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Wine / chocolates If you do decide to give a gift, in Australia wine is considered a safe, socially neutral choice.
I can whip through a whole draft in a couple of afternoons, sitting by the pool watching Thesis Whisperer Jnr swim, but find it stressful to do this kind of thing during the year, when I come home from work tired.I don’t want to use them to cook with as that seems rude, so I have a shelf full of bottles of wine which lovely people have given me that I have never got around to consuming.For that reason I say that chocolates are probably a safer choice. Home baked goods The key advantage of the wine / chocolate gift is that they are meant to be consumed.Last year at this time I did a post on what to buy a Ph D student for Christmas, so I thought I’d continue the tradition this year with one on gifts for supervisors.When I asked on Twitter what people were buying their Ph D supervisor I was surprised by the range of different responses.In Australia, being a non drinker is considered a weird thing (I know – it says something about our culture doesn’t it?
) therefore people may never tell you they don’t drink. So here is my problem: I’ll have the odd glass of something, but Mr Thesis Whisperer doesn’t drink at all, so there’s no occasion to open the gifted bottles of wine at home.
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I’m not sure how you negotiate this social minefield, but perhaps, if you are unsure what is considered normal behaviour, ask the students who have been there longer than you.
Make sure you ask more than one as opinions may vary.
Others thought that giving a gift to a person who is doing their job is not appropriate in any circumstances.