New Hire Postdocs / Onboarding

Note: The CWRU Postdoctoral Association is here to assist any new postdocs; whether you're looking for recommendations on a place to live, transitioning to Cleveland/CWRU, making a new friend, or finding a good place to get pizza. Email or any of the individual members

Postdoc Checklist

Postdoc Checklist - Please download the Postdoc Checklist to ensure that you have completed and submitted all necessary forms and completed required items. Some of the to-do list items for new postdocs include the following:

  • Sign your paperwork with Human Resources on or before your first day of work
  • Schedule a Benefits Review with the Postdoc Office to discuss your healthcare and employee benefits.
    • After attending the Benefits Review, enroll in the Postdoctoral Benefits program no later than 30 days after your start date
  • Register to attend Postdoc Orientation (first Thursday of every month; you will attend the one immediately following your start date)
  • Activating your Network ID
    • Your network ID is your abc123, it must be activated in order to use your email and log in to Single Sign On (SSO).
    • Click Start Activating Your CWRU Network ID
    • Your PIN is your 7-digit Employee ID number located at the top of your offer letter
  • Set up Duo Two-Factor Authentication
  • Sign up for Direct Deposit in HCM
  • Pick up your ID card and buy a parking pass at Access Services in Crawford Hall
  • Attend any required safety training through Environmental Health and Safety

Discover Cleveland

Setting Up Direct Deposit in HCM

Follow the instructions to set up Direct Deposit in HCM. 

Setting up a Bank Account - for international postdocs

** NEW INTERNATIONAL POSTDOCS: There could be delays with receiving your SSN which will delay your first paycheck (you cannot receive a paycheck form CWRU until your SSN has been issued). Please take this into account and have 1-3 months pay saved up as a buffer.

Find instructions to set up your Direct Deposit in HCM.

Setting up a bank account and receiving a debit card by mail can take time (sometimes a couple of weeks). One needs to have extra cash in hand or have an international credit card. The Postdoc Office recommends having funds to cover your first two months in the USA available, if possible. 

As an international postdoc, you need to apply in person for a bank account and you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Local (U.S.) Address - If you do not yet have a local address, you can still open a bank account, but you need to visit your branch or update your address information online as soon as you have a permanent U.S. address.
  • Home Country Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Primary Form of ID / Original Passport
  • Secondary Form of ID - This form of ID includes your photo, the issuing country, the ID number, and both the issue and the expiration dates: such as
    • Non-U.S. driver's license from the following countries: Canada, China, Guam, India, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.K. and the U.S. Virgin Islands
    • CWRU ID can also be used

Some major banking options in this area include Chase, PNC, Key Bank, and Huntington. 

Social Security Number (SSN) - for international postdocs

Social Security Administration (SSA):

* Please note that you cannot receive a paycheck until you receive your Social Security Number and report it to Human Resources. While SSN processing is typically only 2-3 weeks, your first paycheck could be delayed - please plan and budget accordingly.

Nine-digit Social Security number is your first and continuous connection with Social Security. It is used to identify and accurately record your covered wages or self-employment earnings. Application for the Social Security Card can be done only through appointment (see list of offices below). It can take 14 days to receive the Social Security card from the date of application. If one doesn't have a permanent local address during the application, one should provide the address of someone they trust.

You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers and avoid giving it out unnecessarily (not in your waller). A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. You should be careful about sharing your number, even when you're asked for it. The Postdoc Office does not need your Social Security Number. 

Keep in mind that in many cases, even if you lost your card, you may not need a replacement. In most cases, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough.

Required documents: Passport, DS2019, I94, US address proof (lease document)

Social Security Administration (SSA) Office Addresses:

  • 3401 Tuttle Rd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122
  • 11601 Shaker Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44120
  • 15250 S Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, OH 44110
  • AJC FED BLDG, Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 E 9th St RM 793, Cleveland, OH 44199
  • 18711 Miles Rd, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
  • 3591 Park E Dr, Beachwood, OH 44122
  • 7517 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102
  • 17513 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107
  • 7344 Pearl Rd, Middleburg Heights, OH 44130

Spoken English Language Programs - for international postdocs

The School of Graduate Studies (where Postdoctoral Affairs is housed) offers assistance for those who want to practice pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary, and other spoken English skills can sign up for Spoken English Tutoring through our Spoken English Language Partner (SELP) program.

Find information about the Spoken English Language Program and the FREE seminars available.

Your spouse can also participate in the seminars!

You can practice for an upcoming presentation!

Seminars available on Pronunciation, Fluency, Culture, and Communication!

Find an appointment at


Office of Visa & Immigration Services & Advisors (VISA)

The Visa & Immigration Services & Advisors (VISA) is the university's liaison with the federal agencies that are concerned with visa-related matters. The Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services facilitates immigrant/permanent resident status, is responsible for employment eligibility verification (I-9), W-4 tax status confirmation, and determines whether or not to file tax treaty exemption forms with the Internal Revenue Service.

International Postdoc Survival Guide

In order to help alleviate some of these stresses and better inform current and prospective international postdocs, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has created an online resource, the Survival Guide for International Postdocs. The Survival Guide has been compiled by members of the International Postdoc Committee (IPC) with the expert assistance of university international offices and postdoctoral offices, as well as an immigration attorney. It draws on the experiences of current and former postdocs who have traveled to the U.S. to do their postdoctoral training.

Externally Funded Postdoctorates

If you are externally funded, please download the EXT Postdoc Checklist to ensure that you have completed all necessary forms, and have gathered all import information.