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New Faculty Checklist

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Prior to Arrival

The following suggestions are for new faculty who are expected to arrive to campus soon.  Some preparation could be done ahead of time to facilitate a smooth transition to your new faculty role as a teacher, researcher and advisor.

Administrative Setup

  1. Get to know your department chair: Once you know your arrival date, email your department chair and department/lab administrator to schedule an appointment to meet them. See the list of talking points and actions items to take care of in the Upon Arrival checklist section.
  2. Review information on commuting and parking on campus: View campus maps, and view the Marguerite Shuttle route maps and schedule, to familiarize yourself with getting around campus, visit the Stanford Transportation website.
  3. Familiarize yourself with computing at Stanford:  The Faculty Quick Guide to IT at Stanford is a great place to start locating the University's computing and communication resources. For additional resources and workshops related to technology use and training, please visit the Technology Training webpage.
  4. Familiarize yourself with WorkLife programs at Stanford: If you have family or elder care responsibilities, learn about the WorkLife Office services and programs that are available to faculty, visit the WorkLife Office website.  

Academic Resources

  1. Sign up for Course Design Institute if you will be teaching within your first year.
  2. Review your faculty benefits (sign up for benefits within 30 days of your official start date).
  3. Get started with some specific information and training for effective teaching and research:
  • The Office of Accessible Education (OAE) : Ensuring access and providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities is a shared responsibility. Students, faculty, and the staff of the Office of Accessible Education work collaboratively to meet Stanford's obligations to provide equal access to educational opportunities, visit OAE website.
  • Principal Investigator Training: Your line of research may require specific training for you and members of your research team. Reference the PI Training to identify the Stanford requirements applicable to you. Discuss both required and elective training with your school research management team.

Upon Arrival

  1. Create a Stanford University SUNet ID and setup an email account: If you have been sponsored by your home department with a SUNet ID prior to your appointment, this affiliate sponsorship does not entitle you to faculty privileges. To see the current status of your SUNet ID, visit the Stanford Accounts website.
  2. Get your Campus Card from the Stanford ID Office.
  3. Complete the required Patent and Copyright Agreement (SU‐18): Once you have your SUNet ID, log in to Axess and click the link, “Patent and Copyright Agreement (SU‐18),” to review and submit your electronic signature.  
  4. Meet with your department manager and/or chair. Review this brief list of frequent action items to discuss in your meeting:
  5. Get on department, school and group mailing lists, including any seminar announcement lists. 
    • Obtain keys to the office, lab and building. Understand rules regarding building access after business hours and on weekends.
    • Understand the protocols regarding getting administrative support, e.g. who to call and for what purpose, where to direct questions when you are not sure, etc.
    • Set up a time to meet with the student services officer in your department to familiarize yourself with the processes and expectations related to students, degree requirements, advising and courses.
    • Set up a time to meet with your health and safety coordinator (if you are in a laboratory setting) to go over any training and/or other requirements for you and your lab members.
    • Complete any paperwork related to your appointment. Ask your department manager to schedule your required sexual harassment prevention policy training.
    • Obtain information and learn how to find future information about your grant, startup funds and/or research accounts.
  6. Complete any required training or to-do items (see pre-arrival checklist).
  7. Set up your voicemail and review your Stanford Directory information (verify your online directory information, and update your privacy settings and emergency contacts).
  8. Meet with your department's IT staff: Register your portable devices for campus Wi-Fi and/or get/change your cell phone to take advantage of Stanford discounts.
  9. Familiarize yourself with activities and events on campus and take a virtual tour, visit the Campus website.

Within Six Months

The first six months of your faculty appointment at Stanford are an opportunity to build your knowledge of the resources that are here to support your work, and to cultivate your informal network of colleagues who share similar interests and those who are in your discipline. Below is a list of items that are important to cover as you begin your appointment at Stanford.

Actions to Take

  1. Meet with the faculty mentor assigned to you by the department chair. Reach out to the mentor directly if you haven't been approached. 
  2. If you will be engaged in sponsored research, familiarize yourself with the grant opportunities, processes and support available to you on the Office of the Dean of Research website.
  3. If you will be teaching, explore the resources, services and workshops available to you through the Stanford Teaching Commons resource.
  4. If you will be a frequent user of the Stanford University Libraries, meet your curator and familiarize yourself with library services.
  5. Launching your research group: if you are interested in having graduate student research assistants, learn from the directors of graduate studies and admissions in your department about the processes for admitting students and funding expectations. Discuss best approaches to engage current graduate students in your work. Visit the Vice Provost for Graduate Education's website to learn how that office supports you and your graduate students, in particular the Advising & Mentoring web pages.
  6. If you will be interested in including postdocs or other research staff on your team, check with the relevant office on campus for posting position announcements, appointment processes and policies. Contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for postdocs and your department manager for other staff.

Within First Year

Planning the years to come in your appointment at Stanford starts with evaluating your activities and priorities during the first year. As you plan ahead, consider:

Academic Activity

Establish your campus intellectual presence: depending on your field, opportunities to cultivate a network of colleagues who share your disciplinary, research or teaching interests arise through seminars, workshops, mentoring activities, writing groups, faculty retreats or joint lab meetings. Take advantage of these occasions formally and informally.

Personal and Professional Development

  • Participate in one of more of the University's professional development workshops or mentoring lunches for junior faculty: review the offerings and identify areas where you have benefited, and where you look forward to honing further skills or developing new ones.
  • Resources through NCFDD membership
  • Balance your personal and professional life: Consider your personal connections in the wider community beyond Stanford. Join Stanford, or other local clubs or organizations, that are of interest to you.


Plan your research, teaching, academic or clinical activity in the coming year: prepare for an annual meeting with your department chair to discuss your plans for courses, research plans, recruiting, advising, and mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, grant proposals, or other academic or clinical activity in the one to two years ahead. Set both short-term and long-term goals. Consider the balance between different types of activities and their contribution to your professional advancement, as well as the impact on your work-life balance.

Further Reading

For assistant professors in lab settings:

At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator by Kathy Barker (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York, 2002)

Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty.  Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 2006.  

Survive and Thrive: A Guide for Untenured Faculty by Wendy Crone (Morgan and Claypool Publishers, 2010). Copies of this book are available during New Faculty Orientation and also by contacting