WELCOME TO TUFTS!
We have put together a list of important factors and helpful resources to make your transition into a Tufts Postdoc as smooth as possible!
Please do not hesitate to contact the PDA if we can help you in any way!
1. Ensure you submit all of your necessary paperwork to HR/your departmental manager! This is extremely important to ensure you begin to be paid in a timely manner!
2. Attend a HR orientation session
- Held every Monday, alternating between Boston and Medford campuses – contact Tufts Support Services on 617-627-7000 if you haven’t been notified of the next orientation.
- Orientation covers your benefits, including health insurance, dental plan, FSAs, 403(b) plans and your eligible commuter benefits – see the Official Postdoc Handbook for more information!
Note: Your ID and building access can only be given after HR has processed your employee record, thus it may take a few days to get an ID and access and this is held up if you do not submit all the necessary paperwork to HR.
3. Check out the Tufts PDA Resources @ Tufts page – this includes a lot of useful resources, such as cheap software you are eligible for as a Tufts postdoc.
4. Attend a “Welcome” Postdoc lunch with Prof. Dan Jay, our postdoctoral officer, other new postdocs and representatives of the Tufts Postdoc Association! Lunches are held every month, alternating between locations near Boston and Medford campuses.
Attend an additional orientation with the relevant International Office to ensure you understand all of your visa requirements.
Other important information:
- School of Medicine International Office (Boston)
- International Center at Tufts School of Arts and Sciences & School of Engineering (Medford)
- Information about immigration and visas
- Taxes and How to obtain a social security number
- Life at Tufts (overview – weather, clothing, electricity)
- Cultural Adjustments
- Drivers License
- Note: German and French citizens can exchange their drivers license in Mass., all other immigrants need to fulfill all of the testing requirements.
- You can drive for up to one year on an international license, with each re-entry to the USA renewing the year clock. More info here
- Opening a bank account
- Credit history in the USA
- Health Insurance information
- International Student Clubs
- Ania’s guide to moving to the US of A!
- Contains lots of information on banking, credit ratings, phones, good taxes and tipping!
How to meet postdocs (and make friends)!
Bostonians are known for their cold and anti-social demeanours – don’t let that dissuade you! Here are some ways to meet other postdocs and make friends:
- Check out the PDA events – we regularly hold social, career development and networking nights!
- Join the PDA Career Development Team or Outreach Teams and help organize some of our amazing events, do some great networking and meet fantastic people!
- Attend the Postdoc Office Coffee Hours – they are held roughly once a month on the Boston campus
- Go to a networking event or join an association- there are tons in the Boston area, here are a few examples:
- Biotech Tuesdays
A monthly meetup of people from biotech, academia and pharma industries. If you register on their site, you can RSVP and attend their event for free!
- Venture Cafe
A weekly beer hour for startups, entrepreneurs and innovators, held in Cambridge MA.
- Association for Women in Science (AWIS) – Mass Chapter
Hosts networking events, workshops, seminars and runs an award-winning mentoring program. All events are open for both men and women.
- Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (WEST)
Hosts networking events, workshops and seminars: all events are open for both men and women.
- Join a social sports club through Social Boston Club or Boston Ski and Sports Club or find a hobby group that aligns with your interests through Meetup.
Resources for Tufts postdocs
- Check out all the resources available to you at Tufts (including software, grant writing groups, fellowship programs and some of the core facilities).
- The PDA also runs several programs, including a mentoring group, a patent law workshop, outreach activities and is heavily involved in the Boston Postdoctoral Association (BPDA) General, Careers and Advocacy Groups.
- We have also collated 100+ career development resources on a variety of topics relating to both academic and industry focused job transitions and searches.
- Resources for housing in Boston (from Tufts University School of Medicine):
- List of helpful housing websites
- Things to consider when apartment hunting in Boston
- Boston neighborhood descriptions
- Get a quote for renter’s insurance
- Having a car in Boston (note: many cities do street cleaning, so ensure you look up your local town schedule so you do not get towed!)
- Off campus housing resource center (for undergraduates, but contains some good resources).
- 4 tips for living in Boston: a Postdoc perspective
- Info on housing and how to get the most of being in Boston, including fun things to do!
- Guide to getting around:
- MBTA (the transit & subway system in Greater Boston, referred to as “the T”)
- Car sharing programs: Zipcar (Tufts discount!), Enterprise
These are programs that let you “rent” a car for short periods of time (from 30 mins to a few days), and can often be cheaper then owning a car if you don’t use it regularly. Cost generally includes gas and insurance.
- Note: Some of these programs may require an official driving history which some countries do not issue. Do not deter you though! If you pester them enough, they will let you become a member.
- Ride-sharing programs: Uber/Lyft/Fasten (cheaper than taxis!)
- Grocery Stores:
- Average pricing: Stop and Shop/Shaws/Hannafords/Market Basket
- Moderate pricing: Trader Joes
- High pricing: Whole Foods
More info, see this guide by Parachute
- Liquor Laws & Stores:
Massachusets has some odd laws that hark back to the Puritan nature of the early settlers. For example:
- No Happy Hours allowed – Most “happy hour” deals revolve around cheaper food as it is illegal to discount alcohol
- Tough ID requirements – This one is a pain for international visitors. Unless you get a drivers license of a State Liquor ID (if you apply online, you may not need to wait as long at the RMV), you need to show your passport to buy alcohol. No other ID will be accepted (not even a EU citizen card!)
- Some towns are “dry” towns, i.e. alcohol cannot be purchased there.
- Restrictions on when and where you can buy alcohol:
- Bars are required to close by 2am
- Alcohol can only be sold between 8am – 11pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am – 11pm on Sundays.
- Some grocery stores are allowed to sell wine and beer, others sell wine, beer and spirits. It is dependent on whether the city allows this and if the grocery store has a liquor license.
- All liquor stores are closed on Memorial, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.