Before You Start

Accept Your Formal Offer

Once a faculty member submits a hiring request, the Postdoctoral Affairs Office invites you to apply for the position, then makes you a formal offer through our hiring system.

  • Read your offer letter carefully. It contains important information, including your job title, start date, starting salary, and more. Start dates may change due to visa application or other delays.
  • Electronically sign and submit the offer letter to accept your appointment.
  • After accepting the offer, you will approve a background check. Once started, the background check can take up to two weeks to complete.

Create a Monthly Budget

UT Southwestern postdocs receive an annual stipend based on NIH NRSA Stipend Levels that can vary by type of postdoctoral experience and years of seniority. Plan to arrive in Dallas ready to support yourself with at least two to three months’ worth of living expenses. Expect your initial paycheck on the first day of the month after your start date.

Sample Budget

Expense TypeEstimated Cost
Rent and Utilities $1,200-$1,800
Food $400
Public/personal transportation $200-$300
Insurance premiums $30-$70 (Varies: some postdocs provide coverage for family members)
Retirement fund contribution $300
Personal/miscellaneous $300
Phone $50
Taxes Varies by filing status/tax treaty
Child care (if applicable) $800-$1,200

Download the budget worksheet from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Arrange Housing

See the UT Southwestern Student Housing Survey as a guide to typical housing arrangements for current trainees. You can also find information about nearby apartment complexes and neighborhoods in the Postdoc HandbookApartments.com and Zillow.com are among some of the most popular housing search websites.

To rent furniture, contact Cort Furniture Rental. Although costly, this service can help you get started in a new home.

Contact the Postdoctoral Affairs Office to be partnered with a UT Southwestern “buddy” who can share advice about moving to the Dallas area.

Hotel Discounts

When you first arrive, a hotel may be your first destination. Discounts may be available. Show your offer letter to local hotels and ask about our UT Southwestern employee discount.

Popular nearby options include:

  • Element Dallas Love Field – This location offers a kitchenette.
  • Aloft Dallas Love Field – This location is close to UT Southwestern but does not provide any perks outside of your typical hotel services.
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Dallas Market Center – Perhaps not considered the most beautiful location, this hotel offers a full-size kitchen in each room, complimentary grocery shopping services, property-wide complimentary wi-fi, a free breakfast buffet (with the pandemic the buffet is probably pickup and go), and shuttle service to nearby hospitals including UTSW (Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Additional listings can be found on the International Affairs Office website.

More Tips for New Arrivals

  • Dallas offers public transportation including buses and DART rail, which is expanding, but most postdocs recommend having a car.
  • International postdocs should review Before You Arrive information from the International Affairs Office.
  • Keep your PI, department administrator, Postdoc Office, and International Office (if applicable) informed of your arrival date.

Congratulations on getting started!

See what’s next upon arrival.

  1. Finding a Mentor

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