Gifts for PhD students

A friend recently asked me what gift would I give to a PhD student. That was an odd question, I thought. But then I realised the awkwardness of the situation and the dilemma in which my friend was. PhD students are different and effectively they have different needs. So, here is a list of what I think is suitable.

• Chocolates. There is nothing better than the pleasure a piece of chocolate can give. In addition, it works also as powerful brain food.
• Half a bottle of wine. This is just about right. A bottle will be too much and it will dull any kind of intellectual activity, while half a bottle is enough to relax the brain and bring euphoria.
• Memory pillow. After sitting in front of the computer for too many hours, the student will need a good night’s rest on a pillow that will not hurt his/her neck further.
• A cd with relaxing music or with guided visualisation (preferably involving a sandy beach in a sunny day). Relaxation is essential, especially during the third year.
• A 3 month subscription to Love films or Amazon films. If there is no more time to go to the cinema, then the PhD student could enjoy a good movie at the comfort of his/her own home.

And a word of advice: Avoid giving books at all cost! These can only remind the student of the dreaded deadlines and the pile of responsibilities s/he is facing.

Economic historian and numismatic consultant


  1. Massages. Yoga lessons.

  2. The best gift is to call him/her “Doctor” before he/she actually gets the PhD. I haven’t tried it on anyone yet, but I imagine it would be very encouraging!

  3. MONEY! Always needed…..

Leave a Reply