Killam Accelerator Research Fellowships


UBC VP Academic and VP Research

Sponsor deadline:

Award Details

Six UBC Killam Accelerator Research Fellowships are provided annually from the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies established through a bequest from the late Dorothy J. Killam.

These annual fellowships are intended to support exceptional early career researchers (within 15 years of PhD) across all disciplines who have the potential for significant impact in their field of scholarship and are ready to launch the next stage of their career.

These awards promote research excellence and support early-career scholars around the time that tenure is attained by providing scholars the time and resources to achieve their potential in their field of study.

Up to six UBC Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship awards will be available each year. A one-time research allowance of $50,000 will be awarded for the two-year term of the award.

Teaching time release to focus on research is highly valued and instrumental if researchers are to make a significant impact in their field of study. Funding of $60,000 will also be provided to the awardee's academic unit over the two-year period to help offset teaching load.

Jump to Nomination Package details.


A nominee must be:

  • A full-time recently-tenured faculty member at UBC, who is no more than 15 years post-PhD.
    • Recently tenured is generally defined as within 3-4 years past tenure.
    • For the November 15, 2024 deadline, PhD must have been received no earlier than November 15, 2009.
    • Faculty members who are more than 15 years post-PhD at the time of nomination who have had legitimate career interruptions (e.g. parental leave, extended sick leave, clinical training, family care) remain eligible. If applicable, these details must be outlined in the Contextual Perspective section of the nomination form.

A nominee:

  • May not be nominated for both a KARF and a Killam Faculty Research Fellowship in the same year.
  • Who currently holds a fellowship or salary award that provides funds for full teaching relief (e.g. MSFHR Scholar Award, NSERC E.W.R. Steacie or Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship) may not be nominated for a Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship until the term of their fellowship or award has concluded.
  • Is eligible for only one KARF award in their career, however, receipt of a KARF does not affect eligibility for other UBC Killam awards and prizes.

Terms of the Award

  • Up to six UBC Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship awards will be available each year.
  • Research proposals submitted should not be under consideration elsewhere simultaneously.
  • The total value is $110,000, and comprises a research allowance and funding to the academic unit for teaching relief:
    • Awardees receive a one-time research allowance of $50,000.
    • Additional funding of $60,000 will be provided to the awardee’s academic unit over the two-year period ($30,000/year) to help offset teaching load.
      • How the teaching load will be adjusted (full relief or partial relief) is at the discretion of the unit. However, VPRI emphasizes that teaching relief to focus on research is highly valued and instrumental if researchers are to make a significant impact in their field of study.
  • The term is for two academic years, beginning July 1.

Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship awardees are required to: 

  1. Deliver a public lecture within the two-year term describing the research accomplished with the Fellowship, and the impact of that research.
  2. Acknowledge funding support from Killam Funds in any publications associated with the work;
  3. Submit a report on research activities at the end of the two-year award term to the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation.

Selection Criteria

Nominations will be evaluated against the following three criteria:

  1. Demonstrated outstanding research achievement relative to peer group at a comparable career stage.
  2. Quality, novelty, impact and feasibility of the proposed research.
  3. Potential for the Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship to accelerate the nominee’s career.

Nomination Process

Self-nominations are not permitted.

Nominations must be selected, approved, and submitted by the Faculty. Check with your Faculty for internal deadlines.

  • Selection processes are determined by each faculty, but departments, divisions, institutes, schools, and faculties are encouraged to consider equity, diversity and inclusion in their nomination strategies.
  • Faculties may each nominate only one or two candidates depending on their size:
    • Larger faculties can nominate up to two candidates each
      • Applied Science UBCV/O, Arts, Education UBCV/O, Medicine and Science
    • Smaller faculties can nominate one candidate each:
      • Dentistry, Forestry, Land and Food Systems, Law, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sauder School of Business
      • UBCO Arts, UBCO Creative & Critical Studies, UBCO Health & Social Development, UBCO Management, and UBCO Science
  • Nominations must be submitted to ORPA by the Dean or Dean’s designate by the deadline.
    • Nominations for faculty members with joint appointments must be submitted by the Dean (or designate) of the primary Faculty.

Nomination Package

Nominators must submit all required materials by the November 15 deadline using this nomination form.

Nomination form fields include:

  • Nominator/submitter information: Name, title and affiliation, email address
  • Nominee information: Name, faculty, department, title, rank, year of PhD/terminal degree, year started at UBC, brief detail of career interruptions if applicable (more detail can be provided in the Contextual Perspective document detailed below), email address
  • Citation (50 words): Please include a brief 50-word citation of the nominee's research written for a non-expert audience.
  • Faculty Support (150 words): Describe how the department will relieve the nominee of teaching responsibilities during the 2-year term of the Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship
  • Faculty Process (250 words): Describe the process used to identify and select nominees in the Faculty including considerations for equity, diversity and inclusion.

Documents required:

  1. Statement (2,400 words): 
    • The statement should be written for a multidisciplinary adjudication committee (please avoid jargon) and summarize the nominee’s most significant research contributions and a description of the research to be pursued during the two-year term.
    • Recommended sections include:
      • Most Significant Contributions
      • Research Description:
        • Clearly demonstrate how the research funds and teaching release awarded through the Fellowship will enable impact over-and-above what the nominee may otherwise achieve with funding they currently hold, and emphasize the impact of the nominee’s work on their field of scholarship.
        • Clearly describe the research to be undertaken during the two- year term of the fellowship and demonstrate its novelty, significance and impact.
        • Include clearly defined objectives, methods, outcomes and a timeline.
  2. References (optional, 2 pages): Up to two pages of references accompanying the Statement.
  3. Research Impact (1 page): 
    • Please describe the impacts of the research in a way that is accessible to a multidisciplinary committee.
    • Impacts are understood broadly, extending beyond traditional academic impacts, to include intended and unintended, and direct and indirect impacts on society, culture, health, community, the environment, economy, governance, training and education, and innovation as well as contributions to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion and decolonization.
    • Please refer to the ORPA page on Research Impact for examples of categories of impacts and examples of relevant indicators. 
  4. Contextual Perspective (1 page): To assist multidisciplinary reviewers in understanding the context of a nominee's career trajectory or field of research, nominees should provide the following relevant contextual information. ​​​​​​
    • a. The specifics of their field of study or research, such as standard type or quantity of publications for a given career stage, choice of journals to publish your research results, type of field work, length of time to complete studies, etc.
    • b. If their training or career has taken place outside of Canada and the study or research environment was significantly different from that in Canada, provide an explanation of the specifics relevant to their research and career (availability of research infrastructure/equipment, funding, grants, fellowships, academic positions, opportunities to publish research results, etc.).
    • c. Circumstances leading to interruptions in research, training, or mentoring activities are not unusual and may result in delays or reduced productivity for researchers or HQP. If applicable, detail any career interruptions or relevant circumstances that may have impacted productivity and/or career progress. Include the length of the interruptions and the extent to which they impacted or reduced (in %) productivity. Common causes of interruptions include: 
      • Parental leave;
      • Medical leave, for reasons relating to chronic illness, mental illness, or disability associated with reduced research activity;
      • Leave for family-related illness or responsibilities;
      • Bereavement;
      • Leave for extraordinary administrative duties; or
      • Leave relating the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • d. Please provide any additional relevant information.
  5. Letters of Support (3): Three letters of support from arm's-length referees. Recommended 1,200 words max per letter. 
    • The letters of support are critical to the selection process and should focus on the nominee's research. They must be from individuals who are able to objectively assess the proposed work. Given that nominees represent varied disciplines with different expectations about kinds and quantities of scholarly output, letters of support which place the nominee's record in the context of their field are recommended.
    • At least two of the letters must be from individuals from outside UBC.
    • All of the referees should be at arm’s length -- this may not include the nominee’s thesis or dissertation supervisor(s), anyone the nominee has supervised, or anyone with whom the nominee has collaborated (as co-author or co-investigator) within the last 6 years.
    • Letters written by referees with a confirmed conflict of interest with the nominee will not be included and the package will be considered incomplete. Incomplete packages will not be reviewed.
    • Letters must be signed and dated.
    • Letters in excess of three will not be considered.
  6. CV: Official updated UBC CV including complete list of publications (no page limit)


Please review the FAQs, and contact

Previous Award Winners


  • Adam Ford (Biology, UBCO)


    Kyle Frackman (Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies)


    Shannon Hagerman (Forest Resources Management)


    Bethany Hastie (Peter A. Allard School of Law)


    Liam Watson (Mathematics)


    Vikramaditya G. Yadav (Chemical & Biological Engineering, and the School of Biomedical Engineering)


  • Hamideh Bayrampour (Family Practice)


    Zachary Hudson (Chemistry)


    Mary Jung (Health and Social Development)


    Amy Kim (Civil Engineering)


    Jian Liu (School of Engineering)


    Laura Parfrey (Botany)


  • Russ Algar (Chemistry


    Efrat Arbel (Peter A. Allard School of Law)


    Gwynn Elfring (Mechanical Engineering)


    Sabrina Leslie (Michael Smith Laboratories & Physics and Astronomy)


    Megan Smith (Creative Studies, Media Studies)


    Camilla Speller (Anthropology) 


  • Jonathan Little (School of Health/Exercise Sciences)


    Ali Mesbah (Electrical & Computer Engineering)


    Sara Milstein (Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies


    Jeanine Rhemtulla (Forest & Conservation Sciences)


    Katherine Ryan (Chemistry)


    Leonid Sigal (Computer Science)

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