The National Killam Program consists of the Killam Prizes and the Dorothy Killam Fellowships.
The Killam Prizes are awarded to active Canadian scholars who have distinguished themselves through sustained research excellence, making a significant impact in their respective fields in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, and engineering.
The Dorothy Killam Fellowships provide support to scholars of exceptional ability by granting them time to pursue research projects of broad significance and widespread interest within the disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering or studies linking any of these disciplines.
Dorothy Killam Fellowship application package
Dorothy Killam had a vision of building Canada’s future through advanced study. Through her will, she established a perpetual trust to realize her vision and fund generations of scholars in Canada.
A Dorothy Killam Fellow is a leading researcher whose superior, ground-breaking, best-in-class research stands to have significant impact on a national or global scale. A Fellow is someone who also reflects some of the Killam attributes:
- Inclusive collaborator
- Barrier breaker
- Research leader
The Dorothy Killam Fellowships support scholars who:
- demonstrate commitment to building Canada’s future and alignment with Killam attributes
- are mid-career researchers who usually completed their PhD no more than 15 years prior, though special circumstances may result in applicants being more or less than 15 years post-PhD.
- are employed at a Canadian research institution.
Between 5 and 8 fellowships will be awarded annually. The fellowships are awarded to individuals, but the funds are paid to and administered by the Canadian university or research institute where the individual is employed.
Terms and conditions of the program
The Dorothy Killam Fellowships are valued at $80,000 CAD per year for a total of up to $160,000 for 2 years. Dorothy Killam Fellowships are intended as release time from employment for established scholars who have demonstrated outstanding research ability. Typically, a Fellowship recipient is a faculty member at a Canadian university with significant teaching and/or administrative responsibilities. For example, researchers employed in settings such as a hospital or another scientific institute may qualify if they demonstrate outstanding ability and if their proposed project meets standards of scholarly merit.
Dorothy Killam Fellows are expected to continue contributing to the Canadian research community after completion of their fellowship. There are mandatory giveback activities whereby recipients are expected to participate in community engagement and/or knowledge mobilization activities. Giveback will provide Fellows with mentorship and networking opportunities, facilitate speaking opportunities to encourage the next generation of career researchers, and engage Fellows in brand promotion. Fellowship winners are expected to attend award-related events which can include, but are not limited to, news conferences, award ceremonies and receptions, and to make themselves available for media interviews. They are asked to allow that photographs, videos and public information about themselves be used to promote the fellowship, as well as to provide copyright permission for the use of reproductions or clips of their work on collateral and communications materials associated with the Fellowship and on the Killam Trusts’, the National Research Council of Canada’s and partner websites and social media channels.
Individuals that receive funding from the National Killam Program must appropriately acknowledge the support of the National Killam Program, and, where applicable, key partners in any promotional materials associated with the funded activities. The Killam logo, branding representing the Killam visual identity and/or a written message acknowledging Killam support should be included on event signage, on social media and web content, on news releases and other promotional material. Recognition must be equal to that given to corporate funders or other sponsors or donors for similar support.
A Dorothy Killam Fellowship provides 2 full years of release time, typically beginning no later than January 1, 2025, following notification of the fellowship in early 2024. Support may not be requested for less than the full 2-year fellowship period. The support for the second year depends on provision and approval of an interim research report.
A Canadian university or research institute must agree to accept and administer the Dorothy Killam Fellowship funds under the terms set out by the National Killam Program. Institutions that receive the fellowship funds are expected to relieve the Fellows of all teaching and/or administrative responsibilities for the duration of the fellowship (up to 2 years). The institution must continue paying the Fellow’s full salary and benefits during the entire period of the fellowship.
Proof of ethics review and approval is required prior to full release of funding for all applicants proposing research involving human participants, and must comply with the conditions set out in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. This requirement applies to interviews and access to documents affecting the privacy of individuals, where living persons or communities may be involved in the proposed research, regardless of the discipline(s) involved, and could include areas such as oral history and biography.
Research involving human participants requiring proof of ethics review and approval also includes:
- when the actions or opinions or responses of human beings are studied in natural or staged environments;
- or when human biological materials (e.g., organs, tissues, cells, body fluids or excreta) obtained from living humans, cadavers, embryos or fetal tissues are studied;
- or when personally identifiable, de-identified information or private documents, data or other materials including images of the body and personal health data, that have not been placed in the public domain with the consent of the person directly affected, are studied;
- or when research involving a secondary use of human biological materials or data from human participants as described above, when individual or combined information is identifiable or de-identified since its collection.
For proposed research involving animals, applicants must also provide proof of ethics approval from an Animal Care Committee certified by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), and must follow the standards established in the CCAC’s Guide to Care and Use of Experimental Animals.
In line with Dorothy Killam’s wishes, research funded by the National Killam Program should contribute to building Canada’s future through encouraging advanced study. Knowledge mobilization is defined as the dynamic and iterative process that:
- includes synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically sound application of knowledge to improve the lives of Canadians
- takes place between researchers and knowledge users and varies in intensity, complexity and level of engagement depending on the nature of the research and the findings
The National Killam Program, informed by the work of the Tri-councils (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research), the Royal Society of Canada, and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), recognizes that scholarly contributions are not limited to published journal articles, but can also include, amongst other contributions, article preprints, datasets, software, protocols, well-trained researchers, societal outcomes and policy changes resulting from research. For others, this may include community engagement initiatives, media production, or educational mentorship programs.
Recognizing that knowledge mobilization can be different for each research project, applicants are required to include in their research proposal (see below in required documents) plans for a proposed knowledge mobilization strategy to share and communicate their research beyond traditional modes of scholarly output.
Applicants must complete the online application form, and provide the following documents while adhering to the indicated maximum word count and page number in English or French, by 23:59 (applicant’s local time) on June 16, 2023.
In alignment with the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the National Killam Program asks applicants to voluntarily provide self-identification data. The collection of self-identification data is a central piece of the National Killam Program’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan. This data provides information on the diversity of the population applying for and receiving funding. This information increases the National Killam Program’s capacity to monitor progress on increasing EDI in their programs, to recognize and remove barriers, and to design new measures to achieve greater EDI.
Your application should contain the following:
- Abstract (250 words English, 300 words French)
In the official language of your choice, please provide a brief, plain-language summary of the research being proposed. Using simple terms, describe the nature of the work, why and to whom the research is important, anticipated outcomes, and the manner in which this research serves to increase the scientific and scholastic attainment of Canadians.
This plain-language summary may be made available to peer reviews and to the public in the event that you are selected as a program recipient. If you wish, you may also provide the summary in both official languages.
- Research proposal (Up to 1,500 words in English or 2,000 words in French, plus up to five (5) additional pages for references)
Research proposals should include:
- Information on the proposed research, what is planned to be achieved, a detailed description of the approach (a detailed methodology), hypothesis, and how it advances knowledge in the field. Up to five (5) additional pages may be included listing references.
- Information on and the candidate’s experiences with the proposed methodologies.
- Information on the proposed impact and some possible indicators that the applicant could use to measure their research outcomes
- Information on the applicant’s knowledge mobilization plans, including where possible, non-traditional ways to disseminate knowledge and information.
- Information on how relief time will be used.
- Information on the extent to which this project builds upon or is different from existing projects.
- Information on how fellowship funding will enable the exploration of a new area of research / new project.
- Candidate statement (Up to 1,000 words in English or 1,200 words in French)
Candidate’s statement should include:
- Information on how the researcher or research aligns with Killam attributes.
- Applications must indicate how the work demonstrates or reflects 1 or more of the following Killam principles:
- Inclusive collaborator - whose work exemplifies inclusion and understanding of people, cultures and needs with participation among all economic, social and cultural backgrounds
- Barrier breaker - whose original, transformational, future-focused generation of knowledge and technology stands to change the way we live
- Research leader - who activates thoughtful cooperation among scholars, disciplines and institutions to create a multiplier effect within the research ecosystem
- Community research supplement (optional, up to 500 words in English or 750 words in French)
Applicants whose proposals include community research are encouraged to provide the following supplemental information:
- Description of existing relationships with a community or communities.
- Information on any permissions conferred to carry out the research that involves a community or communities either directly or indirectly.
- Description of the role of community members in shaping the research question(s) as well as the role community members play in contributing to, sharing, or applying research findings.
- Description of how the proposed research contributes to, or is expected to contribute to, positive outcomes, benefits to the community, or change in policy or practice following research completion.
- Curriculum Vitae (Up to 30 pages in English or 36 pages in French)
A full CV, including information on all publications, presentations, and grants and other fellowships received, awards and/or general recognition.
- Two letters of support (Up to 1,000 words in English or 1,200 words in French)
Letters of support from up to 2 individuals are required.
Please ensure that each letter is unique, and that at least one letter speaks to the importance, the impact, and the quality of the proposed research; and the other focuses on the quality and impact of the researcher themselves, and their alignment with the Killam Attributes.
- Please request that the letter clearly specify the nature of the letter writer’s relationship with the applicant.
To reduce the potential for unconscious bias in the evaluation process:
- Please refer to applicants consistently by their surname(s) and use gender-neutral pronouns.
- Please remove institutional letterhead.
Applications may come directly from individual researchers or from institutions on behalf of the applicant. In both cases, proof of eligibility via an attestation must be provided to demonstrate that the applicant meets the eligibility requirement of institutional employment for up to 2 years from the start of the fellowship.
Note that institutions (generally a university or research institute) may have an internal deadline before the National Killam Program deadline. Late or incomplete applications will be rejected.
Proof of employment - eligibility attestation
Applicants must attest that they meet the eligibility requirement of institutional support for up to 2 years from the start of the fellowship. This is attested to directly by the institution and the applicant.
Applicants must attest that they will disclose any information that may constitute a significant departure from generally-recognized standards of public behaviour and which is seen to undermine the public reputation of the National Killam Program.
Following Peer Review, the Selection Committee evaluates applications on their merit, compared with each other and in a national context and may use publicly available sources of information. The fellowships will be offered to candidates considered outstanding by the Committee. Where assessment results are not meaningfully different, the Committee will consider cohort factors that will contribute to a diverse and representative group.
Anonymous and discretionary feedback from the National Killam Program Office to applicants may be shared once the annual winners have been announced.
The following points will figure prominently in the review and selection of the candidates considered for the Dorothy Killam Fellowships:
|Significance||The application clearly states the significance and the importance of the proposed research toward building Canada’s future through advanced study as well as strong evidence of one or more of the Killam attributes.
|Advancement of knowledge||Details on the proposed research, how it advances knowledge in the field and the applicant’s knowledge mobilization strategy.||25 %|
|Methods||Sound research methods including a description of the approach, hypothesis and statement of problem and a commitment to ethical research conduct including honest and thoughtful inquiry, rigorous analysis, commitment to safety and research ethics, to the dissemination of research results, and adherence to professional standards.||25 %|
|Relevance||Relevance of the research, immediate as well as long term outcomes, and clear and compelling evidence of how the research stands to have a positive impact on Canada.||25 %|
A Dorothy Killam Fellow is relieved of teaching and administrative duties for the period of the fellowship. The funds are intended to assist the institution to cover the costs of replacement of the applicant while still paying regular salary and benefits during the 2-year fellowship period. Recipients must obtain support for research and laboratory costs from other sources. All fellowship dispersals are administered to the existing research institution of the applicant. Dorothy Killam Fellows may be recognized at the annual National Killam Celebration of Excellence event.
Equity, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to achieving research excellence. The National Killam Program encourages applications from candidates whose research has consequence and impact, setting precedents and yielding transformative results that serve to build Canada’s future through advanced study. To be eligible, applicants:
- demonstrate commitment to building Canada’s future and alignment with Killam attributes;
- are mid-career researchers who usually completed their PhD no more than 15 years prior, though special circumstances may result in applicants being more or less than 15 years post-PhD;
- must be employed by a university or other research institute for the duration of the fellowship (2 years) and will submit a proof of employment;
- may not have already been awarded a fellowship from the Killam Program of the Canada Council for the Arts. Please note that National Killam Program Office employees, members of the National Killam Program Advisory Board, or the Selection Committee may not apply.
- consent to disclose any information that may constitute a significant departure from generally-recognized standards of public behaviour and which is seen to undermine the public reputation of the National Killam Program.
Note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee receipt of Fellowship. The National Killam Program Office retains the right to interpret the contents of these application guidelines and of the online instructions and form.
Applications may be submitted by individuals or by institutions on behalf of the applicant. In both cases, proof of employment for the full 2 years during the length of the fellowship must be provided to meet eligibility requirements.
The National Killam Program Office and the Selection Committee will not release any information in the application that is specified as confidential, including names or any self-identifying information.
Anonymous demographic information may be aggregated and used by the National Killam Program Office to measure and report on performance.
The Privacy Act gives individuals the right to access and request correction of personal information about themselves.