Getting Started

Getting Started Guide for New Quad Postdocs
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____ IMPORTANT: Federal policy requires you to sign up for benefits within 30 days of your start date. If you do not receive a Benefits Package at your home mailing address within two weeks of your start date, call the Benefits Office at 617/496-4001. You are strongly encouraged to review the slideshow presentation for a detailed overview of your benefits as the orientation presentation will be a brief overview of the benefits: The Benefits of Working at Harvard

____ Read the OPF Welcome Letter for new postdocs.

____ Meet with your department administrator to make sure all the proper forms have been completed and submitted so that you can start your postdoctoral position at HMS/HSDM right away.

____ Review the HMPA's Resource for New Starters

____ If you are an international postdoc, register with the Harvard International Office: (p) 617/495-2789 and review their checklist closely. Among other things, there are instructions about important topics such as obtaining a social security number.

____ Check with the Tax Office to find out about your tax liabilities if you are a non-US citizen/permanent resident. Telephone 617/496-5224.

____ All new postdocs are invited to attend the New Postdoc Orientation upon their arrival at HMS and will receive an email notification to alert them. If you cannot attend orientation or would like to reschedule for a later date, email: More info about orientation can be found HERE

____ Go to the Harvard Longwood ID Office, New Research Building (NRB), 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur; Room 133,  Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and to pick up an ID Application. Your PI will help you complete the Risk Assessment Form to help determine what training you will need and sign up for classes through Environmental Health and Safety or the Office of Research Subject Protection.

____ Once the training is complete go the Harvard Longwood ID Office, New Research Building (NRB), 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur; Room 133, and have your photo taken for your Harvard ID and receive a temporary ID. Your ID will be mailed to your work address usually within a couple of days. ID Office Hours: Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (excluding Harvard holidays)

____ Confirm your email account has been activated. As part of the appointment process, an email account will be automatically generated for you with the typical naming convention of "". Please check with your department administrator or contact the IT Department to confirm your account has been created.

____ Claim your HarvardKey at HarvardKey is the University’s unified login credential that gets you access to many of the Harvard web applications and services you use every day, such as the HOLLIS library catalog, PeopleSoft for HR and payroll information, and more.

____ Activate your HMS ID (formerly known as eCommons ID) here. The HMS ID and MyHMS is the Harvard Medical School Intranet and can be used to access information and resources specific to HMS.

____ Familiarize yourself with Peoplesoft to view your paycheck past and present, enter or change your direct deposit, home address, or W4 information. Log in to PeopleSoft using your HarvardKey from the "HARVie" employee intranet site followed by clicking on "Peoplesoft" in the upper righthand corner of the screen.

____ Set up direct deposit online in Peoplesoft via Harvard HR. HMS Human resources payroll may be reached at 617/432-2035 with any questions you may have.

____ Add ORCID identifiers to your Peoplesoft profile. Harvie (via HarvardKey)->Peoplesoft->My Profile->ORCID (create ORCID ID, if necessary)->Add ID->Save

____ Make sure that all of your contact information in the Harvard Medical School White pages is correct.

____ Make sure you sign up for MessageMe, Harvard’s Emergency Notification System: and program the HUPD number (617/432-1212) into your contacts

____ Postdocs are eligible to receive a 20% discount on purchases at the HMS cafeterias. Discount is only available to postdocs whose primary appointment is in one of the Quad labs (Quad-based). To get the postdoc discount you need a sticker on your HUID, your department or onboarding administrator should have those stickers.

____ Visit the RCR Training website to find out when the required ethics courses are going to be offered and register: Postdocs working at HMS are required to complete RCR training, regardless of funding source.

____Research Data Management Onboarding Checklist serves as a general, research data management-focused guide to best practices for trainees as they join a new lab or begin new projects.

Relocation Tasks:
___ Visit the Harvard Real Estate Services website to investigate housing that might be available to you as an affiliate of Harvard University.

___ Visit the Harvard Postdoc Resources page:

___ Check the Harvard listings for off campus housing:

___ Boston Postdoctoral Association (BPDA) has compiled an "insider's guide" for locating housing in the Boston area. Attached

___ Sign up online for discounted Massachusetts MBTA Passes if you will be taking public transportation and are benefits eligible for this discount. See:

___ Set up a bank account. If you are an international postdoc, a good place to start an account is through the Harvard Employee's Credit Union. There you may easily obtain a credit card. Telephone 617/495-4460

___ Familiarize yourself with the shuttle schedules by visiting

Work Related Tasks | Relocation Tasks