Killam Doctoral Scholarships


September 12, 2023 at 12:00 noon PT

Eligibility of Citizenship: Canadian, Permanent Residence, and International
Degree Level: PhD
Award Status: Closed
Applicant Status: Incoming Students and Continuing Students


Quick Facts

The Killam Scholarship and Prize Programmes were established in memory of Izaak Walton Killam through the Will of his wife, Dorothy J. 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 Doctoral Scholarships are provided annually from the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies. It was Mrs. Killam’s desire that those selected to receive scholarships: “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.”

Killam Doctoral Scholarships are the most prestigious awards available to graduate students at UBC. Approximately 15-20 awards are made each year to the top doctoral candidates in the Affiliated Fellowships competition. At present, the Killam Doctoral Scholarship provides an annual stipend valued at $30,000 for two years plus a $2,000 allowance for research-related travel during the 24 months of the scholarship.

Annual Value: $30,000 and a $2,000 allowance for research-related travel
Duration: 2 years


Months of Study

  • To be eligible to apply for Killam Doctoral Scholarship funding, applicants must have completed no more than 24 months of doctoral study as of the start date of the scholarship. Therefore, applicants to the 2023-2024 competition must have completed no more than 24 months of doctoral study as of 1 September 2024

Evaluation Criteria

  • Research ability and potential – 50%
    • Quality of research proposal
      • specific, focused and feasible research question(s) and objective(s)
      • clear description of the proposed methodology
      • significance and expected contributions to research
    • Relevant training, such as academic training, lived experience and traditional teachings
    • Research experience and achievements relative to the applicant’s stage of study, lived experience and knowledge systems
    • Quality of contributions and extent to which they advance the field of research. Contributions may include: publications, patents, reports, posters, abstracts, monographs, presentations, creative outputs, knowledge translation outputs, community products, etc.
    • Demonstration of sound judgment and ability to think critically
    • Demonstration of responsible and ethical research conduct, including honest and thoughtful inquiry, rigorous analysis, commitment to safety and to the dissemination of research results and adherence to the use of professional standards
    • Enthusiasm for research, originality, initiative, autonomy, relevant community involvement and outreach
    • The ability or potential to communicate theoretical, technical and/or scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats

    Relevant experience and achievements obtained within and beyond academia – 50%

    • Scholarships, awards and distinctions (amount, duration and prestige)
    • Academic record:
      • Transcripts
      • Duration of previous studies
      • Program requirements and courses pursued
      • Course load
      • Relative standing in program (if available)
    • Professional, academic and extracurricular activities as well as collaborations with supervisors, colleagues, peers, students and members of the community, such as:
      • teaching, mentoring, supervising and/or coaching
      • managing projects
      • participating in science and/or research promotion
      • community outreach, volunteer work and/or civic engagement
      • chairing committees and/or organizing conferences and meetings
      • participating in departmental or institutional organizations, associations, societies and/or clubs

Application Procedures

Students who are eligible for the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Doctoral (CGS-D) (such as Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada) are required to apply for CGS-D. Students who submit an NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR doctoral award application to UBC Okanagan are also eligible for Killam Scholarship funding, and do not need to submit a separate application.

Killam applicants (such as international students) must submit their application materials to the College of Graduate Studies by the deadline indicated above.

The Killam Doctoral Scholarships are part of the Affiliated Fellowships-Doctoral award competition. To be considered for the Killam Doctoral Scholarships, you must apply for the Affiliated Fellowships-Doctoral award competition.

Please ensure all application materials and references are received by the College of Graduate Studies at by the competition deadline indicated above.


  • UBC transcripts: Applicants can request the “Academic History” document from the College of Graduate Studies instead of ordering an official UBC transcript.  The transcript or “Academic History” must include the 2023W1 (Fall 2023) registration
  • Other transcripts:
    • Must be official and up to date (include degree conferral, if applicable) as of August 31, 2023
    • Required even from institutions in cases of transfer credit or exchange terms
    • The College of Graduate Studies may already have some of the transcripts on file in eVision.  The “COGS Official” stamped transcripts from eVision are acceptable
    • Applicants may still need to order some of their transcripts to complete their transcript package.  Given current uncertainties related to COVID-19 and the difficulty of obtaining/processing paper transcripts, it is recommended that applicants order official transcripts that can be sent electronically from their previous institutions to themselves or UBC, rather than by mail, where possible
    • Foreign transcripts: if the transcripts are not presented in one of Canada’s two official languages (English or French), a certified translation must be provided, in addition to the official transcripts in its original language
    • The transcript key/legend for each institution must be included
    • Regarding COVID-19 and potential transcript delays: Students should contact the College of Graduate Studies first if they have any concerns about obtaining official transcripts in time for the application deadline
  • It remains the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required transcripts have been provided to the College of Graduate Studies by the internal deadline indicated above

Adjudication Procedures

  • The College of Graduate Studies Scholarship and Awards Committee will convene an adjudication committee composed of UBC faculty members to review applications and select the top-ranked applicants.
  • Results are released to applicants in Spring 2024.

Additional Resources

Further Information

The Killam Laureates website provides information about Killam programs across Canada and information about the original donors, Izaak Walton and Dorothy J. Killam.

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