10 Gift Ideas for Scientists

The holiday season is here and I wanted to share gift ideas for scientists. Whether you are looking for a gift for the scientist in your life, PI or gift exchange with your lab mates there is a gift idea for you. 


1. Coffee/Tea Mug:

Whether you are a coffee or tea drinker there is a mug for you. You can buy mugs geared to your science career or customize your own mug with a witty phrase. The possibilities are endless! Add a special touch by pairing the mug with their favorite coffee or tea. This is a gift that any scientist would love.

2. Science Ornament:

If you know someone who likes collecting ornaments or receiving ornaments as gifts show them you care with a nice science-themed ornament that will make their Christmas tree stand out.

3. Cookbook for Scientists:

I like to cook, but I also enjoy the science behind cooking. One of my favorite Cooking TV Personalities is Alton Brown. Here are two cooking books: The Science of Good Cooking by The Editors of America’s Test Kitchen and Guy Crosby Ph.D. and I’m Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking.

4. Books or Magazine Subscriptions:

For the scientist that collects books or reads tons of magazine find out their taste. I recommend Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make that Sabotage Their Careers by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D. or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. As for magazines there are many magazines out there to pick from.

5. T-shirts: 

Everyone needs a good t-shirt. Sometimes you are running late or have a casual day a t-shirt is a good piece to pair with jeans and flats. You can update your college year t-shirt and jeans look by adding a nice blazer and stylish flats. There are many t-shirts geared to different science careers or shirts with quirky sayings. Who says you can’t be a stylish academic!

6.  Touch Screen Gloves:

Since the temperatures are dropping we need to pull out our gloves. If you want your hands to stay warm and check your emails on your touch screen phone this is the gift to buy for you and a lab mate.

7.  PhD Comics Ideas:

I have been reading PhD Comics for years and I find them mixed with humor, exaggeration, and truth. If you know someone who will enjoy the humor of PhD Comics give them a gift from the site. Here are some PhD Comic ideas for any academic: The Thesis Whisperer, The Grad Student, and The Postdoc.

8. Planner/Journal: 

I am big on planning and keeping a journal. Since we are coming to the end of the year now is the time to buy a new planner and/or journal. Moleskin has many planners, journals and other notebooks to keep you organized.

9. Watch: 

A watch is a gift that never goes out of style. There are so many styles to pick from. My personal favorite are Fossil watches, specifically rose gold ones.

10. Tablet:

For the electronic savvy scientist in your life a tablet is a perfect gift for them. You can do almost anything on tablets. I promise they will love it!


Future Scientist Onesie – If you know a scientist who is having a baby girl over the holidays you can give her a onesie that says ‘Future Scientist’. It is the cutest onesie for a newborn.

Note: You can find the science themed gifts at many online novelty shops.

What was your favorite gift idea? Comment below.

Happy Holidays and Happy Gift Giving!

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