Trainee Handbook

Table of contents:

Postdoctoral Associates

While your departmental administrator will take care of the vast majority of details that must be attended to in order for you to get started with our institution, we would like to highlight a few important resources and opportunities.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training

Postdoctoral associates are required to complete RCR education. The training must be completed as soon as possible upon the start of your appointment. There are three ways to complete this requirement:

  1. Completing the NSF RCR Citi module
  2. Completing the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s semester-long IND 506: Ethics Training Course
  3. Providing proof of RCR training at a prior institution

Academic Honesty

Honesty and integrity are fundamental to our shared endeavor of creating a community of scholars who are committed to the pursuit of excellence in learning, teaching, creativity, and research. Academic honesty requires that all students and instructors respect the integrity of one another’s work and recognize the importance of acknowledging and safeguarding intellectual property. 

See the academic honesty website for more information. 

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Highlighted below are non-academic amenities of particular interest to postdoctoral trainees.

  • Chaplaincy services: Distinguished by the diversity of its members, the University of Rochester welcomes people of various faiths from around the world.
  • Child care: The University offers two different child care services:
    • The Children's School at URMC, located across the street from the Medical Center, provides care for children from six weeks to six years of age. 
    • The Family Care Program furnishes referrals to students, postdocs, and staff for child care services.
  • Computer stores: University IT offers an online computer store as well as two retail stores.
  • Copy services: Copy Center locations at the University of Rochester. The River Campus Copy Center is located in Meliora Hall.
  • Dining and convenience stores: There are numerous options for dining on the River Campus and at the Medical Center. See the dining services site for more information.  
  • Mailing services: Postdoctoral associates are typically assigned mailboxes in their department. Check with your department administrator or your graduate program coordinator for your internal mailing address. Student can also use the Campus Post Office and on-campus FedEx drop-off locations.
  • Notary service: Notary service is available at Chase Bank in the Medical Center.
  • Pharmacy: The URMC Employee Pharmacy can be used by students, postdocs, faculty, and staff.

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The University of Rochester welcomes, encourages, and supports individuals who want to contribute to and benefit from the institution’s missions of teaching, research, patient care, performance, and community service. See our diversity website for more information.

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Financial Matters

Banking Services

Chase Bank provides full-service banking for the University community. Chase offers an array of financial services, from mutual funds to life insurance, checking and savings accounts, and more. A branch can be found at the following locations:

Location: Todd Union Basement
Hours: M-F, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Medical Center branch location: ground floor, G-5111 
Hours: M-F, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Advantage Federal Credit Union also provides banking services to the University community.

Related University of Rochester departments:

Getting Paid

Postdoctoral associates are typically paid twice per month (semi-monthly or SMO).

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Health and Wellness

Health Care Services

The University has several onsite health service centers including:

Health Insurance Information

Postdoctoral associates (job code 0093)—If you have not already done so, please make sure to attend an upcoming benefits orientation facilitated by the Office of Human Resources. You must sign up for health insurance within 30 days of hire.

Postdoctoral fellows (job code 0095)—You have the option of participating in a comprehensive health plan offered by University Health Service (UHS). Visit the UHS website for detailed information. A dental plan is also available through Eastman Dental and the Strong Memorial Hospital Department of Dentistry.

Additional resources:

University Fitness Centers

Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center is a multi-tiered, 10,000-square-foot fitness center and weight facility located on the River Campus. You can also visit the URMC Fitness and Wellness Center, which offers discounted rates to postdoctoral associates.

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Housing Information

For those looking to live on campus, the Office for Residential Life and Housing Services offers vibrant communities for graduate students and postdoctoral associates and their families.

The following resources may be helpful for postdoctoral associates looking to live off campus:

Housing Information for International Trainees

We suggest international postdoctoral associates read the International Services Office – Housing and Rentals page before looking for housing.

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International Trainees

The International Services Office (ISO) provides services to international students, scholars, employees, and other visitors to the University of Rochester, as well as the administrators and departments that support them. ISO is responsible for issuing visa documents, advising on relevant immigration matters, and meeting US reporting requirements. The office also serves as an information resource to assist international trainees in adjusting to the United States, the University, and the Rochester community.

ISO provides helpful information on:

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Living in Rochester

The third largest urban area in the state of New York, Rochester is a port city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, situated in Western New York. The greater metropolitan area has about 1.1 million residents. Rochester is located within a 400-mile radius of 14 northeastern states, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Toronto. It is the western gateway to the Finger Lakes region, and part of the country’s longest scenic byway, the Seaway Trail.

Rochester is a stimulating and progressive metropolitan community. Because of its moderate size and friendly people, it is easy to live, work, and play here. Throughout our four seasons, Rochester offers a array of cultural, outdoor, and sports options, including:

Rochester is also known for its:

  • Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding
  • Nationally ranked golf courses
  • Professional baseball, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse teams

Rochester is a remarkably affordable place to live and offers a variety of housing options. You can choose to live in a neighborhood right next to the University or in a nearby suburb or small town. Visit our Housing Information page to learn more.

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Non-Academic Resources

Email Accounts

Email account set-up is coordinated by your department administrator. You can also access your email off campus through IT’s connecting from off-campus page.

Identification Cards

The University issues a photo-identification (ID) card to faculty, residents, staff, students, volunteers, retirees, alumni, and other designated individuals who have access to the University.

The on-campus ID office is located in the Customer Service Center on the first floor of Susan B. Anthony Hall and is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


Your NetID is the key to a variety of online services at the University of Rochester. This service is part of a University authentication/security measure to ensure that accounts are managed more securely across the campuses.

Once you have your employee ID number, visit the ITS website to obtain your NetID and NetID password.

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Parental Leave

The decision to begin a family may often coincide during the years in which a Postdoctoral Associate or Postdoctoral Fellow is engaged in training. To allow the primary caregiver of a newborn child or a newly adopted child the possibility to devote full time care in the first weeks after birth or adoption, this policy guarantees Postdocs who are the primary caregiver a minimum level of accommodation and reflects GEPA’s ongoing commitment to supporting a healthy academic/family life balance. This policy does not replace the communication and cooperation between postdocs and their advisors and departments, and the good-faith efforts of both to accommodate the birth or adoption of a child. It is the intention of this policy to reinforce the importance of that cooperation and to provide support where needed to make that accommodation possible.

Postdoctoral Associates and Postdoctoral Fellows (PDAs/PDFs) who are the primary caregiver are provided up to 8 weeks of paid leave, paid at their current funding level, following the birth or the adoption of a child. *Note: Time off for Parental Leave will also count towards the annual entitlement for Paid Family Leave (PFL) and Family Medical Leave (FMLA). All leaves will run concurrently. Additionally, both parents are eligible for Paid Family Leave. More information about PFL and FMLA can be found on the Office of Human Resources leave administration web page.

During this period, PDAs/PDFs may postpone research and academic activities but remain active full-time postdoctoral appointees, with access to University facilities (including health insurance, library privileges, and housing) and to University faculty and staff.

While PDAs/PDFs will continue to be fully funded from any existing funding sources during the leave period, they will be excused from regular teaching or research duties. However, it is the PDA’s/PDF’s professional responsibility to work with their Advisor to prepare for the absence in advance of the leave. This includes reviewing the status and continuation of research projects, adequately preparing those who will assume teaching responsibilities during the PDA’s/PDF’s absence and arranging for a smooth transition of any other responsibilities.

Eligible PDAs/PDFs are required to notify their Advisor of the date of their intended time away at least 60 days prior (when possible) to the expected date of childbirth or adoption. Parental leave must be tracked at the departmental level.

*Note: These guidelines are consistent with the NIH Grants Policy Statement – parental leave (10/10). For those on NIH training grants, the use of parental leave must be approved by the Training Grant PD/PI.

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellows

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible for parental leave.

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Parking and Transportation

University Parking and Transportation offers several services to help students, staff, faculty, and visitors travel between the University and the city of Rochester as efficiently as possible.

You can also use services provided by the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RTS), which oversees public transportation in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wayne, Wyoming, and Seneca Counties.

Bicycling and Running

Many students and postdocs at the University of Rochester bike or run along the Erie Canal Towpath to the University.

The Rochester Running Page has information on the towpath as well as several other great places for bicycling and/or running in the area.

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Security and Facilities

In case of emergency, dial:

  • 911
  • 13 on any University telephone
  • #413 from AT&T or Verizon cell phones
  • (585) 275-3333 from any telephone

Security services links:

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