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.
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!
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!).
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.
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.
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.
7. Funny Coloring Book for PhD Students and Graduates
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.
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.
11. Amazon.com Gift Card in a Graduation Style Gift Box
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!
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.
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