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


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.

Honourary status 
If a student wins an external scholarship, the student is required to accept the external award. Accordingly, the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship may become honourary: the stipend will be of reduced or zero value depending on the value of the external award. Please review the Scholarships and Awards Manual for more information.

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

  • Offered to outstanding students registered in (up to and including the
    sixth year), or admissible to, a doctoral program
    Note: If you transferred from a Master’s program to a Doctoral program, the number of months completed during the Master’s program will count towards the 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 full-time in doctoral program for at least 18 months (as of May 2023) and must have completed no more than 48 months in the doctoral program as of December 31, 2022 to apply
  • Applicants should have first class academic standing (equivalent to a 3.5 GPA). 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 (AGPA) 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 following and ensure any requirements are submitted to their department by departmental deadline to be considered for both the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship and the Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prize.

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 maximum of an additional 2 pages confidential letter of reference may accompany the standard letter of reference form.

  • Current UofA doctoral students must ensure that one referee is their graduate program supervisor
  • Reference letters must be submitted by the referees directly to the student’s department

3. Up-to-date transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies must be included in the application. With the exception of the UofA, all other institutions must be copies of the official transcripts. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Unofficial UofA transcripts pulled from Bear Tracks (i.e. must include current registration i.e. W2023 term)
  • All other Canadian and foreign transcripts (i.e. show all coursework and grades, and conferral of any degrees)
  • All transfer credit transcripts (even if they were transferred to this university)
  • All transcripts of incomplete work/non-degree study/qualifying years, etc.

FGSR Awards will NOT provide copies of transcripts to either Departments or Students.

Application Note: Once nominations have been submitted to FGSR, no revisions will be permitted. Incomplete nominations, including those submitted with missing transcripts, will not be considered. It is the student’s/department’s responsibility to ensure that nomination package is complete in every respect before such is submitted to FGSR via GSMS.

Nomination Procedures

Department must submit eligible nominations to FGSR via GSMS Awards Portal by FGSR deadline. For graduate departments: 2023 Izaak Walton Killam Scholarship Department Memo

Adjudication Procedures

The FGSR Graduate Scholarship Committee adjudicates the competition; FGSR will notify winners directly. Final decisions will not be released to students and departments until after the Killam Trustees meeting in May – early June.


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 Wednesday, February 15, 2023 by end of the day.

Paid Parental Leaves

Effective January 1, 2023, eligible holders of the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship (graduate-level) may apply for a parental leave. This benefit is intended to support recipients who do not have access to other paid parental leave support through Tri-Agency or external scholarship funding. Recipients must meet the eligibility requirements, apply for an approved leave of absence from their program, and request funding by submitting the Graduate Award Interruption Request form to Please review the documents below:

Parental Leave Eligibility

Graduate Award Interruption Request

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.


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.


Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, a research proposal, letters of recommendation, and leadership qualities.

Application Procedures

There is no application form or department nomination; recipients are selected by the Graduate Scholarship Committee during the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship 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.


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.


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

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. Please make sure these letters are signed and dated by the referee.
  • 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.

Submission Instructions: Please send nomination package (in the order specified above) to using the subject heading "Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring Nominee".

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.

Nomination deadline for the 2023-2024 year: Wednesday, March 15, 2023