After you Arrive

Checklists for your first day and week in the group.

Welcome to Berkeley and the Persson Group! Here is a checklist to help you get started once you have recieved your access to LBL either as an employee or affiliate.

Persson Group Website: People

Google Drive A-Z Index

UC Berkeley ERSO Intranet

UC Berkeley UCPath Payroll, benefits, and HR system

First Day Checklist

Very Basics & High Priority Administrative Tasks

  • The Onboarding Team will communicate with you by email to coordinate having a group member meet you the first time you arrive in Building 33. They will help you find your desk and provide a short walk through to become familiar with the building and introduce you to other group members. Once you make your way to Building 33, ask around to find the group member you are looking for if you are having trouble.

  • Follow the instructions received during your orientation or by email to activate your Berkeley Lab Identity Account (aka LDAP). This log-in will be used for most LBL online resources. Connect to the internet using the lbnl-visitor WiFi network (it is open access).

  • Try out your newly created LDAP log-in. Connect to the lbnl-employee WiFi network, open your email, google calendar, etc.

  • Send out an email introducing yourself to (this is the email list for everyone in the Persson group) from your email address. This is a tradition to help welcome new group members since it can take some time to meet everyone in person. This also serves as a notice for the group to help initiate various onboarding tasks. This works for graduates (Ph.D. and Master's students), postdocs, undergraduates, short-term visiting scholars, and summer interns. Here is an example introduction email (note permissions to view these documents are tied to your google account).

  • Request access to building 33 for your LBL badge by using this self-serving website. You should select "33 Perimeter" and "33 1st floor Office / lab area." You will also need access to "LBNL Business Need Access" and "LBNL Gates/50 Complex/Library," but these should be assigned to you by default and no specific request should be needed.

    By default, you will NOT have off-hours site access to Building 33 (i.e. from 5:30pm to 7am on weekdays, on weekends, holidays) unless a request is submitted.

  • Prioritize completing the GERT (General Employee Radiological Training) before the end of your first day.

  • Get your project/funding specific information for making purchases:

    • Purchasing with LBL Funds: Ask Sonia Dominguez for the project id, activity id, and SAS Approver associated with your funding to use Ebuy.

    • Purchasing with UC Berkeley Funds: To make purchases using UC Berkeley funds, you will need the chart string associated with that funding source which can be obtained from UC Berkeley Research Administration Staff for the College of Engineering. Email Miriam Kader including that your PI is Kristin Persson and ask for the chart string associated with your funding source.

  • Begin setting up your desk (ideally before completing the ergonomic self-assessment). Order a computer as soon as possible if you have not done so already. See Getting a Computer and Workspace Set-up for guidelines on selecting a computer, needed accessories, and other equipment.

    • When you are ready, check-out Purchasing for more information on placing your order.

    • Ask Bryant Li (or the Onboarding Team) about checking out the the group's inventory of unclaimed items.

    • Any personal orders under $300 can be made without approval. Orders over $300 that aren't for a group role (like buying ink for the printers) should be approved by Sonia and Muzhgan.

First Week Checklist

Also start working through the other checklists and information below when possible

  • Send an email to Hui Zheng ( requesting to be added to the Persson Group email lists and team google drive (if you do not have access already). Use the subject line "Onboarding: [YOUR NAME]".

  • Complete all LBL/UC Berkeley training courses including the ergonomic self-assessment. Note the GERT must be completed on your first day. Also note that UC Berkeley required training courses will not be assigned until after your UCPath profile is set up, which can take 1-2 weeks after your start date.

  • Orient yourself with LBL's calendar system (Google Calendar). Update your LBL calendar with your schedule so other group members can view your availability.

  • Check to ensure your calendar is populated with needed meetings (group meetings, subgroup meetings, etc.) Contact a meeting organizer to invite you to needed calendar events.

  • Join the Berkeley Theory Slack workspace using your email. This Slack workspace provides a way for multiple groups and researchers at LBL to communicate about computational materials research, The Materials Project, and other collaborative efforts. Feel free to introduce yourself in the #introductions channel.

  • Join the Persson Group Huddle Slack workspace using your email. This workspace is just for the Persson group.

  • Send an email to Guy Moore ( with a headshot and tiny bio for the group website (bit of humor in the tiny bio is very welcome).

  • Explore the group’s Team Google Drive. Note some of these documents populate the group handbook where access is limited to group members.

  • Add your name and information to the Persson Group roster

  • Print out an updated name tag for your desk. If needed, work with Emma Goodacre to update the name tag for your office.

Research Introduction Checklist

  • Meet with Kristin to plan an appropriate introduction for your specific research, project management, subgroup, etc.

  • Ask to read the proposal that funds your work. This will help explain the impact of your project, the long-term plans and goals, and how your project fits in with other efforts.

  • Get familiar with your subgroup and any other individuals you will be working closely with for your research.

  • Generally take the time to learn about other group member's research focuses and areas of expertise to get a sense of who may be your best resource for different questions and who you may be supporting if you are a more senior group member.

Computer & IT Checklist

  • Install the lab VPN for connecting to the lab network from home. For example, this lets you download research articles from home. See for instructions on installation.

  • Contact Howard Li about getting user accounts set-up for any computing resources you may be using (NERSC, Savio, VASP, etc.).

  • Get connected to the printer. The printer is located in 143C and instructions for how to connect can be found on the internal group site. Julian Self is the current printer czar and can advise you if you are having any difficulties.

  • Begin setting up your research computer. See setting up you computer and our internal group site for some installation tutorials and recommended softwares.

Payroll Basics

LBL Employees

LBL employees (staff, postdocs, and graduate students) must enter their time on a regular basis using the LETS payroll system (total hours for a single month are reported). You will need the project ID and activity ID associated with the funding source for your income/stipend. Sonia Dominguez sends time entering instructions before each payroll deadline and can address any related questions.

LBL Payroll Resources

UC Berkeley Employees / LBL Affiliates

UC Berkeley employees (staff, postdocs, and graduate students) must enter their time monthly using the CalTime payroll system.

Note: Sometimes your initial leave balances (24 PTO days and 12 Sick Days) do not populate correctly in CalTime until after the 2nd paycheck processes. If this is an issue (i.e., if you need to use leave during your first pay period), contact


Information on UCPath Payroll and Benefits System

Graduate Students: UC Berkeley's ERSO (Engineering Resrouce Support Organization) handles processing GSR appointment requests. These appointments are used to issue stipends (no need to report hours in a payroll system) so keep an eye out for email reminders each Fall, Spring, and Summer.

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