Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring


Friday, 18 September 2020 at 4:00 pm

Annual Value

A commemorative certificate and a cash award of $5,000 will be presented to each recipient at Fall Congregation.


Permanent Resident

Degree Level


The Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring recognize outstanding mentorship of numerous graduate students over many years. The awards will be adjudicated by a committee chaired by the Associate Dean, Funding, of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The Killam General Endowment at the University of British Columbia (administered by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic) provides the funds for the awards.

Recent citations of Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring winners - see below under Further Information



All continuing academic staff members with a clinical, tenure or grant tenure appointment at the UBC Vancouver Campus are eligible to be nominated. Nominees may be at any stage in their academic career, but one award will recognize faculty members in the mid-career category – that is, for those who have held university appointments for less than 12 years – and the other will recognize faculty members in the senior category – that is, for those with 12 or more years of university service. Years of university service will be counted as of the nomination deadline.  Please subtract any leave time the nominee has taken - parental leave, sabbatical, etc.

Unsuccessful nominations from previous years may be submitted for subsequent competitions, to a three-year limit.  See ‘Nomination Procedures’ for details. 

Evaluation Criteria

The awards recognize one senior and one mid-career faculty members’ outstanding ability to foster the intellectual, professional, and personal development of graduate students.   The following attributes of an effective mentor will be considered by the committee in evaluating applicants:

  • Models excellence in scholarship, professional conduct, and integrity, instilling a desire in students to emulate these qualities
  • Encourages, inspires, and supports students to reach their full potential in ways that are tailored to each individual
  • Fosters the development in students of competencies in critical thinking, scholarly rigour, breadth of understanding and creativity, and professional competencies in areas such as written and oral communication, scholarly integrity, and interpersonal interactions
  • Promotes and models a climate of respect and collegiality
  • Integrates students into the culture of the discipline, and helps them network with relevant individuals
  • Assists students to explore career options and to find fulfilling post-graduate positions
  • Advocates for students when necessary, and encourages them to make best use of institutional and professional opportunities (e.g., professional development workshops and courses, conferences)
  • Shows compassion for students, and is involved with their personal development as well as professional development

For nominees in the senior category in particular, mentorship will be looked at as activities that go beyond excellent research supervision, and will extend to personal development, and service to the scholarly community.

Nominations will be adjudicated in recognition of the faculty members’ proven ability in these areas. Preference will be given to faculty members who have displayed sustained mentorship activity over many years involving many students. The awards will be awarded based on the quality and extent of mentoring of graduate students.

Nomination Procedures

As departments are limited in the number of faculty members they can nominate, Department Head approval of the potential nominee must be obtained by the nominator before proceeding to assemble a nomination package.

Nominators: Faculty members may nominate a faculty member for this award (fill out the nomination form); mentees/students cannot nominate a faculty member.  However, mentees/students may suggest to the Department Head a potential faculty member to be nominated and may contribute a letter of support for the nomination.

Re-nominations: Unsuccessful nominations may be submitted for subsequent competitions, to a three-year limit. Nomination packages (or portions thereof) may be updated for subsequent competitions or the packages may be carried forward unchanged. Nominations will not automatically be carried forward: departments must contact the Killam Fellowships Contact to ask that the package be included in the current competition. Any amended materials are to be submitted via the Qualtrics link.

Each department may submit up to two nominations, one per category (‘mid-career’, ‘senior’).  The two nominations may be new nominations or nominations carried forward from previous competition years (re-nominations). 

A complete nomination package will consist of the following, submitted as 1 PDF document per nominee by 18 September 2020 at 4:00 pm:

  1. Nomination Form, which includes:
    • Up to a two-page statement detailing why the nominee qualifies for the award, including the following information:
      • the essential and unique features of mentoring within the discipline in question
      • student productivity and excellence, as reflected in awards held, publications, conference papers, artistic performances and shows, and other scholarly accomplishments by students mentored
      • student progress, as reflected in retention rates, timely graduation, student satisfaction with graduate supervision, and student involvement in professional organizations
      • student placement, as reflected in the success of former students including positions held and contributions made to their chosen field
    • A one-page statement by the nominee describing his or her philosophy on mentoring, and how he or she views the role, including comments on approaches to promoting student success
  2. Mentoring Record form: Completed by nominee.  A list of all graduate students mentored, including brief descriptions of any notable circumstances of students.
  3. Up to five letters of support from individuals who are being/were mentored by the nominee, each including a summary of the author’s experience with the nominee and subsequent career development.  Letters from current or former graduate students will carry more weight.

    • Letters should include details and examples of the author’s experience with the nominee

    • Letters should reflect on the author’s mentoring experience with the nominee and how the experience enabled them to succeed in their subsequent career.

    • Letters must be signed by the author

    • Letters must have one author each; a letter with multiple authors will not be considered.

    • Original, and scanned copies sent by email directly to the department are acceptable

    • Letters must be a maximum of 2 pages

  4. The nominee’s current curriculum vitae

    • If the nominee is not already using this format, please encourage them to use the CV for the Professoriate Stream template on the bottom of this UBC HR webpage.

Materials regarding undergraduate teaching will not be considered for this competition and should not be included in nomination packages.


Complete nomination packages should be submitted via the Qualtrics form (link is below).  Please do not upload nominations to UBC Workspace.


Further Information

Please direct questions about the Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring to us by using this form: Killam Fellowships Contact