Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Quick Facts

The Killam Scholarship and Prize Programmes were established in memory of Izaak Walton Killam through the Will of his wife, Dorothy Johnston Killam, and through gifts made during her lifetime. Their primary purpose is to support advanced education and research at five Canadian universities and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The UBC Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowships are provided annually from the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies and are available for most fields of research. It was Mrs. Killam's desire that those selected to receive fellowships: "be likely to contribute to the advancement of learning or to win distinction in a profession. A Killam scholar should not be a one-sided person... Special distinction of intellect should be founded upon sound character."

The number of awards presently varies between three and five per year.

Annual Value: 
An annual stipend of $50,000 for a maximum of two years plus a travel and research allowance of $4,000 over two years
Award Status: 

Likely in September 2014


In keeping with the original spirit of the Killam Endowments, the goal of the Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowships program is to bring outstanding scholars from around the world to UBC in order to engage in innovative research that will enhance interdisciplinary collaborations and help establish them in leadership positions in the academic and wider community. As such, applicants must be able to contribute fresh intellectual insights to UBC.

Applicants must have completed all requirements of their PhD no more than 24 months prior to the anticipated fellowship start date. Completion of PhD requirements refers to the date that the applicant completed all the steps required for obtaining their degree. Although these requirements may vary by institution and degree type, they normally include thesis defense corrections and thesis deposition. It is not the convocation date.

The period of eligibility may be extended for applicants who have had their career interrupted or delayed for the purpose of childrearing, illness, or health-related family responsibilities. The interruption(s) or delay(s) must have occurred after the applicant completed all the requirements of their PhD. Note that the eligibility window will only be extended by the duration of the delay(s) or interruption(s), to a maximum of one year. Justification for the extension must be provided in the Special Circumstances attachment.

Applicants must not have pursued PhD-level studies at any campus of the University of British Columbia.

Applicants must not currently hold a tenure-track or continuing faculty position at a university or college. Applicants who currently hold a temporary, term, or non-tenure track faculty appointments are eligible to apply.

Furthermore, applicants:

  • should have shown outstanding ability in research, in that they would be likely to contribute to the advancement of learning or to win distinction in their profession
  • should not be one-sided, and have a sound character that complements their intellect
  • may be citizens of any country; though there are no restrictions regarding nationality of applicants, successful candidates must be able to meet all Canadian immigration requirements

Preference will be given to applicants who have not already held a postdoctoral award or fellowship.

Fellowships are tenable only at UBC, and fellows are expected to make the UBC campus their base while holding the fellowship, apart from necessary research trips (no more than three months in each year of the fellowship).

Fellowships starting in the 2014/15 cycle may not begin earlier than 1 May 2014 and no later than 2 January 2015. Most fellowships commence between May and October.

Permanent Resident
Degree Level: 
Applicant Status: 
Incoming Students

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants are judged on the basis of their demonstrated excellence in scholarly work and independent research and their potential for making substantial contributions to their field of endeavour. The review committee will also consider the following:

  • the qualities of the research project (e.g., clarity, feasibility, suitability of location, proposed supervisor, and facilities)
  • the strength of the letters of reference
  • the fit of the proposed research to the host department or unit

Preference will be given to applicants with no previous postdoctoral award. Fellowships will be distributed as evenly as possible among the various disciplines, though the primary criteria are academic excellence and research ability.


Application Procedures: 

The applicant completes and submits an application form and arranges delivery of all required documents to the UBC department or unit to which the application is being made. Each UBC department or unit sets its own deadline for receipt of applications.

For a list of departments and units, please see:

For detailed information, please see below for the application guide and the application form.

Nomination Procedures: 

Each UBC department or unit convenes a committee to review and rank all the Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship applications received. Each department or unit at the Vancouver campus may nominate one applicant (UBC Okanagan may nominate three applicants) to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for consideration in the university-wide competition. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies must receive completed nomination packages, including all supporting documents, by 4:00 PM on Friday, 29 November 2013.

For detailed information, please see below for the application guide and the nomination form.

Adjudication Procedures: 

The UBC Killam Postdoctoral Fellowships and Prizes Committee presents the highest-ranked candidates to the UBC Killam Memorial Fellowships Committee and the Killam Trusts. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies then makes offers to the top two candidates. Candidates deemed worthy of the fellowship, but ranked lower in the competition, are informed of their wait-listed status and may be presented with an offer if a higher-ranked candidate is either unable to accept the fellowship or is able to enter UBC with external funding. Unsuccessful nominees and their UBC nominators will also be notified of the status of their nomination.

All nominees will receive notice of the status of their nomination in March 2014.

Further Information

Please refer to the application guide for details and direct questions to

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