.shtml) provides seminars on issues that are critical to foreigners, and support and mentorship in the form of a “buddy trainer system." For more information regarding the monthly orientations, please view the BPC website at: http://www.med.upenn.edu/bpc
For more information about campus resources please consult Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs’ Life at Penn webpage at http://www.med.upenn.edu/postdoc/life_at_penn.shtml or contact BPP.