Scholarships and Awards

Killam Trust Scholarships

The $400 million Killam Trusts are among Canada's largest and most prestigious endowments for scholarly activities. The Killam Bequest has provided more than $60 million to the University of Alberta between the three programs that the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) administers:

Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship
Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prizes
Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Click here for information regarding Killam’s Postdoctoral Fellowship funding opportunities (administered by the Vice-President of Research).

Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship

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  • Value

    The award is valued at up to $45,000 a year for 2 years (subject to renewal in year two of the award*), plus any applicable International Graduate Differential Fee. Recipients will also receive a certificate acknowledging their award.

    *Renewals must meet eligibility requirements and submit a request in GSMS Awards Portal six weeks before the end of year one funding.

  • Eligibility

    • Offered to outstanding students registered in, or admissible to, a doctoral program

    • No restrictions on citizenship. All fields are eligible for funding

    • Applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate work (master's or doctoral level) before start of tenure; tenure may begin on May 1st or September 1st

    • As the Killam Scholarship is offered for a two-year period (subject to review after the first year), applicants should anticipate being registered in doctoral program for at least 18 months (as of May 2020) and should have completed no more than 48 months in the doctoral program as of December 31, 2019 to apply

    Additional information regarding eligibility criteria can be found in the Applicant Instructions document below. Please note that the GPA for current graduate students is calculated using the current graduate program graded course work. For newly admitted graduate students or current graduate students who have no graded course work to date, the admission gpa will be used.

  • Selection Criteria
    This is the most prestigious graduate award administered by the University of Alberta. Every effort is made to honor the criteria set out in the will of Dorothy Killam. It was Mrs. Killam's desire that those awarded scholarships and fellowships be likely to contribute to the advancement of learning or to win distinction in their profession. Killam scholars should not be one-sided and their intellect should be complemented by a sound character.
  • Application Procedures

    Applicants must complete the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship application form and ensure that this form and all other supporting documents are submitted to the department by departmental deadline to be considered for both the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship and the Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prize.

    For Applicants: Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship Applicant Instructions

    A complete Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship Application includes:

    1. Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship Application Form

    2. Two Letters of Reference to Support Application for Graduate Awards Form must be completed and signed by each applicant’s referees. A confidential letter of reference may accompany the standard letter of reference form, but may not replace such.

    3. Post-Secondary Official Transcripts 

    • All post-secondary transcripts are required and must be complete and up-to-date ie show all coursework and grades, and conferral of any degrees

    • All transcripts, other than University of Alberta transcripts, must be official.

    Note: Once application has been submitted to FGSR by the department, no revisions will be permitted.

  • Nomination Procedures
    Department must submit eligible nominations to FGSR via GSMS Awards Portal by FGSR deadline.

    For graduate departments: 2020 Izaak Walton Killam Scholarship Department Memo 
  • Adjudication Procedures
    The FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee adjudicates the competition; FGSR will notify winners directly. Applicants can expect this process to take a few months, with notification typically occurring in late May after formal approval by the Killam Trustees.
  • Deadlines

    Each department sets its own internal deadline for receipt of applications. Applicants are encouraged to apply early and order required transcripts as soon as possible. Applicants must contact their department for departmental deadline.

    Deadline for Departments to submit nominations via GSMS Awards Portal is February 28, 2020 at 4:00 PM

Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prizes

The Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prizes were created in the fall of 2002 to honor the memory of Dorothy J Killam. These are awarded annually to the most outstanding Killam Memorial Scholarship recipients.

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  • Value

    There are 3 Dorothy Killam Prizes in total, one for each Tri-Council area. Recipients receive a cash prize of $5,000 and a certificate acknowledging their award.

  • Eligibility
    Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, a research proposal, letters of recommendation, and leadership qualities.
  • Application Procedures
    There is no application form; recipients are selected by the Graduate Scholarship Committee during the competition’s final selection meeting.

Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring

The Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring has been created to recognize outstanding performance in the area of mentoring summer research students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, visiting research scholars and undergraduate students.

Mentoring may be related to, but is perceived as differing from, classroom teaching or administrative service and may be distinct and separable from the usual measures of research productivity.

The award is open to all disciplines and up to two awards may be given in any one year, one for mentoring excellence in the humanities, social sciences, and/or fine arts, and one for mentoring excellence in the natural sciences, health sciences, and engineering.

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  • Value
    The Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring consists of $5,000 cash award and a commemorative plaque. The Award will be presented at the Killam Event, which is held each fall.
  • Eligibility
    • All continuing academic staff of the University of Alberta are eligible to be nominated. Only mentoring done at the University of Alberta will be considered.
    • The nominee may be at any stage in their academic career but, by its nature, the award will tend to recognize those with more experience.
  • Selection Criteria

    The Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring recognizes exceptional mentoring through considering both quantitative and qualitative success in:

    • The number and diversity of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, visiting research scholars, and undergraduates in special roles, within the context of disciplinary norms;
    • Developing a mentoring approach that uniquely enhances student/trainee career success within the discipline, as evidenced by (a) trainees' professional development, achievements, scholarly impact, and testimony about their mentored experience, (b) the nominee's mentoring philosophy statement, and (c) other information provided in the nomination letter.
  • Nomination Process

    Details for the 2020 Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring nomination are forthcoming.

    Each Department or non-departmentalized Faculty is entitled to submit one nomination, supported by documentation as outlined below. Each Department or non-departmentalized Faculty may use whatever procedures it deems most appropriate in the selection of its nominee.

    A nomination package will contain the following elements, which must be provided in the order listed below:

    • A brief statement describing the procedures followed in making the nomination.
    • A nomination letter signed by the department chair (or Dean in the case of a non-departmentalized Faculty) that (a) addresses why the nominee is deserving of recognition for exceptional mentoring, (b) situates the nominee's mentoring approach and success within the context of the discipline and other faculty members at a similar stage of career, and (c) provides any other information about the nominee's other activities or responsibilities that may be helpful to assessing the exceptional quality of mentoring abilities and success.
    • A statement of no more than 3 pages from the nominee that describes the nominee's mentoring approach, how the nominee has evolved or developed the approach to fit unique characteristics of their discipline, students, or trainees, and examples of any uncommon opportunities or interventions the nominee has used or developed to enhance mentee success.
    • A chronological listing or table of all individuals mentored, along with summary information (if possible) on their subsequent career placement, their unique successes, and their scholarly impact - either as individuals or in collaboration with the mentor - that occurred during the mentorship period or shortly thereafter (e.g., performances or exhibitions, publications, professional leadership, and others)
    • Three letters of support from former students, postdoctoral fellows, or other individuals mentored by the nominee, that summarize their experience with the nominee and describes how the nominee's mentoring has had a unique impact on their learning and subsequent career development.
    • A summary of brief comments from a representative sample of current mentees.
    • An abbreviated CV (no more than 3 pages) that provides information on the nominees' educational history, professional appointments, awards, and that summarizes professional activities and scholarly output.
  • Adjudication Procedures

    The adjudication committee will be co-chaired by the Vice-President (Research) and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) or their designates.

    The Committee will include the President of the Graduate Students’ Association (or designate), and two additional members, as agreed by the co-chairs, normally drawn from current and previous Associate Deans of FGSR and previous mentoring and teaching award winners.
  • Deadlines
    Nomination deadline for the 2019-2020 year: TBA