A paper of mine did recently reach the final competition for the best paper award of a prestigious conference in my field. Although mine didn't end up with the best paper award, yet I'd like to note that in the "honors and awards'' section of my CV because the conference is arguably one of the bests in my field, and even getting through the roster of its finalists means a lot.

On the other hand, I was also the co-chair of one of the sessions of the conference. I had neither any impact on the selection of the finalist nominations nor any vote on the overall award process whatsoever. Since I'm a rookie Ph.D. student, I'd also like to quote this role in the "academic experiences'' section of my CV (next to my reviewing roles, TAships, etc).

Now I'm wondering if I take both ideas above into account, one may think that my co-chair responsibility would have influenced on my finalist achievement. How would academicians interpret this case? Do I have to pick one to avoid such a misinterpretation?

  • The question title is really misleading. You didn’t chair the conference, you chaired a session
    – Spark
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 13:38

4 Answers 4


I would propose to put both points into your CV.

The interpretation you're afraid of is a bit far-fetched, and while some persons may indeed come to such a conclusion, I think most will not. Even for those who would think there has been an influence, I would argue that putting both is better than putting only one of them. This is because they are in different CV categories, and thus people who evaluate your CV will in their mental checklist tick off both "won a paper award" and "chaired a conference session".

  • 1
    And, certainly if it is a well known conference, people looking at the resume will have a pretty good idea of how it works, how big it is, and so forth - it is a positive to list both. If this were for some small, local conference, well, I'd probably have negative reaction.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 13:20

Chairing sessions is not nearly as prestigious as winning an award in a conference. I wouldn’t list that on my CV at all, nor have I ever seen anyone else do it. Perhaps your advisor or experts in your field would correct me on this point.

To your question: you played a role in conference administration; it has nothing to do with your award and anyone who’s vaguely aware of how things work in your field will be well-aware of this.


I would list them both. They are really different things that show different abilities. One is you leading a session, perhaps showing some organizational ability, MCmanship if that is a word, and knowledge of a whole subfield, not just your stuff. The other is an individual research contribution and probably decent writing. In addition, academic CVs are "long text" and allow showing a lot of stuff. Sure, in the future, for example for an industrial CV, you may have better stuff and have to use selectivity and eliminate some stuff. But for now, it is fine.

In addition, I don't really think it will look odd (would be frank and tell you if it did.)


You chaired a session, you didn't organize the whole conference. People reading your CV will have had similar roles over the years.

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