I recently received an award. It's relatively prestigious (even internationally), but it's not well-known outside of my discipline, and its name is not very explicit (nor is it in English). Should I explain it on my CV? I was thinking of copying the one-sentence blurb on the award's website, something like "rewards people who have achieved this and this in this discipline". I don't see how it can hurt, but I have not seen anyone else do it...

(For context, I'm not applying for jobs as I have one, but I do apply for grants... All the time...)

  • For what specific purpose are you compiling the CV? If it is for a job outside your discipline, then by all means mention it, but why is it relevant? If the CV is just there, for example, on the website of the institution where you work then lay it on thick about how prestigious the award is.
    – JeremyC
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


In my experience it is usual (and useful) to explain awards in the CV, even for well known awards (well, maybe not the Nobel prize; but otherwise not assuming that everyone knows your award and not assume that they should just google it seems quite polite.)

Do not use the self-description ("outstanding achievements bla bla") but the set of eligible candidates and the frequency and number of awards (e.g.: "One prize each year awarded by the Belgian Academy of Sciences to a biologist working in Belgium.")

As Roland commented: If the name of the award does not imply it, or if the award is not in some obvious way for "the overall best among the eligible candidates", then add what the award is for.

So I would write

  • The golden srcub (for the cleanest laboratory, one prize each year awarded by the Belgian Academy of Sciences to a biologist working in Belgium.)

But just

  • Prize of the Belgian Society of Biology (awarded biannually to a Belgian biologist under the age of 30.)

In that case I personally would not say "to the best Belgian biologist under the age.."; it seems clear that this is implicitly the aim of the prize, and claiming to be "best" sounds pompous.

Btw, I just saw that the question seems to be answered here already.

  • I think the description should say what the price is awarded for.
    – user9482
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 9:19
  • True, but often the Award title implies that. I will edit the answer accordingly.
    – Jakob
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 9:29

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