Update from the Canada Council – 2021 Killam Program competition


Dear Killam friends and colleagues,

In the midst of these difficult times, we hope that this message finds you well.

Like us, you are undoubtedly facing delays and challenges in reorganizing your personal and professional lives. Across all of Canada’s sectors, we are seeing so many inspiring stories, and while we are all looking forward to a time when this is behind us, we are fortunate to be able to connect with you through our Killam Program. Celebrating the accomplishments of the community is something that we need now more than ever. With all this as our motivation, we will be sharing news in the coming weeks about the 2020 Killam Program recipients and winners.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delays that everyone is experiencing, we have decided to extend the deadline for the 2021 Killam Prizes until June 30, 2020, to give the community more time to refine and submit their nominations. Also of note—we have enabled nominations to be submitted electronically through a dedicated email address: killam-prizes@canadacouncil.ca.

However, we’ve also made the difficult decision to cancel the competition for the 2021 Killam Research Fellowships. We understand that many of you will be disappointed. Please accept our sincerest apologies. We are sensitive to the work, on the part of applicants and their university supports, who may have already begun preparing and submitting applications. It shows us how much you value this program, and for that we are grateful.

We also wish to update you on changes being made to the Killam Research Fellowships.

In 2017, on the 50th anniversary of the Killam programs in Canada, the Killam Trustees commissioned an eminent panel of scholars led by Dr. Stephen Toope (currently the 346th Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University) to assess the cumulative impact of the Killam Trusts on research and scholarship in Canada over their first 50 years of existence.

While recognizing significant impact, the panel also noted significant change in the Canadian landscape for postgraduate research and support and recommended changes be made to the Killam Research Fellowships program. Under the oversight of a scholarship committee consisting of the Killam Trustees and representatives of universities, as well as the input of scholars and expert advice, we will be taking the next year to redesign and refocus the Killam Research Fellowships.

Accordingly, we will not be accepting applications for 2021 or awarding new fellowships in 2021 as the new program is finalized. Existing Killam Research Fellowships will be fully honoured and we will return in 2022 with the new, higher value fellowship program, responsive to the recommendations of Dr. Toope and his fellow panelists, Dr. Indira Samarasekera and Dr. Paul Corkum. We will be in touch further as this exciting new program takes shape.

We look forward to the future and collaborating with you to support and celebrate the creative and innovative work being done in the sciences and humanities. Together, through the Killam Program, we will continue to showcase Canada’s best and brightest researchers.


Tara Lapointe, Director

Partnership and Arts Promotion

Canada Council for the Arts