Skip to main content
Northwestern University

On-Boarding Checklist

This checklist provides information and documents to create a human resource record, including your email account, at Northwestern University. Quinn Leach will contact you prior to the start of your appointment with instructions. 

Upon accepting:

Personal Data Form

Please complete the Personal Data Form at your earliest convenience and return to the Weinberg College Dean’s Office by emailing:

This form will be used to set up your Northwestern Net ID and email address; the Weinberg College Dean’s Office will send you instructions on how to activate your Net ID once your appointment is processed by the Payroll Office. 

Direct Deposit

Direct Deposit is the preferred method for providing employees' paychecks; choosing direct deposit guarantees that your payroll will be deposited automatically to your bank account each pay day without the worry of cashing or depositing paper checks. Once you have activated your Net ID, you may enroll in Direct Deposit via myHR. Click here for instructions. Note that direct deposit can only be used for US bank accounts.

Tax Information and Forms

Federal and State Tax Forms can be found here. Tax information for Non-US Residents can be found here

Employment Eligibility Form (I9)

To comply with Federal law, Northwestern University participates in E-Verify. All newly hired employees are queried through this electronic system established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify their identity and employment eligibility.

No later than the first day you will start being paid on Northwestern University’s payroll system, you must complete Section 1 of the Employment Eligibility Form I-9. This can be completed from any computer. Helpful instructions can be found here.

Upon login, you will need to enter the following information:

Once you’ve completed section 1 please contact the Dean’s Office (847) 491-3276 to complete section 2. You must complete Section 2 of the I9 by no later than the end of the third day.  This can be completed in your department, the Dean's Office, or the Payroll Office. If you will not be on campus on or before your first day of pay, then you must go through the remote agent verification process. Full instructions can be found on the Remote Hire Quick Sheet

When completing the I9 process, you must bring identification to establish your identity and verify that you are eligible to work in the United States.  The most common acceptable documents for U.S. persons are a U.S. Passport or Driver’s license and Social Security card.  See the acceptable document list for more information.

The I9 Form should be completed as soon as possible after you arrive on campus; failure to complete the form will prevent you from receiving your paycheck. Click here for additional information on the I9 process and requirements.

Please notify the Quinn Leach in WCAS Dean’s Office if you will not be present at Northwestern University on your first day of employment.

Retirement Plan

Northwestern requires faculty to fulfill one year of service before the University will match contributions to your retirement plan.  However, this service requirement may be waived in some cases.  Please visit our the NU retirement information page to determine if you qualify for this waiver and if so, have your current employer complete the required paperwork before you leave.


For questions regarding visas, please email


If your contract includes an allowance for moving expenses, please be in touch with our finance office to make arrangements.


Your NetID is your electronic identity at Northwestern. The most common format of a NetID is a combination of three letters (often related to your name) and three or four numbers. Your NetID is different from your seven-digit employee number.

In order to receive your NetID and email activation instructions, you must first submit your Personal Data Form to the Dean's Office contact.

Upon Personal Data Form submission, the general timeline for receiving your NetID and Email access is as follows:

Timeline for receiving your NetID and Email access
November-April May-October
Internal Processing 1-3 Business Days 1-3 Business Days
Financial Processing 3-5 Business Days 5-7 Business Days
Provost's Office Processing* 2-3 Business Days 2-3 Business Days
Payroll Processing 5-7 Business Days 7-10 Business Days

Your NetID and email activation should arrive between 10 and 23 business days after Personal Data Form submission.

*not all appointments need to be approved by the Provost's Office


All new faculty will receive a welcome email from the Director of Weinberg College IT to review technology available during your onboarding. You may work with your department’s administrator to arrange for your computer.

Resources for new faculty can be found here.

Upon arrival at Northwestern:


It is very important that faculty members who wish to participate in Northwestern benefits plans enroll promptly. Participation in the University’s benefits plans requires that a new faculty member complete the enrollment process within 31 days of hire or benefits eligibility. Thus, a faculty member with an appointment beginning September 1 must complete the enrollment process no later than October 1. This process may be completed via myHR. Enrolling online as early as possible will allow time for the insurance companies to process your enrollment and issue membership ID cards.

Failure to complete the enrollment process by the stated deadline may necessitate the postponement of the coverage date until the following January and/or proof of qualification for insurance (as through a medical examination) for the life, long term care, and disability plans during the Fall Open Enrollment period. You can complete the online enrollment process as soon as you have an active University NetID and password. 

If you are adding a dependent to your medical insurance, you will need to provide documentation to prove dependency.  More information can be found here

You may obtain benefit plan information, online enrollment instructions, a link to the FASIS Self Service site, and the secondary enrollment step forms from the Benefits website or obtain them in Evanston from the Benefits Division (720 University Place, 2nd floor), or the Chicago Campus Human Resources Office (710 N. Lake Shore Drive, Abbott Hall, Room 150).  You can also schedule an appointment with a Benefits Counselor at these offices to discuss your benefit options.


Once your FASIS record is established you may obtain your campus WildCARD, the official Northwestern photo identification card. This campus ID card can be used to gain entrance to University facilities and events; use the university shuttle service; check out library materials and much more. Additionally, U.S. Bank checking account holders can use their WildCARD as their ATM/debit card. Spouses or domestic partners of faculty can obtain a campus WildCARD for a nominal fee of $10. 

Many area businesses offer discounts to card holders through the WildCARD Advantage Program. Discounts and services vary.

Department/Program onboarding

Your department or program administrator will work with you to establish your department webpage, order supplies and books, add you to listservs, etc.  If your offer letter includes office or lab space, your administrator will help obtain keys, office and lab phone numbers, and establish your discretionary or research funds (if included in your offer). Contact your department or program administrator for assistance.

Back to top