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new fellows' guide

People are sometimes puzzled by the distinctions and relationships among the Center, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) at the University of Pittsburgh. Basically, the Departments of Philosophy and HPS are academic departments of the University, with overlapping, but not co-extensive, membership. As academic departments, their primary function is teaching.  By contrast, the Center for Philosophy of Science is purely a research unit, with no teaching responsibilities. Its membership consists of faculty members from many of the University’s academic departments (not only from Philosophy and HPS, but from other relevant departments) as well as Associate Members from colleges and universities within the region. All three units (the Center and the two departments) share a very close relationship which is enhanced by their close physical proximity; both Philosophy and HPS are housed on the 10th floor of the Cathedral.

Academic Year at Pitt
The academic year at the University of Pittsburgh is composed of two main terms. The fall term begins in late August and usually ends by December 20. The spring term begins in early January and runs through late April. The principal activities of the Center take place during the academic year.

Center Activities
The Center’s Annual Lecture Series (ALS), although open to the public, is geared toward a professional audience composed principally of Visiting, Postdoctoral, and Resident Fellows, Visiting Scholars, Associates of the Center, colleagues and graduate students from the Departments of Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science. The lectures are usually scheduled on Friday afternoons at 3:30 p.m.

The Lunchtime Colloquium provides a more informal forum for visitors, colleagues, and graduate students to exchange ideas in order to become acquainted with others who share similar interests. Lunchtime talks are generally held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12:05 p.m. in 817R.

In addition, the Center sometimes co-sponsors other lectures and events with a variety of other units of the University. These jointly sponsored events will be posted, along with the Lunchtime Colloquium and Annual Lecture Series, on the Center’s monthly calendar. You can view the calendar of events on the Center’s website.

Many Fellows have enjoyed sitting in on one or more of the graduate seminars offered by the Departments of Philosophy and HPS, or elsewhere in the University. All that needs to be done is to ask for the permission of the instructor involved, who is normally delighted to give it. Class schedules for Philosophy and HPS can be found on the departmental Web sites. Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science
Fellows are expected to attend and participate in the Annual Lecture Series and the Lunchtime Colloquium. We hope that you will choose to participate in some of the other events, such as the various lectures and workshops sponsored by Philosophy and HPS, as well.

Your University ID card will give you borrowing privileges at all of the libraries at the University of Pittsburgh. The Special Collections Department, located on the third floor of the Hillman Library, contains the Archives of Scientific Philosophy in the Twentieth Century.

The Inter-Library Loan Services, located at G-27 Hillman Library, assist faculty in obtaining materials from other academic institutions. Since the University is a member of the Center for Research Libraries, uncommon materials on many subjects may be ordered. This cooperative arrangement, which provides supplementary borrowing and research privileges, gives access to a superb collection on the history of botany at the Hunt Library at Carnegie Mellon University.

In addition to the various holdings that can be found throughout the University libraries, the collection in the Adolf Grünbaum Reading Room is available for use by Center Fellows and Scholars. The Reading Room is located in room 1701 Cathedral of Learning. Due to the value of the collection, security precautions have been taken to limit access to the Reading Room. While the room is often open during the daytime hours, if it is locked you may obtain the key and combination for the lock from one of the Center staff.

The Carnegie Library, a public library for which there is no charge, is located opposite the Hillman Library across the parking lot. To apply for a lending card, you must provide some form of identification with your Pittsburgh address on it, such as a piece of personal mail (a telephone or utility bill, for example). The Carnegie can be a useful source of information for Fellows with historical interests or for general family use.  The Carnegie also lends records, tapes, and CDs free of charge with a Carnegie Library card.

Social Security Card

The University of Pittsburgh’s payroll system requires you to have a social security card if you are receiving a stipend. If you currently have a social security number, you will be required to produce your social security card or apply for a duplicate card. The Office of Human Resources is entitled to withhold your paycheck until you produce the necessary documentation.

If you are receiving a stipend and you do not already have a social security number, you must apply for one after you arrive. It will take approximately four weeks to receive your card and number. It will be necessary to show proof that you have applied for the card, even though the permanent card won’t be mailed to you for several weeks. So, when you apply for a social security card, please ask for a written statement saying that you have applied. You will need to supply this written statement to the Center.

You must apply for your social security card at a Social Security office. The nearest office is 6117 Penn Circle North in East Liberty. The telephone number is (800)772-1213. Their hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) and 9:00am – 12:00pm (Wed.) Please take your visa, passport, DS2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status), letter of appointment, and notification of stipend with you to the office. You can take public transportation to reach the office. Catch a 71C bus from the corner of Fifth and Bigelow (in front of the William Pitt Union) and ask the bus driver to let you off at Penn Circle by the Social Security office.

Stipends are issued on the last working day of each month. The University also offers direct deposit of your check in any of several local banks. The form for direct deposit can be found on the University’s Human Resources Web site or click here.

Tax Information

International students and scholars who earned taxable income in 2016 must file separate federal, state and local tax returns no later than April 15, 2017.  Also, all international students, scholars and dependents must file Form 8843, regardless of income earned.  This includes minor children.  The Office of International Studies is your resource, and they will send you a link to software to assist in filing your tax return.

Information for Overseas Fellows
The Office of International Services is located at 708 William Pitt Union. All international scholars who are new to Pitt are required to attend New International Scholar Orientation and Check-In within the first week of arrival.

At the orientation, scholars will learn basic immigration regulations relevant to their status, and general information for adjustment to Pittsburgh and the surrounding community, and will also receive informational packets for future reference during their stay.

You are required to bring your immigration documents (Form DS-2019, your passport, and your Form I-94 Arrival/Departure card).
To register for OIS check-in and Scholar Orientation click here.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a system designed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to monitor all J-1 scholars, as well as other international visitors, will automatically invalidate the record of any J-1 scholar who does not report to OIS within 30 days of the start date listed on his/her Form DS-2019.

The Global Pittsburgh organization, 650 Smithfield Street, Suite 1180, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, offers a variety of information and organized activities for international visitors and their families. These may range from short stays with “host families” upon arrival in Pittsburgh to tours of the city, language assistance, and weekly gatherings for spouses of international visitors. Complementary tickets for cultural and sporting events are offered to visitors, but you must be registered and express your interest so they can call you when tickets are available.

The Writing Center, 317B O’Hara Student Center, is able to provide modest assistance to international visitors by reviewing manuscripts for proper spelling, punctuation, grammar, and use of the English language.  Appointments may be arranged by calling 4-6556.

If you plan on driving after you arrive in the USA, you will find it much easier if you have an International Driver License. You are only permitted to drive for three months on your country’s driver license, but you are permitted to drive for a full year on an International Driver License.

While Fellows are, of course, at liberty to participate in academic meetings outside of Pittsburgh during the time of their fellowship, the Center is unable to provide funds for such travel. For those Fellows who have J-1 visa status, it is imperative that you consult OIS before accepting funds for travel reimbursement or fees for lectures from other institutions. There are strict regulations on this matter; failure to abide by these regulations will jeopardize your visa status.

Your Office Space

Keys for your office will be provided upon your arrival and must be returned before your departure at the end of your stay. For security purposes, we ask that you lock your office when you leave it and also the entrance to the Center, especially if you use the office in the evenings or over the weekends. If you are the last to leave, please check the coffee machine to be sure it is turned off, turn off the lights and lock the main entrance door to the outside hall. There is a $25.00 charge to replace lost keys.

Shared Space

The large conference room and the lounge area are available for Center Fellows and their visitors at any time, except if the space is being used for a meeting. The lounge will be posted if a meeting is in session.
In the lounge area, you will find a teakettle, coffee pot, small espresso maker, microwave oven, toaster oven and refrigerator for your use. There is no charge for the regular coffee supplies, but please keep counters, cups and tables clean. We ask a voluntary donation for the espresso, since it is more expensive.  Most important, if you use the coffee and tea machine or the toaster oven during the evening or on weekends, remember to turn the electrical element off (red button on coffee machine, leaving the cord plugged into the wall).

A brief word about crime in the city … Pittsburgh has been fortunate in avoiding the type of violent crime that many other large urban areas have experienced. Theft, however, is one of the most common crimes in the University area. Be sure to always lock the main doors when you are alone in the Center in the evenings or on weekends.

The address for your incoming mail is Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 4200 Fifth Ave., 817 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.

Outgoing stamped US external mail, internal campus mail, or mail paid for by the Center (pertaining directly to your research study) can be deposited in the outgoing mail tray located in the copy room. Please be sure to stamp the return address with the Center’s stamp for all mail other than campus mail. (Campus mail envelopes are available in the supply cabinet.)  Overseas correspondence should be clearly marked AIRMAIL or the University post office will send it by surface mail.

Should you need to ship books or other bulky materials, there is a UPS store located at 3945 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. This a very short walk from the Center.

No Smoking Policy
The University has adopted and strictly enforces a NO SMOKING POLICY. You are not permitted to smoke in any University building, and will be heavily fined by Campus Security for violations.

Your office is equipped with a telephone from which you can make long distance calls, campus calls, or local Pittsburgh calls. To place an outside call from the University, you must dial “9” first. To dial a long distance number (any call outside area code 412, 724, or 878), dial “9,” “1,” the area code, then the seven-digit number. For international calls, you must dial “9,” then “011” followed by the country code and telephone number. Reimbursement for all toll calls is requested when the monthly statement of office expenses is issued to you. The statement will clearly indicate the date and time of calls, telephone number and city or country to which the call was made.
You may want to consider purchasing an international calling card if you plan to make frequent calls overseas. Such cards, available in the Book Center, often have less expensive rates than the University.
Internal calls within the University are free of charge. These consist of a five-digit extension number usually starting with either a “4” or “8.”

Reports and Acknowledgments
As you prepare to leave the Center, we ask that you complete a brief form entitled “Report on Research Visit.”  Please be sure to include in your comments the work that you were able to complete during your stay at the Center and the extent to which the objectives of your visit were achieved. Your comments, positive as well as negative, are helpful to us.

Pittsburgh and the Cathedral of Learning

We hope you will enjoy your stay in Pittsburgh and think that you will find it to be an extremely interesting city. There is a great variety of cultural and recreational opportunities within easy walking distance of the University – theaters, art galleries, museums, and concert halls. A short bus ride to the downtown area provides access to performances of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Opera and Ballet. For sports enthusiasts, Pittsburgh offers professional football, hockey, and baseball, as well as collegiate level sports of all sorts. Schenley Park, a 456-acre area adjacent to the main campus, has facilities for ice skating, cross-country skiing, bicycling, golf, tennis, jogging, picnicking and swimming during appropriate seasons.
In addition to all that has been mentioned, Pittsburgh is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in this part of the United States. We encourage you to find time to explore the area while you are here. The most recent issue of the Pittsburgh Magazine, which includes guides to restaurants, monthly activities, history, etc., is kept in the Center lounge. The local newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, offers a “Weekender” section on Friday mornings which lists events in and around the city.
There are several publications and local newspapers you will find in the Center’s lounge that may be useful. We recommend that you check Pop City Media for more information about the city and its attractions.
The Cathedral of Learning, a Pittsburgh landmark, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh's main campus. Standing at 535 feet (163 m) the 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere and the second tallest university building (fourth tallest educationally-purposed building) in the world. Located on the first and third floors you will find the Nationality Rooms. The rooms were designed to represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Allegheny County and are supported by these cultural groups and governments. You may take a tour, or just browse on your own. 

We hope you will find your stay here in Pittsburgh to be academically rewarding, professionally invigorating, and socially enjoyable! Please feel free to call on us.


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visiting fellows program:

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