The European Conference for Information Retrieval (ECIR 2009) was held last week in Toulouse.
Xing brought word that the paper, Mean-Variance Analysis: A New Document Ranking Theory in Information Retrieval by Jun Wang won the best paper award. It applies statistical theory from selecting stocks for a financial portfolio to ranking web documents.
Unfortunately, the proceedings are published by Springer and there doesn't seem to be a copy available online yet.
The best student paper was Joint Ranking for Multilingual Web Search by Wei GAO.
Update: Readers posted in the comments that the best poster award went to A Practitioner’s Guide for Static Index Pruning by Ismail Sengor Altingovde, R. Ozcan, Ö. Ulusoy.