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Seven Perfect Present Ideas for PhD Students

Seven Perfect Present Ideas for PhD Students

  • International News
Joanna HughesDec 18, 2017

The Christmas countdown is officially on! If you’ve been searching for an amazing gift for that special doctoral student in your life, search no further! We’ve got the solution right here. Check out these six gift idea for PhD students, then prepare to get your retail on.

1. An adjustable laptop desk

PhD students spent a lot of time at their desks. So why not set them up with a smart seat and/or stand? Given the increasing evidence telling us how bad sitting is for health and wellness, this ergonomically designed, portable, and multifunctional laptop table from Furinno couldn’t be easier to use -- and it has storage, too!

“I have been hoping for such a product for many years, so I was grateful to find one that has so many great features. I can be really difficult to satisfy, yet I have trouble thinking of any features that the designer did not include,” enthuses an Amazon reviewer.

2. A Moleskine

There are notebooks, and then there are Moleskines. Whether you go for one of their iconic day planners or a thoughtful journal, a Moleskine is a timeless gift which holds up today.

Think these are dinosaurs in today’s digital age? Think again. Amazon reviewers liberally use words like “addicted” and “fantastic” in describing Moleskines, while one claims, “I think this is the sixth year in a row I have ordered this version of the agenda. I couldn't face January the second without it!”

3. A telescoping document tube

Okay, so it may not be the sexiest present out there, but practicality is a must for busy PhD students, and there’s nothing more practical than a telescoping poster tube. Made of durable plastic, this expanding and contracting vessel has a user-friendly adjustable strap. Every time the recipient heads off to a conference with a poster safely in tow, they’ll think of you.

4. A wake-up light

There’s nothing less inspiring than waking up to the blaring of an alarm clock. Why not make mornings a little more pleasant for your favorite PhD student with this “sunrise simulation” alarm clock, instead? Designed to improve sleep, energy and overall wellbeing, this light alarm clock is an ideal well to help get every day off to a smart start.

Raves one Amazon reviewer, “This clock is a miracle worker. My entire room is lighted up by the time my alarm rings in the morning now. I never have to wake up to darkness again. The best part is that my body truly, actually does wake up itself before my alarm ever rings. I love this clock.”

5. An adult coloring book

No, we’re not talking about that kind of adult. But rather, about coloring books for grownups. Not only does coloring offer a fun escape from the rigors of graduate student life, but experts say the act of coloring has restorative effects.

As psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala told Huffington Post, “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”

6. Lab decor

Let’s face it: Some graduate students may spend as much time in the lab as they do at home. So why not help them cozy things up a bit? From inspirational posters to potted plants, there are many simple yet significant ways to transform a lab from dull to delightful.

7. A charitable donation

There are many worthy charities out there much more in need of funding than a PhD student needs yet another tie or pen. If you’re shopping for a grad student with a more minimalist mindset, why not consider making a charitable donation in his/her honor instead? For the most meaningful gift, choose a charity that is near and dear to the recipient’s heart. Need some ideas? The Funds for Women Graduates, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students are just a few of the numerous organizations that support graduate and doctoral students at various stages in their studies and early careers.

Are you a PhD student or graduate with a great gift in mind, meanwhile? If so, please share it in the comments section below.

Joanna Hughes

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.