On arrival

The Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs website has a useful checklist to follow through that will help you get set up on campus and with University of Waterloo services and resources.  Please work through the checklist.  The information in this section below provides some additional detail around the checklist and some information specific to the WCA.

Locatating the Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics

The WCA is located in the Physics building (PHY 216). When first arriving to the Physics building, please use the main front doors, and walk up the stairs located on to the right. Once you reach the second floor, turn left through another set of doors, and left again at the hallway. PHY 216 is on the right.

A detailed campus map can be found on the University of Waterloo website.

Please reach out to WCA Admin, Carolyn McCoey, regarding setting up your desk and receiving a key to the office.  Your key will open the main door to the set of offices in 216 and the door to your office.

Email and WatIAM

You need a WatIAM username to be set up on all the University systems, including email.  Carolyn or Will can initialize the set up.  You will need to supply an email address you have access to and contact details for a device that can be used for two factor authentication(usually a smart phone).

Science Computing is available for computing support. Please look at the page for new employees and contact the Science Computing helpdesk (sci@uwaterloo.atlassian.net) for any computing-related support.

You retain your uwaterloo email address for life and will be able to use your univesrity Microsoft 365 account for sixteen months after you leave.

Social Insurance Number

To work in Canada and access government programs and benefits, you need a social insurance number (SIN).  You can apply online, by mail or in person at a Service Canada Centre

It is fastest to apply in person, with your work permit and original identity documents; you will have to wait in line, but you will be issued with your SIN at the end of your appointment.   There are Service Canada Centres at 40 Weber Street, Kitchener and 25 Frederick Street, Kitchener.

Payroll and benefits

You will be entered into the payroll system by Human Resources after you arrive.  Once your email address is in the system, you should receive an onboarding package in your email.  You should receive a link in the email to follow so that you can fill in personal information and set up benefits and pension in WorkDay on the self-service portal. 

A percentage of your salary is deducted from your monthly pay cheques to cover your benefits and pension.  Your benefits cover things such as dental work, prescription fees, sick leave, medical coverage abroad, and parental leave.  Some things are optional and/or you have the option to contribute more to others, such as life insurance. You can change your benefit contributions or change beneficiaries in WordDay at any time. 

Many health service providers with electronically submit claims on your behalf.  HR will send you a web or paper card version of your benefits card to present when asked for it.  For some services, such as physiotherapy or massage, you more typically would make a claim yourself, which can be done online.    

You can also use WorkDay to find your payslips and your T4 form (for when you file taxes).  You can find out when you will be paid by checking the payroll page.  

The Human Resources team are available to help support employees throughout your time at the University of Waterloo, especially during the first few months of employment.   They have a page of resources for new employees.

Questions about employee resources, payroll or benefits can be directed the Human Resources team through email (hrhelp@uwaterloo.ca) or in person (located on the first floor of EC1).

Health insurance (OHIP) and OHIP card

You are required under the terms of your study/employment to have health insurance while in Ontario. OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) covers a wide range of health services you may need while living in Ontario, including visits to the emergency room and to doctors.

For more information, including what you need to apply and what documentation to take, please visit the Ontario website.  Please note that you can obtain an Employee Referral letter from WorkDay that you can use as proof of residence, even if you are living in temporary accommodations.

To apply for OHIP and get an OHIP card (“health card”) you should apply in person at a ServiceOntario Centre. It is faster if you make an appointment online.