I had been invited to give a talk at a summer school abroad, but had to cancel due to a complex visa issue that could not be foreseen at the time I accepted to give the talk: it turns out that I'll be transitioning between two visas because of a job change, and will be unable to leave the country at that time. I had already spend time preparing and had bought airplane and train tickets. I've explored possible solutions to be able to attend in person, none of which panned out; I've offered the summer school to give the talk remotely, but this wasn't an option; I have since been working with the summer school to find a replacement and have offered to help them if needed. At this point I've invested a fair amount of effort, energy, and money into this invited talk that is not even going to happen. As a not particularly fancy postdoc, I only get very few invited talks. I was also looking forward to this particular summer school (which doesn't help with me having trouble letting go of this CV entry).

Is it OK to list this talk on my CV under the invited talk section, with some unambiguous qualifier e.g. "withdrawn for visa reasons", or perhaps something similar? Or would it do more harm than good?

Related question: Invited to give a talk but could not attend, can it be on CV? --> it seems the answer might depend on the specific reason for not being able to attend

  • 2
    What's wrong with: "Invitation to keynote talk on XXX about YYY" or the like? There may be many reasons why you didn't give it - job interview, other commitments etc. Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 2:41
  • 4
    Seems fraught with danger. If you mention visa problems then you've now put potential visa problems in the minds of people considering you for things. If you omit the fact that you didn't go then you risk being considered a liar if people investigate further, find you didn't speak, but never give you an opportunity to explain further. Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 3:40
  • 2
    it seems the answer might depend on the specific reason for not being able to attend - What? The top answers to the question you to link to all say: No, do not put a talk on your CV you haven't given.
    – Kimball
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 5:09

2 Answers 2


As long as you're honest about it, I suppose you could put it on a CV. However, I don't think an invitation to give a talk is likely to count for anything if you didn't actually give the talk - it raises more questions than it's worth.


It's a bad idea to put it on your curriculum. You should list on the curriculum things you have done, not things you could have done or might have done. Listing such things could generate questions about the credibility of what else is on the curriculum. Everyone has some mishaps along the way and can't do something that was planned; most never even think of listing it on a curriculum, so those that do so potentially generate skepticism about motivations.

In some metric obsessed institutional contexts it can appear that a single item on the curriculum has an importance it does not really have. Being invited to give talks is a nice thing, interesting for many reasons, but will never be decisive when a curriculum is evaluated. When one cuts through the nonsense, what principally matters on a curriculum are publications (quality and quantity), funding obtained in competitive contexts, and, in some contexts, teaching experience/ability (for engineers, one might add patents and commercialization to the list). All the rest is of marginal importance.

Finally, you do not want to create the impression that you do things in order to have them on your curriculum (as opposed to for their own sake). That might appeal to some deanish/director types, but it doesn't appeal to those who take their craft seriously, who are those most likely to be judging the curriculum.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .