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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, potential start date, starting salary, and more. If you are offered any relocation expenses, they must be included in your offer letter.  Start dates may change due to degree verification, 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. Keep in mind that you may need to budget for the upfront cost of furniture, housewares, or a car. Expect your initial paycheck on the first day of the month after your start date. Your ability to purchase a car or home may depend on your “credit score”.  

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, costs, and commute times for current trainees. You can also find information about nearby neighborhoods in the Postdoc Handbook.

Information about off-campus housing can be found at

Apartments are typically unfurnished.  Although costly, furniture rental services, such as Cort Furniture Rental, can help you get started in a new home or apartment.  Current trainees are often selling used furniture as they leave.  Be sure to budget for the upfront cost of furniture rental or purchase.

The Med Park Apartments, our campus housing, has a few 2-bedroom apartments available for temporary housing. They are completely furnished, including towels, bed linens, and kitchen equipment.  All utilities, including telephone, cable television, weekly housekeeping services, and a 24-hour fitness center are included. The application can be completed and returned by Email.

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:

For a comprehensive listing of hotels in Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas, consult the Visit Dallas website. Market Center and Love Field are the closest neighborhoods to UT Southwestern.

More Tips for New Arrivals

  • Dallas offers public transportation including buses and DART rail, which is expanding, but most postdocs recommend having a car.
  • You can find information to apply for a Texas driver’s license here.
  • 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.

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