9 gift ideas for academics

Gift ideas for academics

It’s December! I’m looking at a Christmas tree, drinking glögg and I just received my first gift – a box with food, tea, and a blanket – from my employer. I don’t really exchange a lot of gifts for Christmas, but I know it’s a big thing in other places. I do enjoy coming up with gift ideas, which I know can be difficult, especially now that most people have too much stuff. So this time I thought I’d try a different kind of post, and share a few inexpensive gift ideas for academics!

1. A domain name

Because many universities still treat emails and websites like they did 20 years ago. It’s easy to buy a domain name yourself, and then transfer it to a different owner. Setting up a website is not required – it’s possible to forward the domain name to an existing website, or use it for multiple email addresses. If you are in the Netherlands, I recommend versio.nl.

2. A paid subscription to a service

Because there are a lot of great services out there. Despite the monthly cost of about 2 cups of coffee, many people are hesitant to pay for apps, and settle for suboptimal solutions instead. Let them experience how helpful these services can be and buy them a paid subscription for Evernote, Dropbox, or Headspace. My most recent subscription is to focus@will.

3. A voucher for a day at the spa

Because we all need this from time to time. I get mine at Treatwell.

Gift ideas for academics #3: voucher for a spa day

4. Getting things done

Because everybody needs to read this book. An updated edition recently came out, so it’s a good gift even for those who read it already. To save trees, get the electronic or audio version.

[CBC_AMAZON asin=”0143126563″][/CBC_AMAZON]

5. A wireless presenter

Because when I got one as a PhD student, I felt like a real scientist. I like the ones with a built-in timer, but I have this more affordable version:

Gift ideas for academics #5: wireless presenter

6. A snuggie

Because sleeves. Appropriate for Netflix and grading papers.

Gift ideas for academics #6: Snuggie blanket

7. Good tea

Because alcohol and coffee are great gifts too, but we probably are drinking too much of those already.

Gift ideas for academics #7: good tea

8. A plant

Because it can cheer up any (office) space.
Gift ideas for academics #8: a plant to cheer up an office

9. A donation to open science

Because it’s important. A great initiative to donate to is Scihub, but if you don’t pay in bitcoins, you can try Wikipedia instead.

Final words of advice

A word of warning: be careful when choosing a “nerdy” souvenir that might seem original at first, but has been done so many times it’s kitschy or even downright embarassing. Yes, this includes everything with puns involving Pi and caffeine molecules.

Other gifts ideas for academics

If you are looking for more ideas, do check out this guide to giving gifts by Tenure She Wrote and this list by Stylish Academic. Let me know if you know other posts with good gift ideas for academics!

Happy holidays!

3 thoughts on “9 gift ideas for academics”

  1. Thanks to you trying out focus@will

    I think I might already be addicted (after a few minutes) — I’m always searching for a working soundtrack to suit my current state, and this seems to fix that problem very well. Thank you!

    By the way: Have you considered a search box on your site? I remembered that you had this post, but to find it I had to resort to site:veronikach.com google searches, something not all users will use that readily.

    1. Awesome! I adopted it very quickly as well. I do like listening to something, but couldn’t listen to “normal” music, so focus @ will is perfect. I wish they had a non-email referral program, I believe I’m redirecting quite a few people there 🙂

      I’ll get on the search thing right away, faulty assumption that people wouldn’t use it! Thanks!

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