7 last-minute gift ideas for academics

Give the students, professors, or researchers in your life a present they’ll love!

Image: Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

If you’re an academic, chances are that you also know an academic or two. If Christmas has crept up on you faster than expected and you’re still looking for a present, we can help! Read on for the ultimate last-minute gift tips for the academics in your life:

Light therapy lamp
For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, it’s now the darkest part of the year. As such, it’s not uncommon for our inner clocks to start kicking in around 4 p.m. and telling us that it’s time for bed. Unfortunately, an academic’s day is rarely finished by late afternoon. Instead of fueling your loved one’s caffeine addiction with a coffee maker, why not give them a light therapy lamp instead? Developed for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, these types of lights spur your body on to produce the amount of vitamin D that it would if you took a walk outside on a sunny day. This in turn can have a positive impact on your mood and energy levels, making it easier to continue working after it’s gotten dark outside.

Noise-canceling headphones

As a teaching assistant, it's not uncommon to share a cramped office with 6 other grad students. If the academic in your life has to work in loud conditions, a pair of noise-canceling headphones can help them concentrate when they need to. With the press of a button, your loved one can be transported to a quiet, peaceful place with or without their favorite music lilting away in the background. Find tips for what to look for in one online electronic retailer’s buying guide.

Gift certificate for a new conference outfit

Even those of us whose daily uniform consists of sweatpants and hoodies will attempt to dress to impress come conference time. A gift certificate for new clothing can be very welcome, especially if your favorite academic has changed shape a bit or you’ve noticed how threadbare that 10-year-old suit jacket has gotten. If your academic is not the shopping type, an online store with good sizing information can be very helpful.

A weekend getaway

When you and your partner are both trying to climb the academic career ladder, quality time together can be in short supply. If late nights and work done on weekends have become the norm in your household, a short trip may be in order. Just make sure to leave your laptop at home so that you do indeed spend your time together (and do a quick bag check to make sure your partner isn’t smuggling theirs along on the sly!).

Gift certificate for a massage
Long days of typing can lead to a cramped neck and shoulders. In addition to a more ergonomic work setup, a professional massage can do wonders to ease sore muscles. And those relaxed muscles can help your favorite academic feel more relaxed in general.

A notebook, calendar, and Citavi gift certificate

Academics are always taking notes. Whether it’s in class, at a conference, during a meeting or in the lab: important details or spontaneous ideas should be recorded as soon as possible.

In addition, a calendar can be a practical way to help your loved one keep track of important deadlines. Many cities will have a nice stationary store where you might find the perfect notebook, calendar, or a book that combines both.

If your academic prefers digital solutions, a gift certificate for Citavi might be just the thing. They can save and organize notes related to their sources and also keep track of tasks and deadlines related to their work. If an idea strikes, they can keep track of that, too.

A cat

There’s a good reason that the hashtag #Academicswithcats exists.
Just make sure first that the academic in your life actually wants a cat, has time, and isn’t allergic, since taking care of an animal is a big responsibility!

What do you think of our list? Would you like to receive any of these gifts yourself? Do you have any ideas we didn’t think of? Please share your tips with us on our Facebook page!


Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 12/17/2019

About Jana Behrendt

Jana Behrendt, a librarian by training, is deeply interested in everything related to personal information management. However, she does not read as much as you would expect from a librarian. She loves hiking in the Swiss Alps – as long as she doesn’t have to look down.

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