The dream of starting the new year with a clean desk seems to be over. Instead of dealing with the many piles of "very important and urgent things" dating back to last January, I'm using that time to reflect on the last 12 months. A few highlights of the year have included:
- Our first postdoc, Chad Rogers, joining the lab in July;
- Two Frontiers review papers that I'm pretty happy with: one on listening effort and accented speech (with Kristin Van Engen), and a second one reviewing methods for auditory fMRI. Hopefully these will be useful to other folks too!
- 5 NIH grant submissions/resubmissions. I'm happy to say that as stressful as the funding climate can be, I've learned something every grant that I've written, and the process has definitely helped to sharpen my own thinking about the theoretical issues involved.
- Several symposium talks, including the Gerontological Society of America, the Society for Neuroscience, and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen.
Looking ahead to 2015 there is a lot to be excited about as well. I have two grants getting reviewed in February (an R01 and and R21)—both are projects I'm really excited about that complement each other nicely. An ongoing collaboration with the optical radiology lab to look at speech comprehension using high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT) is beginning to yield some nice results, and the first papers from this project should be submitted this Spring. (My optimism is probably peaking now, with a trough around the time of February grant submissions...)
Ok, enough reflecting—back to work to help get 2015 off to a good start. May your study sections be kind, your experiments informative, and your reviewers constructive!