New Postdocs

Getting Started at 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 is online at
  • 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  Your ID card may be used to access Harvard libraries, athletic facilities, etc.
  • Register for a Harvard PIN at  You will receive a temporary PIN when you get your ID card.  Or you may choose to have a temporary PIN emailed to you during the PIN registration process.  A Harvard PIN is needed for access to university on-line services, including Countway Digital Library.
  • 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 PeopleSoft Self-Service. 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) at  and then click on the “PeopleSoft” button in the upper right corner.  In PeopleSoft, click on Self Service > Personal Information > Home and University Mailing Address. While you are in the PeopleSoft system 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 at 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 617-496-4001.
  • Attend an upcoming orientation session (calendar for orientations and workshops can be found here) for new postdocs and research associates or view the online presentation.
  • Check with your administrator to ensure that you have completed all necessary training.