Information for incoming postdoctoral scholars


  • International postdocs

    Office of International Students and Scholars

    The Office of International Students and Scholars is responsible for providing assistance on immigration matters and for acting as a link with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Department of State. Their website also lists a number of resources and comparative charts of different visa types, as well as a guide for hiring staff on different visas. Additionally, the paperwork associated with visas varies, so it is a good idea to check with the international office on current processing time for visa applications or renewals for a specific visa type from your country.

    If you are planning to travel overseas for a conference or vacation, please check with these offices prior to leaving to determine what paperwork you might need in order to re-enter the United States.


    Postdoctoral visas are handled first by the department and then by the Office of International Students and Scholars. If you are an international postdoctoral scholar and need to apply for or renew your visa, discuss your visa options with your principal investigator (PI) and provide them with all necessary documentation required for the departmental administrator to begin the visa process. Please note that it might be important to know of any tax treaties that the United States has with your home country prior to accepting your appointment and applying for a visa.


    Be realistic in determining how much money you will need to bring with you for living expenses while you are waiting to receive your first paycheck, which could take approximately four to five weeks. You will need cash for food, housing and basic necessities. You may also need to factor in car/transport fare, and entertainment and deposits for housing and utilities.

    The International Postdoctoral Trainee Checklist to plan and enter the U.S. 

  • Transport

    Detroit Metropolitan Airport is located in Romulus, Michigan, about 22 miles (35km) southwest of Detroit.

    Check with your PI to see if someone is picking you up at the airport, and remember to give the name of your airline/train/bus, its number, time and place of arrival. If no one is meeting you, take a look at DTW transportation services to arrange your own transport. On average, the cost of a taxi/cab is $40.

    Sending packages ahead of arrival

    Contact the department you are planning to join to obtain their mailing address for any letters or packages you might like to send ahead of arrival. Be sure to have them addressed with your name.

  • Upon arrival

    Meet your department's administrative assistant*. The department you are joining will provide you with all the paperwork necessary to get into the university system.

    The department will direct you to WSU Human Resources to facilitate your onboarding with the university to orient you regarding university HR policies, procedures and employee benefits. Download new hire checklist to be sure you complete all the necessary paperwork and orientations.

    *International postdocs will need to report to the Office of International Students and Scholars

    Campus map

  • Other useful information to get you started

    OneCard: OneCard is the official Wayne State University identification card for students, faculty, staff and other members of the university community. You can use your OneCard to access or pay for services at Wayne State. The OneCard Center is located at The Welcome Center, 42 W. Warren, 313-577-CARD. Your OneCard is also useful in getting discounts at a number of places in and around Detroit. 

    Building access: Entry to most research buildings in the School of Medicine requires activation of your OneCard. Access Card Application form must be completed and signed by the appropriate people in your department. 

    Training modules: Most departments require mandatory completion of radiation safety, bioethics, animal handling, health and lab safety training programs offered by the university. Additional information can be found at the Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC) and Human Investigation Committee (HIC) websites.

    The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course is required for all postdoctoral scholars.

    Review the Wayne State Univeristy Postdoctoral Handbook for information about university orientation with Human Resources, benefits, policies, procedures and checklists.

  • Housing

    You will need to make housing arrangements prior to arrival.

    On campus
    WSU graduate or faculty housing may be able to assist you. You may request that your PI have someone pick up the keys and have them available for you.

    Off campus
    Other resources to search for apartments include, and offers a specialized rental property search tool exclusively for Wayne State University students and postdocs. 

  • Childcare

    There are many places to look for assistance in finding childcare. However, most centers run pretty full and you might find it advantageous to place your name on a waiting list prior to arrival. Check with the center directly via email or ask your prospective department or PI for assistance in contacting the center. Childcare resources

  • Transportation

    On campus

    Wayne State University currently offers two complimentary campus shuttles that allow you to get from one side of campus to the other by simply showing your OneCard. Shuttles, 15-passenger vans, run from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and signs are posted at each stop. Service runs continuously in approximately 15-minute intervals and is labeled "Main Campus Shuttle."  The shuttle route and trackin app are available on the WSU Parking website.

    The DMC provides a continuous central campus loop shuttle transporting to central campus hospitals (south of Warren ave). The Shuttle Service operates from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    Off campus

  • Parking

    Access to parking on the campus of Wayne State University is provided through Parking and Transportation Services, which manages and operates a number of visitor and permit parking facilities.

  • Public Safety

    WSU Police emergency number is 313-577-2222.

  • Discover Detroit

    Located on more than 200 acres in the heart of Detroit, Wayne State University has more than 100 research and educational buildings, tree-lined pedestrian malls, and a thriving campus life. In addition, its proximity to Detroit's cultural center continually reaffirms a steadfast commitment to a vibrant community. Among the university's closest neighbors are the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Science Center, Museum of African-American History, the Fisher Theater, the New Center Area and Greek town just to name a few.

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