New Postdocs

Getting Started at the Harvard Chan School

Below is a list to assist new postdocs upon arrival at Harvard Chan School.  In addition, please check in with an administrator in your department or area to ensure that all required paperwork has been completed.

  • Go to the Harvard International Office (Holyoke Center, Room 864, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge) with your passport and visa to register (visa-holders only). Please note that a representative of the Harvard International Office is at Harvard Chan School every other Thursday, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Kresge, G-18. (Schedule can be found online here.)
  • If you do not have a social security number, go to a Social Security Office  (US Federal Office Building, 10 Causeway Street, Room 148, Boston, MA 02222) to apply for a social security number. You must have been in the United States for at least 10 days before you can apply for a social security number. Bring your passport, your Form DS-2019 or your Form I-797 (for H-1B and O-1 visa holders), and your Form I-94.
  • Get a Harvard ID card.  Talk to your administrator to learn how to obtain this card or go to Operations Office web page for ID cards. Your ID card may be used to access Harvard libraries, athletic facilities, etc.
  • Claim your HarvardKey. You will need your eight-digit Harvard University ID (HUID), your last name, your date of birth, and a personal email address to use for account reminders. If you have any problems along the way, feel free to contact the HUIT Service Desk ( or call 617-495-7777 for assistance.
  • If you are being paid by Harvard and are eligible for Harvard employee benefits, you will need to enroll in some benefits plans (e.g. health, dental, vision). The University’s Benefits Office will send you (via U.S. mail to your home address) benefits information and instructions regarding how to enroll in benefits via the “My Benefits” section within the PeopleSoft Self Service portal. You must elect benefits coverage within 30 days of the start of your appointment.
  • In order to update your home mailing address in the University’s PeopleSoft system go to the HARVie website (the university’s employee intranet) and then click on the “PeopleSoft” button in the upper right corner. In PeopleSoft, click on Self Service > Personal Details > Addresses > Home Address. While you are in the Self Service portal you can also confirm that you have an emergency contact listed.
  • If you are eligible for a T-pass, you will need to sign up online on Harvard’s  Commuter Choice web page for payroll deduction of your pass. This will need to be done at least a month before you can receive a pass.
  • If you have questions about your eligibility for Harvard benefits, contact the Harvard Benefits Office at or 617-496-4001.
  • Attend an upcoming orientation session for new postdocs and research associates or view the online presentation. Orientation sessions and workshops/courses are listed on the postdoc workshops and courses web page.
  • Check with your administrator to ensure that you have completed all necessary training.