Gift Guide for Professors, Researchers, and Grad Students 2023

What are the best gifts for academics in 2023?

Here are my top picks for professors, researchers, and grad students like you. I hope these gift ideas inspire you.

A map of readers of The Social Academic blog from January to December 2021. The map shows many countries (over 161 countries) are colored in various shades of blue to represent readers. The darker the shade of blue, the more readers from that country.
Map of readers of The Social Academic blog in 2022

Get my top recommendations for professional development and wellbeing.

Thanks so much for visiting The Social Academic blog. People from 175 countries around the world took time to read this year. I am so grateful for you.

-Jennifer van Alstyne

Subscribe to The Social Academic blog.

Here are 26 gift ideas to inspire you

Gift guide for academics 2022: a wrapped present with a teal bow sits on a table.

Presentations, Public Speaking, and Posters

Fail Proof Slide Design masterclass

Echo Rivera, PhD brings you a 2 hour masterclass that helps you take your presentation slides from mediocre to memorable. I’ve benefited from Echo’s training myself. I highly recommend it.

How to Design an Award-Winning Scientific Poster course

I got to chat with Tullio Rossi, PhD of Animate Your Science last month about his scientific poster course. I knew I just had to share it with you. Have an engaging poster for your next conference.

Teach the Geek to Speak Society

Neil Thompson knows public speaking is hard. If you’re in STEM, you need to know how to communicate effectively about your research. Get the Teach the Geek to Speak course program with live monthly coaching calls.

Academic and Scientific Writing

Kickstart Your Journal Article course

Lisa Munro, PhD has a course for overwhelmed academics who want to get their journal articles published. It’s time to get your manuscript out!

The Researchers’ Writing Academy course

Anna Clemens, PhD has a course to help you write clear scientific papers for high-ranking STEM journals. If you’re in the physical, health, life, and earth sciences, this step-by-step system is the only course in scientific writing you’ll ever need.

Write your book with Dr. Jane Jones

A program for women in academia to write your book. Stop staring at a blank page wondering what you’re supposed to write. Build your writing skills and practice with support. Dr. Jane Jones of Up In Consulting is here to help you push through the doubt and uncertainty so you get your book written. Join Elevate because you don’t have to write your book alone.


Teaching College Ultimate Bundle Access

Get Norman Eng, EdD’s top resources for engaging students online and offline. This bundle pack of shows you the step-by-step methods you need.

Connecting with the Public and Media

Power Your Research program

Do you want major media coverage? Sheena Howard, PhD shares proven strategies to land features in the L.A. Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and more. Get more visibility for your research.

LinkedIn profile challenge

I’m Jennifer van Alstyne. Join professors around the world in my training to Update Your LinkedIn Profile for Professors and Researchers.

This training helps you have an amazing LinkedIn profile!

Make Your Personal Academic Website

Get a headstart on your 2023 to-do list with a personal website for faculty, scientists, and researchers. Build your own website with this self-paced course for academics.

The Connected Exec course

Josie Ahlquist, PhD brings you a self-paced course on digital leadership for Higher Education executives. Learn social media strategy to connect with your campus community online.

Academic Careers and Leaving Academia

The Art of the Academic Cover Letter course

Are you applying for academic jobs? Learn how to write a cover letter for your academic job application. Showcase your record and stand out in the academic job market with this course from Karen Kelsky, PhD. If you don’t already have it, The Professor Is In book is a must read. You’ll need it for the course.

PhD Career Clarity Program

Confidently market yourself for the jobs you actually want with Jennifer Polk, PhD’s PhD Career Clarity Program. Dr. Polk has been a career coach for PhDs since 2013.

If you need help getting clarity on your post academic career, this is the program for you. My fiancé joined this program, and it may be great for you too!

There are live Q&A Zoom meetings. You can add on 1:1 coaching calls when you need personalized support. I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s Jen’s free training for people thinking about leaving academia.

Build a Business with 1:1 and Group Coaching

I’ve met so many professors and graduate students running a business. If you want to build a business on part-time hours Cheryl Lau has 1:1 and Group Coaching programs for you.

Retreats and Conferences

The Grad School Success Summit replays (virtual) FREE

Are you in graduate school? Do you know someone heading to grad school in the new year? This virtual summit has great sessions on school-life balance, wellness, and more. Get ready with a boost of motivation brought to you by Allanté Whitmore of the Blk + In Grad School podcast. You’ll get free access to the replays (including my session on How to Manage Your Online Presence in Grad School).


25 Ways to Say ‘No’ in A Professional Way

25 Ways to Say No in a Professional Way

Having a difficult time saying ‘no’ in the workplace? Here’s how to communicate in a professional and confident way.

This digital download is from Dr. Monica Cox.

Stronger Than You Think: The 10 Blind Spots That Undermine Your Relationship and How to See Past Them

Stronger Than You Think book cover

Whether you’re in grad school, teaching, or in the lab, relationships can be hard. Appreciate the love you have, or find the one you want and deserve. Dr. Gary Lewandowski Jr. is an expert on relationships. This is a book I read last year I think is great for academics. I learned a lot, and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Laziness Does Not Exist

Dr. Devon Price used to believe that productivity was the best way to measure self-worth. Now they dive into the history and origins of the ‘laziness lie.’ It goes back to the Puritans! Most of us feel like we’re not doing enough even though people today do more work than other humans in history. My friends recommended this to me and now I’m sharing it with you!

Attribution: A Novel


Cate Adamson is working on her doctorate in New York under an impossible, sexist advisor. She struggles until she discovers a hidden painting. Is it a masterpiece? Join Cate’s journey to Spain as she uncovers an art mystery.

A novel from Linda Moore.

Watch our book talk, live on YouTube on The Social Academic.


The PhD Balance Community

PhD Balance is a community creating space for graduate students to openly discuss mental health. Join the community for access to webinars, challenges, and conversation.

The Personal Finance for PhDs Community

Emily Roberts, PhD sets you up for success with your personal finances. From paying down debt to taxes, this community helps PhDs make the most of your money.


Dead Theorists: A Card Game

A satirical card game for philosophers and aspiring academics for 2-4 players.

Other Gift Ideas for Academics

Professional memberships to associations and organizations

Support the academic in your life with an annual membership to a professional organization or association in their field. For graduate students especially, this is a valuable line on their CV that opens their world to new conferences and networking opportunities.

Money towards professional development activities

Help a professor, researcher, or graduate student gain professional development with money for

  • Conferences
  • Award submission
  • Research travel
  • Working with a coach
  • Joining a training or course

A spa day

Give the gift of relaxation with a day at the spa. A hot stone massage can help relieve those post-semester grading muscle aches.

A weekend away

Sometimes the best gift is a night away. Take a trip and leave the work behind for the ultimate weekend getaway.

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Gifts and Holiday

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, researchers, and graduate students manage their online presence. Jennifer’s goal is to help people share their work with the world.

Check out her personal site at https://jennifervanalstyne
or learn more about the services she offers at

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