2018 in Review

A happy 2019, dear CogTales reader! The time around the change of years is, as is now tradition, a time to look back to 2018, which was an exciting and busy year for your two bloggers, Sho and Christina! (This might also explain the slightly less frequent occurrence of posts, please excuse us, but we’re planning to share what we are learning here, of course).

So, without further ado the most read posts of 2018:

The clear winners are both “oldies” – blog posts we published in 2017 and 2016, respectively: You were most curious about moving to the US for a post doc, an undertaking that, as Sho learned quickly, is not as easy and even more expensive than one would think in the times of global and mobile academia.

The runner-up is about applying for a post doc grant, which then lets us move around the globe. We still stand behind the advice we give in this post, so it’s great you’re also still reading it! I would just like to add a small point: Different funding agencies are more or less clear in their requirements and evaluation criteria (so far, the ERC and British funders have been clearest, but I have only little experience with non-European funding agencies). So it is always a good idea to look at proposals and evaluations from previous rounds, and, if you can, ask people who have served on panels and thus know more about the inner workings at a specific funding agency. But even those strategies are no guarantees (as I know from experience), so remember: A funded proposal was surely very good and deserving, a non-funded proposal might have been just as good, though.

Now, on to the third post popular post of 2018, finally some new content: How to use Twitter for networking in academia. Interestingly enough, most clicks for this post came from Twitter… Following this post, I was invited to give a workshop on using social media for networking and outreach, which was great fun (and the students apparently liked it too). I’d say, networking works.

Next, Sho and guest blogger Nawal summarized the current state of our knowledge on screen media use for babies. There are a lot of myths out there, as we know from our work in various babylabs around the world, and the two Doctors took it upon themselves to clarify what we actually know. As a bonus, there is a French version of the blog post as well!

Fifth is a post about using visualization tools for your data, a topic that is very dear to us ever since the #barbarplots campaign. Sho invited her colleague Mahiko for a chat and both share a comprehensive and very useful list of resources for your next presentation, poster, or paper.


To summarize, this year advice was the main reason you came to our blog. We will continue to share what we are learning on our journey through academia. At the same time, CogTales remains a home for personal stories, be it about the tricky waters of authorship or participating in a large-scale collaboration as an undergraduate student. If you want to share your story, or some key advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!


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