Quantcast

Should I give a gift to my mentor and/or PI

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

Richanesthesiologist

Membership Revoked
Removed
2+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
82
Reaction score
10

Members don't see this ad.
I am about to conclude a 10 week long summer REU program at a public university. I was wondering if I should (or must) buy a gift for my mentor. He has really helped me on my project and we literally work across the desk from each other. I was thinking of giving him a $25 gift card. Also, should I buy my PI the same gift? He and I haven't interacted as much as he's rarely in his office, but I feel like he would be the person to write me a rec. letter. I have no problem with the money and will also add the gift card into a thank you letter.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
35,226
Reaction score
15,144
I am about to conclude a 10 week long summer REU program at a public university. I was wondering if I should (or must) buy a gift for my mentor. He has really helped me on my project and we literally work across the desk from each other. I was thinking of giving him a $25 gift card. Also, should I buy my PI the same gift? He and I haven't interacted as much as he's rarely in his office, but I feel like he would be the person to write me a rec. letter. I have no problem with the money and will also add the gift card into a thank you letter.
A heartfelt thank you note would be sufficient. Home-baked goodies are often welcomed, though I suggest they be available to the entire group.

Giving a cash gift before asking for a LOR is open to misinterpretation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

bannie22

Hero
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
3,687
Reaction score
1,131
A heartfelt thank you note would be sufficient. Home-baked goodies are often welcomed, though I suggest they be available to the entire group.

Giving a cash gift before asking for a LOR is open to misinterpretation.

I agree to all 3 statements.

I think its nice of you to be considerate but I think something more personal and less financial will be sufficient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Lifeblood_20

M2
5+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2017
Messages
853
Reaction score
1,989
A heartfelt thank you note would be sufficient. Home-baked goodies are often welcomed, though I suggest they be available to the entire group.

Giving a cash gift before asking for a LOR is open to misinterpretation.

I am leaving my summer research lab too -- baked goods sounds like a fabulous idea! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Doctor-S

Clinical & Research PhD-MD who is feline fine!
Lifetime Donor
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2016
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
6,398
I am about to conclude a 10 week long summer REU program at a public university. I was wondering if I should (or must) buy a gift for my mentor. He has really helped me on my project and we literally work across the desk from each other. I was thinking of giving him a $25 gift card. Also, should I buy my PI the same gift? He and I haven't interacted as much as he's rarely in his office, but I feel like he would be the person to write me a rec. letter. I have no problem with the money and will also add the gift card into a thank you letter.
Don't advise a cash gift card. Instead, a handwritten thank you note/card is fine.

[Later, when you graduate from medical school, you can send them a bottle of champagne and say, "Remember me? Thank you from a new Doctor to an old Doctor."] :)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

pugsessed

Full Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
56
Reaction score
69
I have always given a handmade thank you note (I'm pretty crafty so I've got tons of stationary stuff). The thank you note is always a good idea. Baked goods are always a plus!

However, with gift cards it can be a bit tricky. I have always given my mentors (if they are graduate students) a Starbucks or whatever coffee shop is on campus gift card. It's not necessary but for me when PhD students take time out of their projects to help and teach I just try to do a little extra of a thank you. Plus I know they really don't make much. As for the PI a thank you note is sufficient.
 

mistafab

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
1,841
Reaction score
3,967
I think a gift for the mentor is fine since you know the person well. However, I strongly advise against any gift with cash value like gift cards, unless it is a restaurant or something that you would always go to. Candy, donuts, and brownies, these are good gifts that never come off wrong.

For the PI - I would advise just a nice note. Your PI will likely have your mentor write the letter anyway, and the PI will look for your mentor for input regardless. Don't sweat it much, a nice letter is a good gesture.

I am about to conclude a 10 week long summer REU program at a public university. I was wondering if I should (or must) buy a gift for my mentor. He has really helped me on my project and we literally work across the desk from each other. I was thinking of giving him a $25 gift card. Also, should I buy my PI the same gift? He and I haven't interacted as much as he's rarely in his office, but I feel like he would be the person to write me a rec. letter. I have no problem with the money and will also add the gift card into a thank you letter.
 
Top