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 & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) administers:

Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship

  • Valued at up to $45,000 per year for two years
  • International Graduate Differential Fees, if applicable
  • Recipients will receive a certificate acknowledging their scholarship
  • Scholarship start dates must be either May 1, 2024 or September 1, 2024
  • Funding for the second year is subject to meeting eligibility requirements, and submission and approval of the renewal request via the GSMS Awards Portal six weeks before the end of the first year of funding

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. Review the Scholarships and Awards Manual for more information.

  • Offered to outstanding students registered full-time in, or admissible to, a doctoral program
    • applicants must have completed at least 12 months of graduate work (master's or doctoral level) before the start of award tenure (May 1, 2024 or September 1, 2024)
    • applicants must have completed no more than 48 months in their doctoral program as of December 31, 2023
    • as the Killam is offered for a two year period (subject to review after the first year), applicants must have at least 18 months of full-time registration left in their doctoral program after May 2024
    • for students who 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 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 the Departmental deadline to be considered for both the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship and the Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prize.

Once nominations have been submitted to GPS, revisions will not 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 the application package is complete in every respect before such is nominated to GPS via GSMS.

A complete Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship Application includes:

1. Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship Application Form: completed application form signed by the student; additional attachments will not be accepted.

2. Two Letters of Reference to Support Application for Graduate Awards Form: this form is required and must be completed and signed by each applicant's referees. An additional confidential letter of reference (2 pages maximum) may be attached to the 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
  • It is highly recommended students give their referees a deadline at least one week prior to any application deadline to allow sufficient time and to avoid any possible delays/changes. 

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 printed from Bear Tracks; must include current registration (i.e. both Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 terms)
  • All other Canadian and foreign transcripts (must show all completed coursework and grades, and conferral of any degrees)
  • All transfer credit transcripts (even if they were transferred to the UofA)
  • All transcripts of incomplete work/non-degree study/qualifying years, etc.
Applicants are encouraged to order required transcripts as soon as possible, where required. GPS Awards will not provide copies of transcripts to either Departments or Students.
Nomination Procedures

Departments must submit eligible nominations to GPS via the GSMS Awards Portal by GPS's nomination deadline of February 15, 2024. Departments are to review the 2024 Izaak Walton Killam Scholarship Department Memo.

Adjudication Procedures

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


Department Deadline: each Department sets its own internal deadline for receipt of applications; applicants must contact their Department directly for the Departmental deadline. Applicants are encouraged to apply early and order required transcripts as soon as possible. 

GPS Nomination Deadline: the Deadline for Departments to submit nominations via the GSMS Awards Portal is Thursday, February 15, 2024 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 and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) 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 GPS previous mentoring and teaching award winners.

Nomination deadline for the 2024-2025 year: Friday, March 15, 2024 at 4:00 PM