Getting Started at USC

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Meet with your department administrator and faculty mentor.

Once you have been on-boarded as a USC Postdoctoral Scholar by your department, you will receive an email requesting for you to do the following:

  • Check and update your USC postdoctoral scholar profile
  • On your start date, email the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs ( for PDF-999 registration (required postdoc training course)
  • Enroll in the USC Postdoctoral Scholar Benefit Program
    • All new incoming postdoctoral scholars will receive a benefits package regardless of whether they are employed on a principal investigator’s grant, paid from a department account, or are recipients of an externally funded fellowship. The postdoctoral scholar benefits package is designed to closely match the benefits offered to faculty and staff and includes health, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment, short-term and long-term disability insurance plans.Additional information about the USC Postdoctoral Scholar Benefit Plan can be accessed here.A Note on Your Benefits EnrollmentA welcome email will be sent to you from Garnett-Powers and Associates confirming your enrollment. It will detail your plans and coverage, include your Aetna ID number and a link to Aetna NavigatorOnce you have registered for Aetna Navigator, you will immediately have access to your benefits online. You have 30 days from your date of hire to complete your enrollment in benefits. You will be defaulted into a medical plan that cannot be changed until the next open enrollment period if you fail to enroll (or waive out) within the above timeframe.Questions and concerns about your plan can be directed to Dane Pisano at 1-800-319-9557,
  • Start your Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  • Get connected: sign up for the weekly Postdoc Newsletter and the USC PDA Mailing List.
  • Get connected: USC Postdoctoral Association (PDA)

Your USC ID (USCard) and Activating your Email Account

To activate your USC email account, simply visit USC ITS First Login site.

Your USCard serves as your university (postdoctoral scholar) ID and more. You can get yours by visiting USCard Services at one of their locations. Your USCard number will be provided by your department HR/Payroll Analyst and/or HR Partner during the hiring/on-boarding process.

Please notify your department postdoc administrator if you already have an existing USC ID, duplicate USC ID numbers can delay your on-boarding process and access to university resources.

Your Training and Learning Environment

Discover why USC is a safe and productive work and training environment, familiarize yourself with the following: USC policy and Code of Ethic’s

Your Safety

For emergencies on campus, please call USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) 213-740-4321. DPS is the university police and security force and operate alongside local law enforcement. Emergency phones on campus are marked by blue lights and directly connect to DPS.

USC Orientation- Safety (Mandarin Sub)


Responsible Conduct of Research

All researchers at USC are encouraged to complete online responsible conduct of research training.  Classroom RCR instruction is required for certain (but not all) NIH programs and online instruction is a requirement for all NSF-funded postdoctoral scholars.  Please see the Office of Research’s Responsible Conduct of Research page.


Commercializing Intellectual Property

In the course of their research, research teams often produce intellectual property that can be protected through patents or copyright and commercialized for public benefit.  Examples at USC include technologies and software used in mobile phone displays, joint replacement surgeries, digital modeling of human faces, and language translation. 

To learn about the pathways and benefits to commercializing intellectual property, please contact your department’s Licensing Associate for assistance (, or Michael Arciero, Director of Licensing, at, or Vasiliki Anest, Director of Corporate Collaborations ( 

Details here.

Other Unique Perks

During your postdoctoral scholar appointment at USC, you are able to access the following facilities and resources free of charge: