National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

The Killam Trusts, the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2021 to transition the Killam program to the NRC.

The new partnership marks an exciting development and a promising new era for the program. The Program will assume the banner of the National Killam Program after transitioning to the NRC in spring 2022. The National Killam Program includes the Killam Prize and the Dorothy Killam Fellowships (formerly the Killam Research Fellowships).

In April 2022, the NRC assumed Program delivery responsibilities in time for the 2023 program cycle. The new Dorothy Killam Fellowships align with the vision, mission and values of Dorothy J. Killam as set out in her Will. The NRC is committed to long term engagement with key stakeholders to support program delivery and continuous improvement.

The redesigned Dorothy Killam Fellowships will provide 5-8 mid-career researchers with release time support amounting to $80,000/year for two years. A Dorothy Killam Fellow is a leading researcher whose superior, ground-breaking and transformative research stands to positively improve the lives of Canadians. They are also someone whose work reflects one or more of the Killam attributes listed below:

  • Inclusive Collaborator – whose work exemplifies inclusion and understanding of people, cultures and needs with participation among 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

The redesigned program also includes a refined selection committee process, a giveback model for recipients and program monitoring which seeks to ensure successful program delivery.

As Canada’s largest federal research and development organization with a strong commitment to research excellence, the NRC is well positioned to work alongside the Killam Trusts and CCA to administer the National Killam Program in 2023 and thereafter. The NRC’s mandate is to support business innovation, advance scientific knowledge, and deliver science-based policy solutions for the government of Canada.

The NRC is committed to making a positive difference for its stakeholders and serving Canada with integrity, accountability, and openness. In support of the National Killam program, the NRC has developed a robust conflict of interest management procedure and governance framework to manage real or perceived conflict of interest. The NRC’s role is to administer and deliver the National Killam Program.  The NRC has no role in decision making regarding winners of the Killam Prize and the Dorothy Killam Fellowships. Clear policies, responsibilities and decision making authority have been implemented to ensure that the National Killam Program is administered and delivered by the NRC with integrity and transparency.

In addition, the following bodies were created to enable the administration and delivery of the National Killam Program by the NRC:

National Killam Program Advisory Board (NK PAB):   The NK PAB is an external advisory board providing input on strategy and Program operations.

The National Killam Program Selection Committee (NKSC) is a standing committee responsible for recommending winners for both the Killam Prizes and the Dorothy Killam Fellowships. NKSC members are recognized experts with national and/or international stature who support the National Killam Program definition of research excellence and are committed to upholding Killam values in their deliberations.

The National Killam Program Office (NKPO): The NKPO is hosted at the NRC and is responsible for the administration of the National Killam Programming consistent with the objectives of Dorothy J. Killam’s Will beginning with the 2023 Program cycle.

National Killam Program Advisory Board

National Killam Program

Visit our Videos page for other exciting announcements and interviews.

Should you have any questions, please contact the National Killam Program Office at


  • November 15, 2021 – Inaugural Program Advisory Board announced for the National Killam Program.
  • April 26, 2022 – The 2023 National Killam Program cycle launches today.
  • May 4, 2022 – The National Killam Program is pleased to release its first newsletter.
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