gift ideas for dissertation supervisor

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10 Best Gift Ideas for PhD Research Supervisor on Completion of Your PhD

gift ideas for dissertation supervisor

Completing a PhD is a significant accomplishment that requires years of hard work, dedication, and support. Along the way, your supervisor plays a crucial role in guiding and mentoring you, providing feedback and advice, and helping you navigate the challenges of research and academia.

When it’s time to graduate, it’s only natural to want to show your appreciation and gratitude to your supervisor for their contributions to your success. One way to do so is by giving a thoughtful and meaningful gift that reflects your appreciation and acknowledges the significance of the achievement.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore a wide range of thoughtful and unique gift ideas that are sure to make your supervisor feel valued and appreciated. From personalized stationery to a membership to a prestigious society, we’ve got you covered with practical suggestions and expert tips. So, whether you’re a student seeking inspiration or a colleague looking to express your thanks, read on for our top recommendations on the best gifts for research supervisors.

I. Personalized Gifts: A Unique Way to Show Appreciation to PhD supervisor

Ii. books: a great way to show appreciation to phd supervisor, iii. gift cards: flexibility and convenience for phd supervisor, iv. artwork: a unique and impactful gift for your phd supervisor.

  • V. Handwritten "Thank You": A Heartfelt Way to Express Gratitude to PhD supervisor

VI. Personalized Stationery: A Practical and Thoughtful Gift for your PhD Supervisor

Vii. bottle of wine: a classic way to show appreciation to your phd supervisor, viii. jewellery: an elegant way to show appreciation to phd supervisor, ix. digital devices: a gift that can enhance productivity of research supervisor, x. membership to a prestigious society: one beneficial gift for a research supervisor.

  • Before you Close This Post....


Completing a PhD is a major accomplishment that requires dedication, hard work, and support from many people. Among these supporters is your PhD supervisor, who has likely played a pivotal role in guiding and mentoring you throughout your academic journey.

As you approach the end of your PhD program, it’s important to take the time to express your gratitude and show your appreciation for your supervisor’s contributions.

In this post, we will be sharing some thoughtful gift ideas that you can consider giving to your PhD supervisor to express your thanks.

Your PhD supervisor has likely provided you with personalized guidance throughout your academic journey, so why not return the favour with a personalized gift? Personalized gifts are a thoughtful and unique way to show your appreciation for your supervisor’s help and support.

These gifts demonstrate that you have taken the time and effort to create something special and meaningful just for them. Additionally, personalized gifts can serve as a lasting reminder of the mentor-mentee relationship that you have built during your PhD program.

Here are some examples of personalized gifts that you could consider giving to your supervisor:

  • Customized Pens: A pen is a practical and useful gift that your supervisor can use daily. Consider a high-quality pen with their name or initials engraved on it.
  • Personalized Mugs: A mug is a classic and versatile gift that can be customized in various ways. Consider a mug with a personalized message or photo printed on it.
  • Photo Frames: A photo frame with a memorable photo of you and your supervisor can be a sentimental and meaningful gift. Choose a photo that captures a special moment or memory from your PhD program.
  • Engraved Plaque: An engraved plaque with a personal message of appreciation can be a meaningful and long-lasting gift. Consider having a plaque made with your supervisor’s name and a heartfelt message thanking them for their guidance and support.
  • Personalized Tote Bag : A personalized tote bag with your supervisor’s name or initials can be a stylish and practical gift. Consider a high-quality tote bag that your supervisor can use to carry their academic materials or other personal items.

By choosing a personalized gift, you can demonstrate your gratitude in a unique and meaningful way. Your supervisor will appreciate the thoughtfulness and effort that went into creating a gift that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Books are a great way to show appreciation to your PhD supervisor. Particularly if you choose a book that is related to the field of their expertise, it can demonstrate that you value the knowledge they have imparted on you throughout your studies. Additionally, books are a thoughtful and lasting gift that can be revisited over time and continue to provide value.

By choosing a book that aligns with your supervisor’s field of expertise, you can demonstrate that you value their knowledge and contributions to the field. Additionally, reading the book yourself and discussing it with your supervisor can be a great way to continue your intellectual growth and maintain your relationship beyond the completion of your PhD.

If you’re not quite sure what to get your PhD supervisor, consider a gift card. Gift cards offer flexibility and convenience, allowing your supervisor to choose a gift that is tailored to their interests and preferences. Additionally, gift cards can be a great way to show your appreciation without worrying about choosing the “perfect” gift.

Here are some suggestions for different types of gift cards that may be appropriate:

  • Restaurant Gift Card : A gift card to a local restaurant or cafe can be a great way to treat your supervisor to a nice meal or coffee break. Consider a restaurant that your supervisor has mentioned enjoying in the past or a new restaurant that they may be interested in trying.
  • Spa Gift Card : After the stress and hard work of completing a PhD, a spa gift card can be a great way for your supervisor to relax and unwind. Consider a spa that offers massage, facials, or other services that your supervisor may enjoy.
  • Online Store Gift Card : An online store gift card can be a great option if you’re not quite sure what your supervisor would like. Consider a store that offers a wide range of products, such as Amazon or Etsy, to give your supervisor the flexibility to choose a gift that suits their interests.
  • Bookstore Gift Card: If your supervisor is an avid reader, consider a gift card to a local bookstore. This allows them to choose a book that aligns with their interests and preferences.
  • Experience Gift Card: Consider a gift card for a unique experience, such as a cooking class, wine tasting, or hot air balloon ride. This allows your supervisor to create a lasting memory and enjoy a new experience.

By choosing a gift card, you can give your supervisor the flexibility to choose a gift that suits their preferences and interests. This allows them to enjoy a gift that they truly value and appreciate.

Artwork can be a unique and impactful gift for your PhD supervisor, as it can serve as a visual reminder of your appreciation for years to come. When choosing artwork, consider the supervisor’s interests and tastes, as well as the decor of their home or office.

Here are some suggestions for choosing artwork that your supervisor may appreciate:

  • Commission a Local Artist: Commissioning a local artist to create a custom piece of artwork can be a meaningful and personal gift. Consider choosing an artist whose style aligns with your supervisor’s tastes, and work with them to create a piece that reflects your appreciation and gratitude.
  • Choose a Relevant Piece: If your supervisor has a particular area of expertise or interest, consider choosing artwork that reflects that. For example, if your supervisor is an expert in environmental science, consider a landscape painting or nature-inspired piece.
  • Consider the Decor: When choosing artwork, consider the decor of your supervisor’s home or office. Choose a piece that will complement their existing decor and be a standout feature in the room.
  • Think Outside the Box: Artwork doesn’t have to be limited to paintings or drawings. Consider unique or unconventional pieces, such as a sculpture or a mixed media piece, to add a unique touch to your gift.

By giving artwork as a gift, you can provide your supervisor with a meaningful and lasting reminder of your appreciation. Consider commissioning a local artist or choosing a piece that aligns with their interests and decor to make the gift even more special.

V. Handwritten “Thank You”: A Heartfelt Way to Express Gratitude to PhD supervisor

Sometimes the simplest gestures can be the most meaningful. A handwritten thank you note can be a heartfelt way to express your gratitude and appreciation for your PhD supervisor’s guidance and support throughout your academic journey. Here are some tips for writing a thoughtful note:

  • Be Specific: Include specific examples of how your supervisor has helped you, such as their guidance on a particular project or their mentorship throughout your studies.
  • Keep it Personal: Write the note in your own voice and use personal anecdotes to make it more meaningful.
  • Express Gratitude: Make sure to express your gratitude and appreciation for your supervisor’s contributions to your success.
  • Consider Including a Gift: To make the note even more special, consider including a small gift, such as a gift card or a box of chocolates.

By taking the time to write a handwritten thank you note, you can show your supervisor how much you truly value and appreciate their support. Adding a small gift can make the gesture even more special and memorable.

Personalized stationery can be a practical and thoughtful gift for your PhD supervisor, as it not only shows your appreciation but can also be useful in their professional life. Personalized stationery sets can be customized with the supervisor’s name, initials, or even their university logo, making it a unique and personalized gift.

When considering personalized stationery as a gift for your supervisor, it’s important to choose high-quality materials and designs that reflect their professional image. Here are some examples of personalized stationery sets that you could consider:

  • Personalized Notepads : Notepads with your supervisor’s name or initials can be a useful and practical gift that they can use in their daily work.
  • Personalized Pens : Engraved pens can be a stylish and functional gift that your supervisor can use when signing important documents or conducting meetings.
  • Personalized Letterhead : Customized letterhead with your supervisor’s name and university logo can be a great way to help them make a professional impression in their correspondence.
  • Personalized Business Cards : Business cards with your supervisor’s name, title, and contact information can be a valuable tool in their professional life.

By giving your supervisor personalized stationery, you can provide them with a practical and useful gift that reflects their professional image. Consider customizing the stationery with their name, initials, or university logo to make it even more special.

A good bottle of wine or whiskey can be a classic and sophisticated way to show appreciation to your PhD supervisor. It can also be a great way to celebrate the completion of a PhD or other special occasions.

When choosing a bottle of wine or whiskey as a gift, it’s important to consider the supervisor’s preferences and tastes. Here are some tips for selecting an appropriate bottle:

  • Research the supervisor’s taste preferences: Try to find out if the supervisor has a preference for a certain type of wine or whiskey. You can also consider their taste preferences for other drinks, such as beer or cocktails, to help guide your decision.
  • Consider the occasion: If you’re giving the gift to celebrate a special occasion, such as the completion of a PhD, you may want to choose a higher-end bottle to mark the significance of the event.
  • Choose a high-quality bottle: Whether you opt for a bottle of wine or whiskey, it’s important to choose a high-quality brand that reflects the supervisor’s professional image.
  • Presentation matters: Make sure the bottle is presented in an appropriate manner, such as in a gift bag or box, and include a note expressing your gratitude and congratulations.

Some examples of popular and high-quality bottles of wine or whiskey you could consider include:

  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild: A renowned Bordeaux wine that is often considered a collector’s item and a symbol of sophistication.
  • The Macallan: A well-regarded single malt Scotch whiskey that is known for its high quality and complexity.

By giving a good bottle of wine or whiskey as a gift, you can offer your supervisor a sophisticated and thoughtful token of appreciation. Remember to consider the occasion and the supervisor’s preferences when selecting the perfect bottle.

Jewellery is a timeless and elegant way to show appreciation and recognition for the hard work and dedication of your PhD supervisor. Gold, silver, and platinum are particularly significant metals that can add meaning and symbolism to your gift.

When choosing a piece of jewelry for your supervisor, it’s important to consider their taste and style. Here are some examples of different types of jewelry that may be appropriate:

  • A watch : A classic and practical gift, a watch can symbolize the importance of time and the value of the supervisor’s contribution to your education and career.
  • A necklace : A beautiful and feminine gift, a necklace can represent the supervisor’s supportive and nurturing role in your academic journey.
  • Cufflinks : A sophisticated and professional gift, cufflinks can symbolize the supervisor’s guidance and leadership in your academic and professional pursuits.

Each metal also has its own symbolism and meaning:

  • Gold: Gold is often associated with success, achievement, and excellence. Giving a piece of gold jewelry can symbolize the supervisor’s invaluable contributions to your academic and professional success.
  • Silver: Silver is often associated with appreciation, gratitude, and generosity. Giving a piece of silver jewelry can represent your deep appreciation for the supervisor’s mentorship and support.
  • Platinum: Platinum is often associated with prestige, exclusivity, and sophistication. Giving a piece of platinum jewelry can symbolize the supervisor’s exceptional knowledge and expertise in their field.

Some examples of high-quality and meaningful gold, silver, or platinum jewelry you could consider include:

  • A gold watch from Rolex : A classic and iconic piece of jewelry that can symbolize the supervisor’s invaluable contributions to your academic and professional journey.
  • A silver necklace from Tiffany & Co. : A beautiful and timeless piece of jewelry that can represent your deep appreciation for the supervisor’s guidance and support.
  • Platinum cufflinks from Cartier : A sophisticated and elegant piece of jewelry that can symbolize the supervisor’s exceptional knowledge and expertise in their field.

By giving a piece of gold, silver, or platinum jewelry, you can offer your supervisor a meaningful and lasting token of appreciation that will be treasured for years to come. Remember to consider the symbolism and meaning of each metal when selecting the perfect piece of jewellery for your supervisor.

Research supervisors often rely on technology to manage their workloads efficiently. Consider gifting them a digital device that can enhance their productivity and make their life easier.

Some popular digital devices that make great gifts for research supervisors include tablets , e-readers , and smartwatches . For instance, a tablet can help supervisors easily manage and review research papers, while an e-reader can provide a more convenient way to read academic journals and books. A smartwatch can also be a useful tool for keeping track of time, setting reminders, and managing notifications while working.

When choosing a digital device as a gift for your research supervisor, consider their preferences and the specific needs of their work. Make sure to choose a device that is compatible with their existing technology and software. Additionally, consider purchasing a protective case or screen protector to help keep the device safe and secure.

Here are some examples of popular digital devices from Apple :

  • iPad (tablet)
  • iPad Mini (tablet)
  • iPad Pro (tablet)
  • Apple Watch (smartwatch)
  • MacBook Air (laptop)

These devices offer a wide range of features and functionalities that can help research supervisors manage their workload efficiently and effectively.

Overall, gifting a digital device can be a practical and thoughtful way to show your appreciation for your research supervisor’s hard work and dedication.

One thoughtful and beneficial gift for a research supervisor is membership in a prestigious society. Joining such societies often means access to the latest research, networking opportunities, and chances for publication and collaboration. It can also help to build the supervisor’s professional reputation and credentials.

For instance, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is a professional association that serves technical professionals in a range of fields. An IEEE membership offers access to IEEE Xplore Digital Library, which contains articles, papers, and conference proceedings, as well as IEEE Spectrum magazine, industry standards, and many other resources.

Likewise, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is a society for chemists and related professionals, offering a wide range of resources, including access to scientific journals and networking opportunities. Similarly, the American Physical Society (APS) is a society for physicists, and offers access to Physical Review journals and other resources.

When choosing a society to gift, it is important to consider the supervisor’s interests and goals. You may also want to check if they are already a member of any societies, to avoid duplication. A membership to a prestigious society is a valuable and long-lasting gift that can support the supervisor’s future research and professional development, and show your appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

Before you Close This Post….

You might have completed your PhD and celebrating your success. In the meantime, you may be in search of better career opportunities with PhD Degree in your hand. You can visit my blog post on Exciting Career Opportunities for PhD Researchers and Research Scholars , which will guide you to the bright career opportunities for PhD graduates.

Choosing a gift for your PhD supervisor is an excellent opportunity to express your gratitude and appreciation for their invaluable support and guidance.

Whether you opt for a personalized gift, a book in their field of expertise, a gift card to their favourite restaurant or store, a piece of artwork, personalized stationery, a bottle of wine or whiskey, a piece of gold, silver, or platinum jewellery or a digital device, the key is to choose something that speaks to their personality and interests.

By showing that you’ve put thought and effort into selecting the gift, you’ll make the gesture all the more meaningful and memorable. Remember, the gift is just one way to say thank you; ultimately, it’s the sentiment behind it that matters most.

So, take some time to reflect on all that your supervisor has done for you and choose a gift that truly reflects your appreciation and gratitude.

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The gifts they actually want!

20 Thank You Gifts for PhD Advisor

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All of these thoughtful thank you gifts for PhD advisor will mean so much. Your PhD advisor has helped you through the process, even if sometimes the “help” didn’t feel so helpful! Now is an excellent time to get them a thank you gift to show how much you appreciate their guidance and mentoring! There are so many awesome gifts to choose from!

Thank You Gifts For PhD Advisor | PhD Advisor Gifts | Presents For PhD Advisor | Gifts For PhD Advisor | Unique Thank You Gifts | Thoughtful Thank You Gifts | Mentor Gifts | Meaningful Gift Ideas | #gifts #giftguide #presents #unique #advisor

Awesome Thank You Gifts For PhD Advisor

Any PhD advisor would love these terrific gifts! 

“Thank you for helping me grow” Tree Necklace with Birthstone

Thank you for helping me grow tree pendant

Thank you, PhD advisor, for helping you grow into the fantastic PhD you have become with this tree necklace, and you can even personalize it with their birthstone!

“Yoda best mentor” Mug

Yoda best mentor mug for a PhD advisor

If they love Star Wars, they will really enjoy this “Yoda best mentor” mug to drink their morning coffee from each day.

“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time” Art Collage

Art collage gift

They gave you the greatest gift they could ever give: their time!

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could” Notebook

Thoughtful notebook

Because of your PhD advisor, you have gotten a lot further than you thought you could on your own!

“This is what an AWESOME mentor looks like” Shirt

Awesome mentor t-shirt thank you gifts for a PhD advisor

They are the epitome of an excellent mentor, and now they can let everyone know, everywhere they go, with this shirt.

“You make a difference” Keychain

Thanks for making a difference in my life keychain

Remind them that through all of the complaining you did and the frustration they might have felt, they have continuously made a difference in your PhD journey.

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. -Richard Branson” Print

Big dreams art print

If this is something your PhD advisor told you all the time, that you need to set dreams that scare you, then they need this print. You can print it up, put it in a frame, and give it to them to hang up on their office wall.

Inspiration Soy Candle

Inspiration soy candles as thank you gifts for a PhD advisor

Help them feel more inspired with an “Inspiration” soy candle.

“Soul Model” Mug

Soul model mug

They are not just a role model; they are a “Soul” model!

“Good vibes only” Air Plant

Good vibes only crystal planter

A great reminder to them to stay positive, and to have a plant that has minimal requirements in their office.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17.” in Float Frame

Sharpening Iron art piece

If they are a person of faith, this verse really describes what they have done for you and so many others in their PhD journeys.

Personalized Wooden Pen

Personalized wooden pens as thoughtful thank you gifts for PhD advisors

When nothing feels like the “right” gift, perhaps a personalized wooden pen will!

“Mentoring is kind of my thing” Tumbler

Mentoring travel mug

Their thing as an advisor is to mentor, teach, and guide. Perfect gift for Phd advisor! 

“Challenge, inspire, motivate” Christmas Ornament

Custom Christmas ornament gifts for PhD menors

If you are getting them a thank you gift close to Christmas; this ornament makes for a great gift.

Tree of Life Earrings

Tree of life earrings

This beautiful tree of life earrings will remind them that the work they do is priceless and helps so many people grow.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. -Nelson Mandala” Print

Education art print

Education is a powerful weapon; the more we are educated and use that education, the better the world will be.

“Beautiful minds inspire others” Necklace

Beautiful minds inspire others pendant

Beautiful minds, especially like the one inside your PhD advisor’s head, inspire others.

Funny Wood Bookmark

Funny wooden bookmarks as thank you gifts for PhD advisors

For the bookworm PhD advisor, this funny wood bookmark will inspire them to continue reading, even when things get chaotic.

“Don’t make me use my PhD voice” Shirt

Don't make me use my PhD voice t-shirt

You never want them to use their PhD voice, whether they are your advisor or not. It is too intense!

“Consultant, advisor, specialist, mentor, confidant, partner, helper” Mug

Helper list mug

They were more than an advisor to you; they were also a consultant, mentor, confidant, and helper!

Your PhD advisor will appreciate any gift you choose to give them as a thank you, especially one that will make them smile and feel inspired to keep advising others after you.

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31 Best thank you Gifts for Professors


As a professor, I get thank you gifts from my students – all the time .

I never forget those students who gave me thoughtful, caring gifts.

So, it’s time for me to share with you my idea of what a good thank you gift for a professor might be.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s more important that the gift shows you’ve thought about your professor and what they might like or appreciate.

Here is my list of gifts for professors that you might like to consider this semester!

My Top 3 Gifts for your Professor

1. Bookends


2. Teacher Joke Book


3. Care Package

Care Package

My Full List of the Best Gifts for Professors

1. globe and telescope bookends.


Okay, I want these. They’d look super good in my office. The attention to detail on these bookends is great. The base and wall are books, while the paintwork makes it look like each one was personally crafted. The globe and telescope are both classy additional props to have in a high-end professor’s office.

Teacher Joke Book

This would be good for a professor with a dry sense of humor – and as a bonus, it’s a really affordable option. Any teacher would read through these jokes and laugh knowingly. These jokes must have been written by a teacher!

Your professor can leave it on their coffee table as a book for people to read while waiting to be seen during office hours. Plus, they’ll probably share it around in the faculty lounge to have a laugh with all the other professors.

Read Also: 7 Best Gifts For PhD Students

Cravebox do what I think are the best care packages on the market today. They’re not full of lower-end chocolate snacks. Instead, they’re packed full of healthy supplies that a professor can leave in his or her drawer for days they forgot their lunch. Some snacks they come with include: Veggie Chips, Granola Bars, Popcorn and Fruit Snacks. Cravebox care packages are also very affordable compared to some competitors.

4. Whiskey Glasses

Whiskey Glasses

So, I actually got these as a gift this year. And they were probably my favorite gift. They come in a great gift box for a really good ‘unwrapping’ experience. I now use them all the time whenever I have people over to my house for some drinks. I’m a big fan! Plus, they’re more affordable than you’d think. Of course, it’s not the 1980s – I can’t keep a random whiskey jar in my office. But hey, if you want something similar that’s safe for work – maybe give a gift of a tea set instead!

5. ‘How Professors Swear’ Adult Coloring Book

Adult Coloring Book

Adult coloring books have become really popular in the last few years. They’re coloring books that often have more intricate designs than kids’ books. This one’s professor-themed with a whole bunch of funny phrases professors will enjoy. Note that there are a lot of swear words in this, so while I’d really appreciate it from a student, make sure you’re giving it to a professor with a sense of humor.

6. Desk Organizer

Desk Organizer

Professors spend a lot of time at their desks. A desk organizer would be a great gift that’ll remind them of you every time they use it. This one listed above has tons of different functions. There’s a cool wooden calendar, sections for holding documents or mail, and stationery holder areas as well. I like this wooden look! Like the other items on this list, I chose this one for its great affordable price.

7. Personalized Tumbler

Personalized Tumbler

Most professors have a travel tumbler by their side throughout the day. We’re constantly moving from one classroom to the next … then off to meetings … then tutorials with research students … then squeezing in some lesson planning … and, well, you get it. We need travel tumblers to keep our coffee hot while we’re on the go. The thing I love about this one is you can customize it to your professor’s name!  

8. Fun Teacher Stamp Set

Teacher Stamp Set

Okay, I actually got this gift once from another professor . She told me it will be a fun thing to use on students’ papers. She was right! My students loved getting stamps that read ‘great work!’ on their papers. It reminded them of elementary school and it is a great talking point in class each semester. Really – teachers and students love this!

Some stamp sets on Amazon have things that talk about consulting parents, etc. which aren’t really that fitted for a professor. But, this set’s got a good group of generic messages that’d work well for professors and adult students.

9. Leather Bound Notebook

Leather Bound Notebook

A leather bound notebooks is an affordable and safe gift to get for your professor. It’s a classy way to say ‘thank you’ to your professor for all their hard work and guidance. We’re constantly using notebooks to write down notes when we chat with students or during faculty meetings. I would recommend making sure you go for quality with this gift rather than a generic paper notebook. If you don’t go with this leather-bound notebook but still think it’s a good gift idea, make sure it’s a hardcover book.

10. Teacher Wine Glass

Teacher Wine Glass

I’m sure it would come as no surprise to you that many teachers like a tipple of wine after work. The reason I chose the above wine glass is that it comes packaged in a nice box which makes it really well ‘presentable’ for a … well, present. You can simply wrap this or put it in a nice bag when delivering it to your professor.

11. Set of Conversation Starters

Set of Conversation Starters

Professors have to play host in their offices to all sorts of people: other professors, friends, students, parents, and visiting dignitaries. I’d love to have a set of conversation starters to leave in my office for someone to reach over to and have a read. I first came across these at a dinner party and they were a real hit for sparking meaningful chats.

12. Set of Coasters

Set of Coasters

A set of teacher-themed coasters is a good professor gift idea. The set of coasters could be left on their table in the office and used whenever the professor has guests in their office. If you don’t like the teacher-themed novelty, now worries – just get some nice looking ones!

13. Customized Coaster!

Customized Coaster

An alternative to a teacher-themed set of coasters is to get one customized coaster that has your professor’s name on it, such as “Prof. Smith’s Coffee”. You can also ask for a special message such as “Thanks for being a great Professor!!” This is a great personalization of the coaster gift idea.

14. Wireless Presenter with Laser Pointer

Laser Pointer

A wireless presenter is a hand-held remote that helps a professor shift slides with a click. The one listed above also comes with a laser pointer so the professor can point out specific things within the slides once they’ve been projected. I really wish I had this because it would make giving image presentations in my lectures so much easier.

15. Thank You Cookies

Thank You Cookies

Thank you cookies say more than a box of chocolates. This box of cookies with the ‘thank you’ message on the box feels much more personalized and will make your professor remember you that little bit more. Plus, who doesn’t like cookies? It’s a great edible gift that’s good for end of year or Christmas!

16. Themed Sticky Notes

Themed Sticky Notes

Fun sticky notes are an affordable little gift that says ‘thank you’ to your professor without breaking your bank. Of course, you’ll want to get some sticky notes with a fun theme – not just your bland old pack of yellow notes. The above Shakespeare themed ones are a pretty cool option.

17. Teacher Appreciation Mug

Teacher Appreciation Mug

This is one of the most popular types of gifts we get. I do like a fun themed mug, though, and I tend to cycle through my favorites: one month for this mug, one month for the next. Get this gift if you notice your teacher is a coffee or tea lover.

18. Bonsai Tree

Bonsai Tree

I currently have a Bonsai tree on my bookshelf and it adds so much character to my office! I always like to have a bit of greenery in my office to brighten things up a bit. Offices in universities are notoriously bland and lame, so anything that’ll brighten up my office would be a great gift for me (and therefore, I assume, most other professors!).

19. Pack of 6 Office Succulents

Office Succulents

Did I mention I like plants in my office? One of the hard things about growing plants in your office is that they’ll often die on you. I find succulents are a good option as they can survive with very little maintenance. Plus, with a pack of six, your professor can spread them around their bookshelves to create a nice look in the office. A live plant is always a great gift – so give this one a go!

20. Math Clock

Math Clock

This math clock is great for your math, science, or physics professor. Each number has been replaced by a formula which, of course, is equal to the number it should be! Math nerds would love it – and let me tell you, math professors are the ultimate math nerds! Again, it’s a great addition to a professor’s office (seeing the theme here?). You might want to get some batteries to go with it so your prof can open it and use it right away.

21. Coffee Table Book

Coffee Table Book

A coffee table book is always a good idea for a gift for a professor. Have a think about your professor’s interests and hobbies then get a book that suits them. The above coffee table book is a nice generic one that most professors (male and female) would appreciate. It’s full of great landscapes that can be gazed at on a break between classes or left on the coffee table for guests.

22. Teacher Nutritional Facts Mug

Teacher Nutritional Facts Mug

If you want your professor to know you appreciate your hard work, here’s your gift. The teacher nutritional mug reads: “Hard Working: 1000%, Passion: 500%, Determination: 100%, Caring: 300%”. Of course, there are thousands of different mugs out there that you can buy for your teacher, but this is one of the best and most popular.

23. Math Themed Tie

Math Themed Tie

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Have you noticed your professor wears quirky, cool, or different ties each day? If so, a tie is an obvious choice. This math-themed tie with a quirky giraffe on the end is a fun gift. Behind the giraffe is an image of a chalkboard with math equations written all over it. Your math professor will appreciate it, and if you ever see him around campus wearing it, you’ll be over the moon!

24. ‘Worst Test Answers’ Book


Have you ever seen these images of bad test answers come across your Facebook screen? This book is a collection of some of the worst test answers going around. It’s sure to give your professor a laugh! The book starts with young kids’ answers but as the book goes on there are answers for higher and higher-grade students. It’s another good book for teachers to share around in the faculty lounge or place on their coffee table for people to browse whilst waiting their turn to talk with the professor.

25. Daily Inspiration Calendar

Daily Inspiration Calendar

A calendar is a good catch-all gift that tells someone you wanted to get them a little something to say thank you. This inspirational calendar adds another element to it, with daily messages of inspiration. Every time your teacher gets a lovely inspirational message, they’ll be sure to think of you and be grateful for your gift!

26. Teacher Socks


In Harry Potter, Professor Dumbledore tells Harry: “One can never have enough socks.” He goes on: “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

These are a great set of socks that you can give your teacher to give him or her a laugh. When the teacher has their feet up at the end of the day, you can read the sole which reads: “If you can read this, this teacher is off duty.” 

27. Geography Themed Tie

Geography Themed Tie

I’ve already shown you a tie for a math professor. Well … if you’ve got a geography professor, here’s one for them, too! It’s a tie that has a map of the world on it. Of course, this is best for a quirky professor who you know wears a lot of different, fun ties. You may simply want to consider a plain tie or even a nice plain collared shirt if your professor is a bit more … traditional!

28. Messenger Bag

Messenger Bag

The above messenger bag would be great for a young male professor (think Ted Moseby). It’d be a lovely gift for a professor who did something really nice for you such as being your academic adviser or grad school supervisor. Have a think about whether your professor is always carrying around a laptop or if their bag is starting to get a bit old – if so, go with this gift!

29. Teach, Love, Inspire Tote Bag

Tote Bag

The above messenger bag is a classy option for men, while this canvas tote bag is a more generic option that a female professor may appreciate. We’re frequently carrying books and stacks of paper to and from campus, so a canvas tote bag like this often comes in very handy.

30. Canvas Wall Poster

Wall Poster

I’ve noticed that many professors have wall posters that have motivational messages on them. They’re posters that are aimed at creating a motivating atmosphere for when they have meetings with their students. So, consider giving them another wall poster to add to their office wall! This one has a good positive message I can imagine many professors using when talking to their students.

31. Bake them some Cookies!

Hey, who said you had to buy your professor a gift? I’d appreciate it so much if a student of mine just brought me in some baked cookies. It’s a gift of time and love, which I personally like just as much as (if not more than) a gift my student has bought.

  • Best Backpacks for Teachers
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Final Thoughts

So, that’s my list of the 31 best thank you gifts for professors!

When choosing your gift for your professor, keep in mind your professor’s personality. If they’re a lighthearted, fun loving professor, then go ahead and get them something comical. If you’re not sure that’s a good idea, stick with something a bit safer.

You might also want to keep in mind how much the professor helped you out. If this is a professor who changed your life or was your dissertation supervisor, it’s probably smart to get them something a little more classy (and potentially more expensive).


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) 50 Durable Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 100 Consumer Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 30 Globalization Pros and Cons
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 17 Adversity Examples (And How to Overcome Them)

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25 Practical Gifts for Grad & PhD Students in 2022

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Gifts for PhD Students and Graduate Students Doctoral Students First Year PhD Second Year PhD Third Year PhD thesis dissertation gifts Featured Image

You’re proud of your graduate and PhD students. Show them just how much you care, with gifts that are a bit fun and a bit practical. Whether they’re working on their dissertation or your doctoral students are simply elbows deep in research, you are sure to find just the right gift on a list that’s almost as smart as they are.

Funny PhD Coffee Mug

12 Best PhD Gifts for Doctoral Students (in 2024)

If you just try searching "PhD Graduation Gifts" on Amazon, you'll get a page full of mugs, shirts and keychains. They deserve better. I’ve been through grad school, got my PhD, and have a good idea of what they would truly appreciate as a thank-you gift. Here’s my hand-picked list below. 

This list is a compilation of my favorites from around the internet. Some are our own Genius Lab Gear inventions and some we’re just jealous we didn’t think of first! Some external links in this page are from affiliates, which means that any purchase of the items after clicking the link will result in a small monetary referral fee paid back to Genius Lab Gear at no cost to you. We appreciate your support which allows us to continue inventing and testing the best tools for scientists on the planet!

1. Academia Word Magnets

Academia is chock full of inside jokes, mannerisms, and cringeworthy habits that grad students and professors love to laugh about. These word magnets are designed specifically to let academics rant about their hardships, relish their big wins, and have a good laugh. These are perfect for the office refrigerator or the magnetic whiteboard, where colleagues can leave passive-aggressive phrases for lab mates to find later.  Get them on our site here  and bundle them with  other field-specific sets  based on the graduate's field of study.

professor PhD word magnets

2. The Pocket Scientist pocket ruler and equation reference

Whether they're climbing the academic latter or heading out to the "real world", they can carry this credit card-sized ruler and scientific reference every day. We even laser-engraved the backside full of basic science equations and physical constants.  See the product page  for a full list of features we've packed in!

Available from  our website  or  from Amazon .

the pocket scientist professor pocket tool

The Pocket Scientist at Genius Lab Gear

The Pocket Scientist on Amazon

How to use The Pocket Scientist – Full Feature Guide

P.S. We also have versions specifically for  Chemists ,  Physicists  and  Engineers  if those are a better fit for the person you have in mind!

3. Rocketbook Matrix cloud-connected reusable paper notebook

PhD students do a lot of work both on paper and with software. Rocketbook finally solved the problem of merging your hand-written notes into your favorite digital services. You simply use their app to take a photo of your pages of notes and the QR code and marked symbols on each page trigger the app to send the digitized page to any of the 9 pre-set digital destinations you choose. This includes OneNote, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, and even specific emails. Want a shortcut to send notes via email straight to your colleague or boss? This is what you’re looking for.

The Rocketbook Matrix is my personal favorite because it's designed for more technical scientific work. It's got 30 pages of graphing paper and one regular lined page for taking notes, plus a built-in ruler on the inside cover. Did I mention they are reusable? Use their " Pilot Frixion " pens and then wipe the page with a damp cloth after uploading your notes to use it all over again (and win one for the environment!). 

Usually, the best price is  on Amazon .


4. Wireless Laser Pointer and PowerPoint Presenter

Laser pointers are one thing you never think about until the moment you don’t have one that works. I personally  own this one  because it’s got everything you need, from the pen clip to volume buttons and slide control buttons. DinoFire has several tiers with different features, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. 

green laser pointer academic presentation gift

5. rOtring or Staedtler Mechanical Pencil

Mechanical pencils are an essential daily tool for researchers in STEM on the job and in the classroom. But in the new digital age, they often find themselves using touchscreens as well. 

That’s why my new favorite is the rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil, (0.5 mm) . This one turns from a pencil to a stylus on the fly, and also ensures the tip isn’t poking holes in your pocket all day like most other models. This is truly the top-end mechanical pencil and will make a special gift. 


Check price on Amazon

Staedtler is another brand much-loved by scientists and engineers. This model is cheaper and will last a long time, but just isn’t convertible to a stylus. You can’t go wrong with either one.

6. Oh, the Places You'll Go! By Dr. Seuss

This might seem like it’s only for kids, but Dr. Seuss’ whimsical wisdom is often applied to the biggest moments of our lives. As a graduation gift, it’s perfect. The timeless message focuses on the success that lies within, as your graduate readies for a new phase in life. Plus, it’s a small book they can keep forever to pass the wisdom on to their kids.

dr seuss graduation book

7. Funny Coloring Book for PhD Students and Graduates

These adult coloring books are a hit in many fields, and this one is meant specifically for those who know the struggle of getting a PhD . It’s snarky, fun, and an amazing creative outlet. The satisfaction of just coloring inside the lines versus writing a 300-page thesis is a welcome relief.

funny phd graduate coloring book

8. Scientist Quote Desktop Canvas

We're super proud of our  little series of famous scientist quotes on canvas prints . These are 5"x7" and sit up easily on their own or can be mounted to a wall. This one sits next to me as I write, and helps me keep a sense of humility as I explore the unknown! 

Wernher von Braun science research quote canvas

9. Modern Lab Coat Pocket Protector

This is how your PhD grad will know they’ve finally made it. The venerable Pocket Protector became a cultural icon in the 1960's and 1970's, but somewhere along the way the newer generation of STEM researchers forgot about them. Scientists need these back in their labs to stay organized, stay efficient, protect their lab coats, and finish their experiments without being late to lunch. So we researched and tested every type ever made to methodically solve each problem and come up with this refreshed design . Available in spruce green, sapphire blue, and faded pink - the top 3 colors voted on by our fans! You can even get it from our Amazon page if that's easier.

pink women's pocket protector for science and STEM lab work

10. PhD Graduation Diploma Frame

They will definitely want to show off their hard work by displaying their newly minted Ph.D. diploma. This frame fits both 8.5”x11” and 11”x14” diplomas, which covers most institutions, and is the highest-rated frame on Amazon with many color choices. If they picked up a Masters degree along the way, you could grab the 2-pack so they can hang them both in their next office. 

phd graduation diploma frame

11. Gift Card in a Graduation Style Gift Box

If you want them to make their own decision on a graduation gift, the easiest way is to just grab an Amazon gift card in this graduation-themed gift box . Pick any custom amount and they’ll usually get it to you within 2 days.

amazon graduation gift card box

12. PhD Graduation Gift Bundle

If you can't decide by now, I can still help! Consider this decision made. I put together a  PhD Graduation Gift Bundle  just to make it easy for you. It includes PhD Self-Care and Academia-themed Word Magnets from above, plus a few fun science stickers. You'll save over 20% by bundling them together, so consider this decision made!

  • PhD Self-Care Word Magnets
  • Academia Word Magnets
  • Science Basics Word Magnets
  • Starter Word Magnets (144 tiles of connector words)
  • Marie Curie sticker
  • Science is for Everyone sticker
  • Einstein quote sticker

phd graduation gift bundle


What is the best graduation gift for doctoral students.

Getting a bachelor's degree is one thing, but getting a PhD takes a lot of hard work and dedication. PhD students deserve the best gifts and if you're looking for one, you should check out the following.

  • The Pocket Scientist pocket ruler and equation reference
  • Rocketbook Matrix Cloud-connected Reusable Paper Notebook
  • Wireless Laser Pointer and Powerpoint presenter
  • Rotring or Staedtler Mechanical Pencil
  • Oh, the Places You'll Go! By Dr. Seuss
  • Funny Coloring Book for PhD Students and Graduates
  • Scientist Quote Desktop Canvas
  • Modern Pocket Protector for lab coats
  • PhD Graduation Diploma Frame
  • Gift Card in a graduation style Gift Box
  • PhD Graduation Gift Bundle

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  • sciencewoman

Do you give a gift to your advisor when you defend?

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Dear SW and Alice,

I will soon defend my dissertation, and I don't know whether it is customary or acceptable or expected to give an appreciation gift to one's adviser. ...I asked around with colleagues... and there seems to be no consensus - I got, "you could and it would be nice but I don't think it would be expected". Is there a standard of behavior to show appreciation for dissertation advising, or is it part of the job, in your experiences? Did you give gifts? If you did, what did you give? Can you shed any light on this?

Sincerely, Soontobe PhD

Congratulations on your coming defense! You've done all of the hard parts of your PhD and now you can relax and worry about details like page formatting and gifts for your advisor. That's awesome.

And what a great question. I wondered about the same thing when I was defending. I think the traditional thing to do is have the present be a bound copy of the dissertation for your advisor's collection. I also chose to give my advisor a framed photo of the two of us at one of my scenic field sites. I know that he still has that picture amidst the clutter of his office - not even totally buried! I don't think you should feel in any way obligated to give your advisor anything of monetary value - but if you are close and have something sentimental to give or shared interests or something like that I think a gift would be fine. I'd bet that a nice - but not too sappy - letter saying how much you appreciated his advice and mentoring, etc. would be just as appreciated as any gift.

On a more pragmatic level - the dissertation copy may actually be used by future grad students who are doing related work. Even better would be to make sure that you actually get all of the chapters of your thesis published in a timely manner. Finally, when you leave, don't leave behind unlabeled samples and messy or incomplete lab/field notebooks. You should be a good lab citizen and give your advisor (and, again, future grad students) a tidy package of notebooks, reagents, and whatnot for future work. (But you already knew that...)

Readers - Did you give your advisor a gift? If so, what?

Sincerely, SW

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I defended last week and passed. I have a few words of advice. My advisor was extremely helpful and told me what was expected.

I brought in coffee, breakfast pastries, and cut up fruit. It was much appreciated. My advisor gave me a clock with my university's name on it - a very appropriate and appreciated gift. I will give to her a bound copy of my dissertation, and a collection of spices from a local spice shop - she likes to cook and barbecue. I will most likely not do anything for the other four members, except to invite them to my graduation party.

It really varies it sounds like - so you can't go wrong by asking your advisor or other students who have graduated.

Regarding how many do not make it through the defense (fail) I would venture this is a very small number. No advisor should allow a student to get to that point if they are not ready. If they do, they are not doing their job. A failure at some institutions means you are out of the program, or you may be granted one more opportunity to defend if you can show that you can perform the required research, analysis, etc. in order to satisfy the minimum requirements. Keep in mind, it is in the best interest of the institution to have you graduate.

I did my dissertation on Procrastination - and one frightening statistic is that 70% of students who make it to the ABD stage never earn their doctorate. Glad I made it through, with only a few months before my time was up.

Yes! The best thing you can give your advisor, and the lab as a whole, is to organize all your stuff! (I say this because our lab just graduated its first Ph.D. student, who left behind a mess of crap and we have no idea what to do with it -- our PI would have been THRILLED had he taken a week or so to label all his samples, find space in the freezer for everything, and printed out a sheet with the location of everything, maps for his plasmids, lists of his antibodies and locations, thrown away his old Western blots, etc etc).

I gave my committee little boxes of chocolates from a local very favorite store. They ripped them open immediately and starting munching on them. I gave my Master's advisor 3 packs (30 total) of red pens to replenish his supply!

I kind of think you shouldn't give anything at your defense (and that any such tradition should be strongly discouraged). It has the potential to feel like bribery because they are still in the process of grading (passing) you. If you give anything, then I think something small (ala SW's suggestion above) given at graduation is much more appropriate.

I only gave a gift to my major professor. I gave it to her at the party I had after graduation.

I didn't give anything to my advisor, but I went to a nearby cafe' with my family and friends (including the advisor) and my father paid. I never received a present as an advisor, except of course a nice copy of the thesis. I suspect I would find it weird.

OTOH, I feel that I should be giving a present to my students when they graduate - something like a reference book. Did anybody get a present from their advisor? What do you all think about this?

no gifts...that wasn't part of the culture at my grad institution

Since I didn't get to the PhD defense or graduation part yet (although in my part of academia the graduation (party) follows the defense on the same day, I can only share experiences for my Masters. I got a nice bottle of wine from my adviser and I didn't get him anything (well, aside from a nice copy of my thesis). Defenses that I have seen her, on average, you get a present from your adviser(s), and usually you also give your advisers something you know they will appreciate. In my case, this will be good quality Belgian black chocolate for all three of them ;)

After the defense, I gave small (2 piece) boxes of chocolate from a local chocolatier to my committee to thank them for reading my dissertation.

I didn't do anything for my MS, but for my PhD, I gave a moderately-priced bottle of wine to each of my committee members, including my advisor. I was able to do this individually, and they all seemed to appreciate it. I received a nice pair of earrings from my advisor at the get-together on the evening I defended.

I gave my professor a bound copy of the thesis and he gave me a little paperback math text he thought was a classic.

Excellent post.

I think there are two things you should give your adviser. A suitable acknowledgment in the acknowledgment section and as suggested a copy of the thesis.

Otherwise any gift or act should simply be based on the nature of your relationship in its various dimensions. I set up a bar outside of my advisor's office and everybody who came by drank for free for the rest of the day. My most recent PhD gave me all his data. That was nice. My previous PhD and her husband bought me lunch. That was great because I had never met him before and always wanted to. The best present, though, is when I get emailed out of the blue just to say hi. As if that ever happens.... (sigh...)

I think in some departments it has become a tradition for the examinees for an oral to bring something to drink and something to eat, like apple juice and bars. I have mixed feelings about that.

I'm similar to LindaCO - did nothing for my M.S. committee, but I gave a reasonably priced bottle of alcohol to each person. For the committee members I knew well enough to know their tastes, I chose something specific (tequila for one person, a favorite beer for another) - a friend did something similar, giving a book to a committee member who did not drink.

My advisor (and another committee member) took me out for a nice dinner the night before (partly to keep me from overstressing the night before, I think).

Well, that brings up a whole other issue: What do do for your graduating advisee. Bugt I suppose that could be another post.

Okay, since I've never been through any of these kinds of processes (Masters, Ph.D., etc.), what's the failure rate once this dissertation defense stage is reached? This is an oral defense, right?

What are the possible outcomes of this, and what are the advisors or board members looking for?

Ok greg laden, I bet your question about "what to do for your graduating advisee" will be answered in the comment thread here, but if not, I'll throw up another post in a few days.

minusRusty: your question definitely deserves its own post. I'll add it to my to-blog list and credit you as an impetus.

I gave my advisor my thin sections, my field notebooks, my rock samples, my maps, several figures for a proposal she was writing, and a couple submitted manuscripts. (Along with the dissertation.) She gave me a barbecue after the defense and a garlic-lovers cookbook. (Food was a running joke in our research group, because we did fieldwork in remote places and would run out of food on occasion.)

Oh, and I gave her an edited collection of quotes from e-mails she had sent me. (She was the perfect advisor to be teased in that kind of way.) And later, I gave her some new students for her research group.

I think I'll print this comment thread, underline every occurrence of the words "dark chocolate", and tape it to the door of my office.

I agree with Greg that what you give (if anything) and what your advisor gives you (if anything) depends on the nature of the relationship.

For my committee: I made sure they were fed and caffeinated during the defense. I think I wrote them all individual thank-you letters as well.

My advisor. He and his family were wonderful friends and colleagues during my PhD. I got him a nice bottle of scotch (I also got his wife a nice gift too), a long thank you letter, a huge acknowledgment in my dissertation, and a clean lab before I left. We still collaborate.

What my advisor got me: Took me to dinner at a nice restaurant in town and bought be a coffee table book: nature shots specific to the State where I did my PhD. I really liked this gift, I thought it was a great idea!

1) I would wait to give a gift to your advisor until the party (or champaign opening) after you pass. I think something that fits the relationship you had (in my lab a good joke item was pretty standard).

2) always make sure your committee is well fed and very well caffeinated and make sure as many diuretics are included as possible. The faster they have to pee, the faster the defense ends. :)

I did not give my Advisor anything after I have defended my Master's, but I treated her to dinner. At first she refused, but I insisted, saying that I could only do so much now (then, because I didn't have a job yet), and she agreed :D

It didn't occur to me that I should be buying gifts as a grad student :-). My advisor bought me (and all the others who graduated from his lab at U.Va) a framed photo of the Blue Ridge; I loved and love it.

I *did* give bottles of wine to folks at a couple of later points: folks who wrote a *lot* of letters of reference for me despite not ever having been a direct advisor (Shafer Relentless which seemed aptly named and is delicious!), and I sent my (now ex-)advisor some champagne at one point (I think for similar reasons but also because he had cancer; I forget exactly).

Definite plans to give presents to graduating students from my lab, should I ever have any!

Oh; (prompted by Missy above): one tradition that I like very much is faculty taking grad student friends to restaurants that the students can't afford. This is then paid forward in turn. Just seemed classy. Hat-tip here to Bobbie Spellman , who drew me into this reverse-ponzi scheme!

Thanks, everyone! I appreciate the ideas and tips!

The bound copy of my dissertation was expected, so I couldn't pawn it off as a gift. I gave my advisor a very expensive bottle of whiskey and took him out for dinner...

The tradition in my lab was that the student gave a bound copy of the thesis to the advisor (after the result was agreed) and the advisor gave the student a bottle of champagne (or equivalent pricey celebratory treat) and told them firmly to take it home and share with friends/family. I still have the cork from mine, and I'm continuing the custom...

I didn't give my boss anything. I'm in the sciences and my publications and matriculation made him look good. In turn, he advised during my research. I shook his hand and said thanks and went about my business.

Yes, definitely. Despite all the problems and frustrations that I felt during the course of the PhD, I wanted her to know that I appreciated her efforts. It's important to recognize that supervisors are human and make mistakes. They learn about mentoring with every student.

I was more interested in kicking my supervisor in the face at the time. I did invite my committee to the party, but they didn't show. It was a good viva though, lots of people, charming opponent, a nice atmosphere.

I plan to give my advisor a hard copy of my Ph.D disseration, too.

I was just wondering if I should write down(by hand) my appreciation somewhere in the dissertation in addition to the printed ackowlegement?

Do you do that, or, just give the printed copy without any handwriting? Thanks,

Thread necromancy! You show up near the top of a Google search on the topic. I'm in a similar position at the moment, I defend (Ph.D.) in 5 days. I don't drink and don't know much about alcohol as a result, so I won't be giving my committee/advisor any booze.

But, I will be catering my defense. I do a lot of baking/confection stuff, and my advisor has joked in the past that he hired me because of my baking. A committee member who I had as a prof. in a class a few years ago told me that if science doesn't work out, baking will. So I figure that is my "thank-you" to my committee and bribe to get friends to come support me during the defense. I'm going to be making candied orange and lemon peels, half dipped in dark chocolate, and key lime meltaway cookies, half of them half-dipped in dark chocolate and the other half tossed in powdered sugar (one of my committee members doesn't like chocolate). Depending on how nervous I am and need to do other things, I also may be making marshmallow-filled chocolates.

I think in my case anything much more (along the lines of a "parting gift") would be weird because - assuming I pass - I will be continuing to work for the guy for at least another 18 months as a post-doc, continuing the work I'm doing now. I know that's generally a bad idea, but it's on a grant that I had written to fund me and he signed off on as the PI, so I'm a teensy bit obligated.

The advisor did get a big "thank you" in my thesis Acknowledgements, and after reading this thread I will get him a bound copy. I won't have it at the defense because, at least here, the committee can pass you but still tell you to change things in your thesis and the grad school gives us another week to get it in. My committee gets acknowledged at the end of my defense and two are called out individually because they're collaborators on my work (incl. the advisor).


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    gift ideas for dissertation supervisor


  1. 10 Best Gift Ideas for Your PhD Research Supervisor in 2024

    Photo Frames: A photo frame with a memorable photo of you and your supervisor can be a sentimental and meaningful gift. Choose a photo that captures a special moment or memory from your PhD program. Engraved Plaque: An engraved plaque with a personal message of appreciation can be a meaningful and long-lasting gift.

  2. 14 Best Gifts for Professors or PhD Advisors (in 2024)

    Funny Coaster set for Teachers and Professors. Wireless Laser pointer and Powerpoint presenter. Smart Coffee Mug Warmer. Kensington Ergonomic Vertical Wireless Mouse. Pocket Protector for lab coats. Novium Hoverpen 2.0. Personal Aeropress or Pour-over Coffee Maker.

  3. Dissertation Advisor Gift

    Advisor Gift PhD Advisor Travel Mug Personalized Dissertation Advisor Insulated Cup for Men Women Thesis Advisor Gifts Doctoral Advisor Mug (3.6k) $ 16.99. Add to Favorites Graduate Student Wall Art, Office Art, Psychology Gift, Academic Humor, Student Gift, I'm Proud of You, Grad Student Gift, Thesis Advisor ...

  4. What type of gift could I give to my PhD advisor? [duplicate]

    6. As far as I'm aware, giving gifts to your PhD adviser upon completion in the US is not an obligatory ritual, as compared to Christmas gift exchange in families, or Mother's Day cards and flowers, which are obligatory rituals. Before you decide to give a gift and choose one, you should consider your adviser's personality, value system ...

  5. Gift Phd Supervisor

    Minimalist Jewelry, Gray Feather Necklace, Weight loss Gift, Supervisor Gift, School Secretary Gifts, Manager Gift. 5.0. (38) ·. SnowAngelCraftShop. $47.00. Shirt for university lecturers and tutors at grading and assessment time of year. Great gift for the academic in your life. 4.9.

  6. 20 Thank You Gifts for PhD Advisor

    A great reminder to them to stay positive, and to have a plant that has minimal requirements in their office. "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17." in Float Frame. Buy Now. If they are a person of faith, this verse really describes what they have done for you and so many others in their PhD journeys.

  7. Gift Phd Supervisor

    Awesome Supervisor Mug-Gift For Supervisor-Supervisor Mugs-Supervisor Gift Ideas-Unique Supervisor Mug-Best Ever Supervisor-Coffee Mug 4.9 (1.6k) · ... Phd Advisor Gift For Academic Thesis Advisors/Supervisors, Jewelry Necklace Gift Box Set 5.0

  8. 31 Best thank you Gifts for Professors (2024)

    Thank you gifts for professors don't have to be expensive. It's more important that you show you've thought about your professor and what they might like or appreciate. ... If this is a professor who changed your life or was your dissertation supervisor, it's probably smart to get them something a little more classy (and potentially more ...

  9. 25 Practical Gifts for Grad & PhD Students in 2022

    Whether they're working on their dissertation or elbows deep in research, you are sure to find just the right gift for your grad or PhD student. ... TheGiftYak curates unique gifts and is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more. December 20, 2021 February 22, 2021 by Matthew Lally.

  10. 12 Best PhD Gifts for Doctoral Students (in 2024)

    11. Gift Card in a Graduation Style Gift Box. If you want them to make their own decision on a graduation gift, the easiest way is to just grab an Amazon gift card in this graduation-themed gift box. Pick any custom amount and they'll usually get it to you within 2 days. 12. PhD Graduation Gift Bundle.

  11. Is it appropriate to buy a "thank you" gift for a PhD supervisor?

    The kind of relationship you have with your advisor/supervisor and; The extent to which s/he has gone out of their way to help you over the course of your Ph.D. In most cases I would say no, because you are the underpaid employee and s/he is sort-of the boss, or at least the representative of the university.

  12. Best Supervisor Gifts

    Supervisor Gifts, Gifts for Supervisors on Boss Day, Birthday and Christmas, A Truly Great Supervisor Appreciation Plaque Decor with Wooden Stand, Boss Day Gift. 4.8 out of 5 stars. 70. $9.99 $ 9. 99. List: $14.99 $14.99. FREE delivery Wed, Mar 13 on $35 of items shipped by Amazon +1 color/pattern.

  13. What should I do for a gift for my supervisor? : r/PhD

    Thanks! I would give my supervisor a card with a personal message to express my gratitude with a plant that can be kept in his office. Past PhD students in my lab have had their theses bound and printed, and handwritten a message in front cover. Expensive but special.

  14. Thesis Advisor Gifts

    Check out our thesis advisor gifts selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our mugs shops. ... Phd Advisor Gift For Academic Thesis Advisors/Supervisors, Jewelry Necklace Gift Box Set (22) $ 59.95. FREE shipping Add to Favorites Personalized Mentor Gift For Colleague, Going Away Gift For Boss, Funny Gift For ...

  15. Do you give a gift to your advisor when you defend?

    By Jessica (not verified) on 11 Sep 2008 #permalink. 1) I would wait to give a gift to your advisor until the party (or champaign opening) after you pass. I think something that fits the ...

  16. Thesis Supervisor "Thank You" Gift? : r/GradSchool

    I got my masters supervisor a nice fishing rod. It was half a "thank you" gift, and half a "sorry for losing your fishing rod months ago in a canoe tipping incident during field work" gift. If you haven't had any fishing rod related incidents though, a bottle of wine is probably a safe bet. AllEternals •. Actually, just get a fishing rod.

  17. Gift for your supervisor : r/PhD

    Hello everyone, I will be defending my thesis soon and would like to gift something to my supervisor. Being bad at gifts, I don't have any cool ideas. Plus, we have a strictly professional relationship so I don't really know what my supervisor would like. Do you have some ideas? P.S. He's a ~45 years old Psychology professor.

  18. Gift ideas for dissertation supervisor

    Gift ideas for dissertation supervisor. I'm at the ending of my Law degree and I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, not only for supervising my undergraduate dissertation, but also for being there for me, for continuous academic and moral support throughout these 3 difficult years. I should note that I am a female student and ...

  19. Phd Supervisor Gift

    Awesome Supervisor Mug-Gift For Supervisor-Supervisor Mugs-Supervisor Gift Ideas-Unique Supervisor Mug-Best Ever Supervisor-Coffee Mug (1.6k) AU$ 34.90. Add to Favourites ... Phd Advisor Gift For Academic Thesis Advisors/Supervisors, Jewelry Necklace Gift Box Set (22) AU$ 96.21. Add to Favourites ...

  20. Gift Ideas For Dissertation Supervisor

    Send us the instructions, and your deadline, and you're good to go. Essay on Public Relations. Gift Ideas For Dissertation Supervisor. Of course, we can deliver your assignment in 8 hours. 24.99. Rebecca Geach. #15 in Global Rating. Essay, Coursework, Research paper, Questions-Answers, Discussion Board Post, Term paper, Research proposal ...

  21. Small gift for my thesis advisor? Appropriate? : r/AskAcademia

    I am about to graduate with my bachelors degree this semester and have just completed my undergraduate honors thesis. I had a wonderful advisor throughout the process who was very kind and helpful. Not only in the thesis process, but also in writing me recommendation letters and helping me apply to graduate school. (I got in by the way!

  22. Gift Ideas For Dissertation Supervisor

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