Killam Faculty Research Fellowships


UBC VP Research

Sponsor deadline:

Award Details

Ten UBC Killam Faculty 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 awards are intended to support scholars engaged in research projects of broad significance and are available for any field of study of research other than the ‘Arts’ as presently defined in the Canada Council Act. They are not limited to the ‘Humanities and Social Sciences’ as defined in the Act.

The purpose of the Fellowships is to assist promising faculty members, who wish to devote full time to research and study in their field during a recognized study leave. The applicant must present a coherent project with a clearly stated objective and well-defined research plan, and demonstrate a growing record of significant scholarly contribution. The basis of award will be special distinction of intellect, with due regard for sound character and personal qualities.

Jump to Application Package details


An applicant must be:

  • A full-time tenure-stream faculty member at UBC.
    • Preference is given to applicants who are 14 years or less past the receipt of a doctoral degree. For the November 15, 2022 deadline, this would mean those who received their PhD after November 15, 2008.
    • Legitimate career interruptions (e.g. parental leave, extended sick leave, clinical training, family care) can extend the 14-year period. If applicable, these details must be outlined in the Contextual Perspective of the nomination form.
    • Faculty members who were awarded a doctoral degree more than 14 years ago are still eligible, but may have a lower chance of being allocated a Killam Fellowship.
  • Taking a study leave with a start date of Jul 2022, Sept 2022, Jan 2023, or July 2023 (the start date must coincide with the start of an academic term).


  • May not be nominated for both a Killam Faculty Research Fellowship and a Killam Accelerator Research Fellowship in the same year.
  • Are eligible for only one Killam Faculty Research Fellowship in their career, however, receipt of a Fellowship does not affect eligibility for other UBC Killam awards and prizes.

Terms of the Award

  • Up to ten UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship awards will be available each year.
  • The total value is up to $18,000 and comprises a salary award plus travel and research expenses.
    • The salary award is $1,250 per month or sufficient to compensate for the leave's salary reduction, whichever is less, up to a total of $15,000 for a 12 month period (or $7,500 for 6 months).
    • The travel and research expenses related to the study leave and research proposal up to a maximum of $3,000 for a full-year leave (or $1,500 for 6 months).
  • The term is for either 12 or 6 months, beginning: Jul 2022, Sept 2022, Jan 2023, or July 2023.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated against the following four criteria:

  1. Evidence of growing record of scholarly contributions.
  2. Quality and feasibility of rationale, objectives, and methods of research plan.
  3. Potential for impact of the proposed research on the field.
  4. Potential for the Killam Faculty Research Fellowship to have significant impact on the candidate's research career.

Application Package

Applicants must request that referees submit letters of support directly to ORPA, and submit all other required materials using this nomination form, by the November 15 (11:59 pm) deadline.

Application form fields include:

  • Applicant information: Name, faculty and department, 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
  • Study leave details: Expected study leave start, Head/Dean acknowledgement of study leave  
  • Citation (50 words): Please include a brief 50-word citation of the applicant's research written for a non-expert audience.

Documents required:

  1. Research Plan (1,200 words):
    • Include the following details: (i) Research Project Title, (i) Host Institutions, (iii) Planned Leave Dates
    • Give a precise account of the study and research to be undertaken during the period of the fellowship.
    • Fellowships will be awarded for projects that have clearly defined objectives and methods meeting the award criteria.
  2. Host institution letter(s):
    • Each letter must indicate that the institution supports the proposed visit, and will provide the resources essential to completing the research program proposed, including space, materials (including archival materials), equipment.
    • If an applicant is visiting more than institution, each institution must provide a separate signed letter of support.
  3. Research Impact (optional, 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 (optional, 1 page): To assist reviewers in understanding the context of a candidate's career trajectory or field of research, we invite applicants to 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): Applicants are responsible for soliciting three letters of support from arm's-length referees. Recommended 1,200 words max per letter. [Edit Sept 27/22: We inadvertently had 'external letters of support' - 2/3 must be external to UBC.]
    • The letters of support are critical to the selection process and should focus on the applicant’s research. They must be from individuals who are objectively able to assess the work to be carried out. Given that applicants represent varied disciplines each of which may have different expectations about kinds and quantities of scholarly output, letters of support that place the applicant's record in the context of their field are recommended.
    • At least two of the three letters must be from individuals from outside UBC.
    • All of the referees should be at arm’s length -- this may not include applicant's thesis or dissertation supervisor(s), anyone the applicant has supervised, or anyone with whom the applicant have collaborated (as co-author or co-investigator) within the past 6 years.
    • The content of the support letters is up to the referee, but there are four key recommended points of discussion:
      • the referee’s relationship to the applicant,
      • the applicant's research record,
      • the quality of the research plan, and
      • a summary of why the research is important.
    • Referees should submit their letters (pdf format) directly to the Office of Research Prizes and Awards by email
    • 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


  • Jason Ellis, Junior Category (Educational Studies), Sebastian Prange, Junior Category (Asian Studies), Daisy Rosenblum, Junior Category (Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies & Anthropology), Y-Dang Troeung, Junior Category (English Language and Literatures), Elizabeth Wolkovich, Junior Category (Forest and Conservation Sciences), Gaoheng Zhang, Junior Category (French, Hispanic and Italian Studies), Robinder Bedi, Senior Category (Educational and Counseling Psychology, and Special Education), Jonathan Davies, Senior Category (Botany), David Tindall, Senior Category (Sociology), Mary Lynn Young, Senior Category (School of Journalism, Writing, and Media)


  • Jessica Dempsey, Junior Category (Geography), Candace Galla, Junior Category (Language and Literacy Education), Christiane Hoppmann, Junior Category (Psychology), Jonathan Ichikawa, Junior Category (Philosophy), Mark Johnson, Junior Category (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability/Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences), Siobhán McPhee, Junior Category (Geography), Lindsey Richardson, Junior Category (Sociology), Mark Schmidt, Junior Category (Computer Science), Christine Schreyer, Junior Category (Community, Culture and Global Studies), Carole Blackburn, Senior Category (Anthropology/Sociology)

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