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Stork is my best research assistant (2): Grant alert

April 15th, 2016

Stork

Stork

  1. Does my boss have money?
  2. I am looking for a postdoc position; does my future boss have enough funding to support me?
  3. How much money was awarded to my field (e.g. NIRS)? And who got the money? What are they going to do with the money?

Have you ever wondered these questions? In the early years as a graduate students, I rarely asked “money” questions. It does not sound what a “true” scientist should care.  I was even puzzled when I realized my boss spent more than half of his time writing grant applications - shouldn’t he spend most of his time doing experiments and write papers?

As a postdoc I found myself spend a lot of time writing grant applications; and realized my career is critically depending on the success of securing enough funding. I also see a few colleagues had to leave academia due to lack of funding.  It would be nice if there is a tool which can notify me of the funding situation in a timely manner.

Stork is such a tool.

I entered some keywords into Stork, including “pearl chiu” (my former colleague) and “nirs brain” (my research field). Below is a letter I got from Stork:

Stork notifies me of awarded grants

Stork notifies me of awarded grants

With the information Stork provides, I know who in our field got grants and what they proposed. In fact the 3rd one is my colleague Manish who is interested in using NIRS in resting-state brain network study. I also got to know Pearl got a big gran, so I sent her a congratulation note.

Compared to journal papers alert, grants alert helps me to know the trend of my field much earlier. This is because publications are usually a few years delayed from grants.

If you also want to be the first one to know new grants in your field, why don’t you give Stork a try? I’m sure you’ll be delighted!

Author: Xu Cui Categories: brain, life, programming, stork, web, writing Tags:

Stork is my best research assistant

December 18th, 2015

Stork

Stork

When I was a graduate student at Baylor College of Medicine, I found myself often in an embarrassing situation — I felt completely lost when my fellow graduate students heatedly discussed a paper in our field but I never heard of this publication at all. Later a PubMed search revealed that this paper was indeed published more than a year ago!

There was even a time when I didn’t know my own boss had a new publication. It was in part because I was in a big lab and I was not involved in that project. But still, I felt like I didn’t fulfill my duty as an up-to-date young researcher.

My problem was finally resolved several years later when we developed the Eye function in Paperbox, which is now renamed Stork. Stork is pretty easy to use. What I need to do is to simply enter all my keywords and researchers’ names and Stork takes care of everything. Stork will help me perform the search every day and send me the results. After using Stork, now I’m the first one in the lab to know that “The most renowned David Boas has a new publication” or “There’s another group using NIRS to hyperscan”. I never embarrass myself again and gain a lot of confidence.

I have more than 50 keywords. You may ask “will Stork send you 50 emails a day?” Not at all because Stork respects my inbox. It will compile all results into one email.

Stork is also smart. As a researcher, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the flood of publications and have headache in determining which ones are worth reading. Stork helps! She will mark the impact factor of each publication with the yellow color. The more yellow, the higher the impact factor. Therefore I only need to read top publications when I am busy.

If you also want to be the first one to know new publications in your field, why don’t you give Stork a try? I’m sure you’ll be delighted!

Below is one sample email Stork sent to me.

Stork Sample Email

Stork Sample Email

Below are some of the key words I’ve been using. Anyone work on NIRS and fMRI can borrow:

  1. (fumiko hoeft) AND ((university of california) OR stanford)   
  2. (jian li) AND ((phelps) OR montague OR (Peking University psychology))   
  3. baldwin Philip   
  4. brooks king-casas   
  5. cell[ta] fmri   
  6. chao liu, beijing normal university   
  7. chess stetson   
  8. David Boas   
  9. David Hong stanford   
  10. dongni yang baylor   
  11. eagleman dm [au] baylor   
  12. fmri deception   
  13. fmri resting state parent child   
  14. hanli liu, university of texas   
  15. Hosseini, S M Hadi   
  16. hyperscanning   
  17. iphone   
  18. Jack Gallant   
  19. Kendrick Kay   
  20. koniku   
  21. lumosity   
  22. montague pr [au] baylor   
  23. montague pr[au] Virginia Tech   
  24. MyConnectome   
  25. nature[ta] fmri   
  26. ning gao, tsinghua   
  27. nirs brain   
  28. nirs deception   
  29. nu zhang, washington   
  30. pearl chiu   
  31. reiss al [au] stanford   
  32. rory sayres   
  33. Russell Poldrack, stanford   
  34. saggar manish   
  35. science[ta] fmri   
  36. signe bray   
  37. smart phone brain   
  38. social nirs   
  39. stanford kesler shelli   
  40. ting ni   
  41. xianchun li, “East China Normal University”   
  42. xiaolin zhou[au] peking   
  43. xu cui AND (stanford OR baylor OR Texas)   
  44. xu q[au] harvard   
  45. yan song[au] stanford   
  46. yangming wang, peking   
  47. yufeng shen [au]   
  48. yulong li (stanford or Peking)   
  49. zen meditation   
  50. zhu chao-zhe beijing   
Author: Xu Cui Categories: brain, life, programming, stork, web, writing Tags:

Hyperbolic discounting emerges from the scalar property of interval timing

June 7th, 2011

Ten dollars today is more attractive than the same amount of money tomorrow and is consistent with the well known proverb, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. We all know that the value of a reward is discounted over time. How the value discounts over time and what is the rationale for such discounting, however, is less clear. Here is my version of explanation.

http://www.frontiersin.org/integrative_neuroscience/10.3389/fnint.2011.00024/full

Author: Xu Cui Categories: brain, writing Tags:

How to create TIFF files

November 13th, 2009

When you submit a manuscript, many journals ask you to send your figures in TIFF format with some requirements such as 300dpi, flattened, LZW compressed, etc. How to do that?

My figures are usually finalized in MS PowerPoint. I don’t use PowerPoint’s own “save image as …”  b/c it’s not flexible. I use Adobe Photoshop.

  1. Group and copy the figure in PowerPoint
  2. Launch PhotoShop, File | New to create a new image. Don’t forget to set Resolution to 300 pixels/inch (dpi). Background is white. Then click OK.
  3. Paste your figure.
  4. (optional) do some cropping, trimming …
  5. File | Save As, select “TIFF” as saving format; uncheck “Layers” (i.e. flatten your figure), click Save
  6. Check “LZW” compression
  7. OK.
Author: Xu Cui Categories: writing Tags:

Writing tips

November 20th, 2008
  1. The knowledge of brain-function mapping is accumulated …
    The Knowledge of brain-function mapping is accumulated … (get rid of the in front of knowledge)
  2. Don’t start a sentence with it, this. Instead, specify what it is.
  3. Don’t start a paragraph with “at the same time”. At the same time of what?!
  4. When writing a grant/fellowship, use their language (e.g. if they say ’specific plans’, you should not say ’specific aims’
  5. Use ‘brain disorder’ instead of ‘mental disorder’ (well, this should depend on the context)
  6. The overarching goal of this study is to develop …
  7. Success in the enterprise will provide important theoretical and clinical insights and will launch future interdisciplinary basic, clinical, translational pediatric neuroscience research.
Author: Xu Cui Categories: writing Tags: