Gift Guide for Academics and Researchers 2020

What do grad students, faculty, and researchers want this holiday season?

Gift guide for professors and researchers on The Social Academic

For many this year, the semester will end early. Holidays are around the corner. For academics and researchers around the world, this year looks different. Coronavirus changes how we’ll interact with our families this holiday season.

The 2021 gift guide is now live!

What should you get for the professor or researcher in your life? I curate this list of awesome professional development and academic gifts just for you.

Just like last year, this is not a sponsored list. These are not affiliate links.

Check out these awesome books, online courses and services created for people like you.

Welcome to The Social Academic Gift Guide 2020. This guide has been updated in February 2021.

View the gift guide for Graduate Students!

Professional development and training to give the grad student, faculty, or researcher in your life

2020 Gift Guide The Social Academic

Science writing with Anna Clemens, PhD

1997€ From Data to Draft (scientific writing support)

Need help developing and writing your paper? Anna Clemens works with scientists and organizations around the world.

This 5-session coaching program, From Data to Draft, helps you write better in less time (1997€).

Anna is creating a new self-paced course for academic writing! Get on the waitlist today.

Presentations with Echo Rivera, PhD

Free email course Stellar Slides in 5

Dr. Echo Rivera is an amazing communicator. She knows how to help you engage your audience with highly effective presentations.

Are you ready to make better presentations? Do you want an engaged audience for your next talk? Discover how to make stellar slides that captivate your audience in her free course.

I highly recommend you sign up, I’ve taken this myself!

The Professor Is In book by Karen Kelsky, PhD

$10 for the book, $79 The Art of the Cover Letter course

Are you headed on the academic job market? Dr. Karen Kelsky’s book The Professor Is In is my top recommendation for you.

Karen has 1:1 services to help with your academic life whether you need career counseling or help with your professional job documents.

And, if you need help with your cover letters, there’s a self-paced course for you ($79).

Learn social media skills with me

$497 for Cross-Platform Social Media for Academics course

Social media has amazing benefits for your academic life. It helps communicate who you are, and helps new people encounter your work.

Are you ready to communicate your academic or research life effectively? In Cross-Platform Social Media for Academics, you’ll learn how to write for

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube (coming 2021)

You’ll have all the tools you need to manage your social media life.

Norman Eng’s Teaching College

$10 for the book, $997 for Teaching College Masterclass

If you’re looking for a great guide to teaching college, I recommend Norman Eng’s bestselling book.

Whether you’re just starting out, or hoping to engage your students this is the book for you. It’s all about communication by design, and teaches skills like how to write a syllabus “that gets noticed and read,” and how to “stimulate deep engagement” when developing your lessons.

Norman also has an online course, Teaching College Masterclass ($997).

Have a book to propose? Work with Jane Jones, PhD

Flat fee for Write a Kick Ass Book Proposal

Work with writing coach Jane Jones, PhD of Up In Consulting on your next book proposal for a flat fee. Jane is a developmental editor and book coach.

Learn how to Write a Kick Ass Book Proposal with Jane Jones, PhD.

Build your personal brand with Melanie Bruce, PhD

$69 Establish Your Personal Brand course

Are you a PhD student, early career academic or interested in AltAc careers?

Learn how to “develop a name for yourself that can lead to guest speaking, consulting, book sales, full time employment, online course creation, coaching, and/or freelancing” in The Leveraged PhD: Establish Your Personal Brand.

Melanie also hosts great social media challenges.

Beyond the Professoriate Community

Free Community, $49-250 courses

Whether you’re on the academic job market or transitioning into a professional role, this free LinkedIn community from is for you.

Get support and build confidence, and learn how to improve your professional documents with Dr. L. Maren Wood.

Where will you take your PhD?

Beyond the Prof also has self-paced courses perfect for academics on the job market ($49-250).

Create a personal academic website

$859 for Create Your Personal Academic Websites course

What do you want for the holidays this year? A personal academic website, and all the benefits that come with it. A website

  • Helps people find you
  • Learn more about you
  • Read and share your work
  • Get in touch

Join my online, self-paced course and learn how to build the academic website your colleagues will love. You get the full course, 6 weeks of email support, and access to my live monthly office hours.

Take a virtual retreat with Katie Linder, PhD

$197 Virtual retreat, Optional add-on coaching

Dr. Katie Linder’s Deeply Rooted Virtual Retreat will help you “reflect on what you have gained from 2020 while you plan for a meaningful and productive 2021.”

Katie helps academics and higher education professionals “create more ease in their work and lives.”

Join Katie for 1.5 days of coaching and yoga sessions on Zoom.

Back to the list of gifts

I hope you enjoyed this gift guide


Here’s the 2020 gift guide for graduate students.

I’m Jennifer van Alstyne. Here on The Social Academic blog, I share

Thanks for joining me for this gift guide. If there’s something you think should be included, be sure to reach out!

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Jennifer van Alstyne View All →

Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and communications consultant. She founded The Academic Designer LLC to help professors build a strong online presence for their research, teaching, and leadership. Jennifer’s goal is to help people feel confident sharing their work with the world.

Jennifer’s personal website

The Academic Designer LLC