FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Should there be a hyphen between “frequently” and “asked”?
A:  Excellent question. No. That’s because “frequently” is an adverb. See Merriam-Webster. (Btw, hyphenated is not, whereas non-hyphenated is. Ironic, innit?)

Q: Should I get business cards, and where can I order them?
A: The use of business cards is far more prevalent in industry than academia. If you’re looking to make some with your Harvard info, you have 2 options:

  1. https://www.flagshippress.com/.
  2. FAQGnomon copies. Located right next to JP Licks on Mass Av. They’re not expensive and may be the easiest option. They’ll ask for some confirmation email from the Postdoc Office, which we’ll be happy to provide.

    Please know that your use of the cards is subject to the policy articulated by the Trademark Office here: https://trademark.harvard.edu/business-card-authorization-guidelines-harvard-affiliates

Q: Are the Postdoctoral Awards for Professional Development taxable?
A:  No. That’s because PAPD awards are processed as a reimbursement of incurred expenses.

Q: Can a Postdoc attend Harvard and Harvard extension school courses? What is the cost?
Harvard benefits-eligible postdocs and Research Associates: Use the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
      Non Harvard benefits-eligible postdocs are eligible to audit a course, though only with instructor’s permission.

Q. Once my Harvard postdoc appointment ends, am I eligible to join the Alumni association, and will I be able to keep my Harvard email?
A. Negatory on both counts. Alumni only include folks who receive a degree from Harvard, and are then promptly asked for financial contributions from the alumni association. Once your postdoc appointment ends, so will your Harvard email.

Q. Should I use two spaces after a period?
A. If you're using a typewriter, yes. Otherwise, no, never! See http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/01/space_invade... and https://www.legalwatercoolerblog.com/tag/strunk-and-white/

Q. Can I sign up for the PDO and PDA listserv lists? Alternatively, how can I be taken off the lists?
A. You can't. In order to avoid wasting time approving requests to join or leave the list for dozens of postdocs across the FAS every week, the list automatically adds postdocs when their appointment becomes active, and unsubscribes them when their appointment ends. There’s no subscribe or unsubscribe mechanism. If you don't want to receive these emails, just spam or delete them.

Q. Can postdocs defer their student loans during their postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard?
A. No. In general, lending agencies do not recognize postdoctoral scholar status for deferral of student loans because postdoctoral trainees are not considered the equivalent of registered, full-time students. Indeed, at Harvard, postdocs are not students, but research scholars. Ultimately, however, the decision of determining whether the appointment meets deferral criteria rests with the guaranteeing agency.