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Harvard Privileges

Some employees and professionals in Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Spaulding, and McLean Hospital may also hold a joint appointment with Harvard Medical School and/or Harvard University.

What is an appointment?

A Harvard Medical School Appointment, such as instructor or research fellow, is an unpaid academic title that you might have been given in addition to the title of “Postdoctoral Research Fellow” at the U.S. hospital at which you participate or work. 

An appointment at the Harvard Medical School is not required, and not all researchers are given one. If you do not know whether you have a Harvard Medical School appointment, you may ask your principal investigator or office manager.

If you have a Harvard Medical School appointment, ask your principal investigator or office manager for copies of the paperwork they completed so that you can take the paperwork with you when you apply for the Harvard Identification (ID) card.  This will prevent delays if your information has not been placed in Harvard’s computer system yet. Your department can answer any questions you have about obtaining your Harvard ID.

Benefits of a Harvard appointment

If you have a Harvard Medical School appointment, you might have two titles for your CV or resume. For example:

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (or Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, etc.)

  • Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School

Each institutional title or appointment provides different benefits:

  • The Mass General Brigham hospital is your employer and may give you benefits such as your visa sponsorship, public transportation (“T”) pass, salary, and health insurance.

  • The Harvard Appointment (and ID card) gives you access to the Harvard Housing Office, Harvard libraries, and the M2 Shuttle (which connects the Harvard campus in Cambridge to the Longwood Medical Area).

Harvard IDs allow you to take advantage of various benefits such as:

Harvard social groups

Harvard Neighbors is a volunteer organization that for over 100 years has worked to create a sense of community for the members of Harvard University. You and your family may join Harvard Neighbors if you have a Harvard academic appointment. 

Through a wide variety of activities, Harvard Neighbors helps both newcomers and more established members to meet new people. Harvard Neighbors welcomes and offers support to recent arrivals. The group hosts a variety of social events and offers special activities and social opportunities for people who share common interests.

Some examples of the groups you may join are conversation groups for English and other languages, art classes, book discussion groups, international women’s groups, children’s play groups, and more. Harvard Neighbors can also help answer your questions about Harvard and the Boston Area. 

Joining Harvard Neighbors will involve you with a group of friendly people from different areas of the University. At the same time, you will be supporting our goal of keeping Harvard a welcoming and helpful place. Learn more here: .  

Harvard Students Spouses and Partners Association (HSSPA) is organization run by volunteers that is open to the spouses and partners of all Harvard students, postdocs, and other affiliates. Since 1896, HSSPA has provided a way for its members to make friends, find intellectual stimulation, and feel a sense of belonging within the University.   

HSSPA organizes a variety of activities and social events throughout the year. Some of their offerings include a weekly spouse’s group meeting, a weekly playgroup meeting for infants and toddlers with their parents, visits to popular attractions in and around Boston, parties and social gatherings, and more. Learn more here: