Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

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 new awards offered each year presently varies between three and five.

NEW - Annual Value: The Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship now offers an annual stipend of $60,000 for a maximum of two years. The travel and research allowance has been discontinued and will no longer be offered to future recipients.

Award Status: Open

Application Deadline

Applicants: Check with your proposed UBC department or unit; Department or unit nomination deadline: November 9, 2023 at 4:00 pm PT


Department or unit nomination deadline: November 9, 2023 at 4:00 pm PT

The nomination form and nomination guide are provided in the ‘Files’ sub-menu below.

Further Information

Enquiries about the Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship can be directed to

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 internal application deadline for receipt of applications.  Applicants should check with their UBC department to find out their application deadline.

For a list of departments and units, please see:

The application form and detailed application guide are provided in the ‘Files’ sub-section below.

Eligibility Requirements

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.

  • 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 eligibility extension must be provided in the “Special Circumstances” attachment.
  • Must not have pursued PhD-level studies at any campus of the University of British Columbia.
  • If the applicant has already commenced a postdoctoral appointment at UBC, they must provide a rationale for continuing their appointment at UBC (rationale provided in the “Special Circumstances” document).
  • 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.  Generally "tenure” or “tenure-track" refers to an open-ended academic position in which the holder can teach, form a research group, and apply for externally funded research as a principal investigator.
  • 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. Fellowships are tenable only through UBC appointment, 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).
  • 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.
Eligibility of proposed UBC Supervisor

An applicant’s proposed supervisor must be a continuing faculty member with a tenure-track appointment at UBC. A proposed supervisor must make a commitment to supervise the applicant’s research for the entire proposed 24 months of the fellowship.

Evaluation Criteria

The search is for candidates whose work is beyond “excellent” and whose research is convincingly ground-breaking.

Excellence in scholarly work and independent research - 60%

  • quality of contributions to research to date
  • scholarships and awards held
  • duration of graduate studies, taking into account the nature of the program and relevant personal circumstances
  • determination and ability to complete projects within an appropriate period of time
  • critical thinking, judgment, and initiative
  • resilience and flexibility in adjusting research plans, particularly in response to COVID-19 impacts

Quality of proposed research project - 30%

  • originality in developing a research agenda
  • merit, potential significance, clarity, feasibility of the proposed project
  • relevance of applicant’s work experience and academic training to field of proposed research
  • suitability and quality of research environment (proposed supervisor, facilities, support of academic unit)

Personal qualities of the applicant - 10%

  • character: integrity, collegiality and respect for others
  • communication skills
  • leadership abilities as demonstrated by employment, athletic/artistic achievements, community engagement, volunteering, etc.

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


Annual Value

An annual stipend of $60,000 for a maximum of two years.

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