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Given that a lot of prizes or grants are specific to a particular university, is there any point in listing the exact name of a prize or grant on one's resume?

For example, if I say that I won "John Doe Scholarship" or "Mary Doe Thesis Award", it won't really mean anything to someone outside the university. Would it be easier just to say you won scholarships/grants and an award for your thesis?

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Unless you won a huge amount of awards, I would be quite specific: "John Doe award from XYZ university for best master thesis in 2014".

Even when you have won many awards, it still makes sense to be specific about the most important ones, and be brief about the others.

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  • Agree. And adding a note to say what it's an award for, if not in the title, is a very good idea. Jun 5, 2015 at 8:02
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Would it hurt to name the prizes and grants? Between "some grant" and "x y grant" I would always choose "x y grant". It doesn't matter if the reader is unfamiliar with it, as such a reader would gain the exact same amount of information as if you stated "some grant". But, by being specific you also don't leave room for ambiguity and provide additional for the informed reader.

On a personal note, I dislike such vague statements as "some grants and prizes". Somehow it immediately gets me thinking about somebody patting you on the back or giving thumbs up. If you won a competition, you should be proud of it and show it on the resume.

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  • Even an unfamiliar reader gets a lot more data from "x y grant" if the reader knows how to use Internet search engines. Jun 5, 2015 at 7:59
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    "some grants and prizes" also might look like they're being deliberately vague because the grants & prizes are trivial, or in order to make it difficult for people to check. It's a bit of a red flag. Jun 5, 2015 at 8:23

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