Richanesthesiologist

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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.
 

Catalystik

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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.
 

bannie22

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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.
 
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Flying Penguin

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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! :)
 
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Doctor-S

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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:
Jul 27, 2017
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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

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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.
 
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