COVID-19 Info

Latest updates for Postdoctoral Scholars

For more information on USC’s response to COVID-19, please visit our main coronavirus information website.

Past updates

Postdoc Townhall: Join representatives from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Postdoc Association via Zoom on Thursday, April 2, 2020, from 1 pm – 2 pm. We’ll be providing updates and answering any questions you might have during this unique and challenging time. Email us at to get the meeting URL.

Work from Home Stipends: USC is implementing a $53/month COVID-19 technology stipend for postdocs who are working from home. It is to cover a reasonable percentage of the cell phone, internet and other technology expenses that may be generated by working from home during the pandemic. Please touch base with your department administrator for more details.

Pause Commuting Costs: Postdocs who are working from home and not using parking permits are eligible for prorated refunds, retroactive to March 16 by completing an online form before midnight on Friday, April 3. Please see USC’s transportation COVID-19 page for the form and additional news. Also, transit passes for the month of April may be canceled by emailing Rideshare Coordinator Maira Meza ( before March 30.

Cellular, Molecular, and Computational Tools for Insights and Analysis for Stem Cell Research

Summary: A discussion-based group that focuses on relevant topics to the research and interests of the center with an applied learning component (programming lab) so that individuals can broaden their understanding and knowledge of intellectual and applied aspects of work discussed. The programming aspect with cover specific tools & analyses every other week. During the “off weeks” (odd-numbered weeks) a general introduction to programming series will be held to teach members of the center who desire to gain or strengthen computational skills. More info here.

Open to HSC postdocs. If you’re based at UPC or a USC affiliate site, please email for access info.

Read: Coping with Disappointment in the Wake of COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the country to a standstill, many of our everyday activities and even special, once-in-a-lifetime milestones are being postponed or changing in ways we never expected. Most of us understand the gravity of the situation but that does not mean that we don’t feel a range of emotions. Board-certified clinical psychologist and USC Clinical Associate Professor Kimberly Finney shares some guidance for anyone currently coping with disappointment, on learning to be resilient in these rapidly changing times. Continue reading here.

Working and Managing Employees Remotely during COVID-19: Scott Darrell, adjunct professor and leadership coach at CareerPQ, provides advice on how leaders and employees can work from home without too much stress.

Tune in: Parenting in the Time of Quarantine: Julie Cederbaum, associate professor, offers advice from taking your child’s fears seriously to finding new ways to stay active as a family, as a guest on KPCC’s Take Two.

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Dining option for postdocs performing essential functions at UPC, Rosso Oro’s on Figueroa Street.

  • Daily lunch: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Daily dinner: 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The meal costs $7 and will be served in compliance with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines by providing packaged meals to-go. In-restaurant seated dining is NOT available. Guests have a choice of walk-up or drive-thru service. Orders can be placed by telephone at 213-743-2077 or online with Grubhub – please search for Rosso Oro’s Pizzeria. Click here to see the weekly menu and for more information.

Other Food and Supplies

Domestic violence

During this time of isolation in the home, national reports of intimate partner violence are rising, as women and men living with abusers may be forced to stay in situations where they are not safe or they many need help to alter their “safety plan.” If you or someone you know is in need of help during this time, contact:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233, or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Safety Plan Hotline: 1-800-978-3600

The city of Los Angeles and the state of California are under stay-at-home rules at this time. To help the community and minimize the spread of the virus, USC research should be limited to remote work. Only approved essential personnel can be on-campus/USC facilities at this time. To determine who qualifies for the essential status, researchers should work with their department/school using the Research Continuity Plan form.

PIs and other relevant research leads will also work with each postdoc to develop a personalized plan that allows them to conduct research remotely to the fullest extent possible. During the work from home period, please also consider working on or revisiting your Individual Development Plan (IDP). To stay informed, please make sure you visit the following sites and resources:

  • Working Remotely: USC Information Technology Services (ITS) is committed to providing you with the tools and services you need to effectively work remotely. For a quick checklist to help you prepare to work from home, please visit and
    • Personal Device Security & Malware Awareness: If you are connecting to USC resources from your personal computer, we strongly recommend that you install and maintain appropriate antimalware software. USC offers Sophos for free at this link, or you may install a free program such as Malwarebytes here. We strongly recommend not storing work-related data on your personal computer and to instead use remote desktop or your USC-issued laptop, if applicable.
    • Additionally, be on the lookout for scammers and malicious actors trying to take advantage of public concern over the COVID-19 outbreak. Exercise caution when clicking on links or opening attachments in emails, verify the authenticity of those who contact you, and only trust verified sources of news for official information. More information on these scams and what to watch out for is available here.
    • You can find additional security guidance here:
  • ITS Support: 213-740-5555,
  • ServiceNow Portal:
  • Postdoc Health Insurance Updates: As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we recognize the important role your health insurance plays in addressing this public health issue. Rest assured, Aetna has taken steps to minimize any potential impact to your care and ensure they continue to offer the services and operations you have come to expect. Aetna has also recently announced these resources and enhancements when applicable:
    • Waived member out-of-pockets costs or cost sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and introduced zero co-pay telemedicine visits for the next 90 days, helping to remove barriers to care.
    • Waived charges for home delivery of all prescription medications from CVS Pharmacy. They are also actively encouraging 90-day refills of eligible prescriptions and waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications to prevent the interruption of medication availability.
    • Introduced Healing Better care packages for members diagnosed with COVID-19, supporting members and helping to keep others in the home protected from potential exposure.
    • Offering resources to help address any associated anxiety and stress related to COVID-19, including opening Crisis Response Lines and expanding access 24×7 to the Aetna Nurse Medical Line, among others.
    • CVS Pharmacy® locations will serve as testing sites where any consumer can go to be tested for COVID-19 infection at no cost.
    • Talk to a doctor 24/7 via the Teladoc App.
    • Aetna Informed Health Line: 24-hr info line for all your health questions where you can speak to a nurse, if needed.
    • For questions and concerns: