University Killam Professor 2020

The designation “University Killam Professor” (UKP) is the highest honour that the University can confer on a member of faculty.  It recognizes exceptional members of faculty who are extraordinary teachers and researchers, who are leaders in their academic fields, and who have received national and international recognition.

Nominations will be evaluated against criteria that demonstrate the characteristics of an exceptional professor worthy of this honour, and must demonstrate consistent excellence in teaching and research.

Up to three UKPs can be named each academic year. UKP awardees receive an annual salary stipend of $20,000 and a one-time research allowance of $100,000. University Killam Professors will hold the designation for as long as they remain tenured members of faculty at the University. 

University Killam Professors are expected to contribute to the overall intellectual life of the University and to serve as academic ambassadors to the University’s external community. Within one year after receiving the UKP designation, each University Killam Professor shall deliver a lecture to the University Community on a subject of her or his choosing, though preferably on a subject that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. These lectures will be recorded, published, and made available to the University community and beyond. In 2016/17, these lectures were offered either live or via webcast on both the Point Grey and Okanagan campuses. 

Full information about the appointment, roles and responsibilities of UKPs can be found in  UBC Policy LR6: Killam Professors Policy. View a list of UBC's University Killam Professors.

Nomination Process | Selection Criteria | Review Process | Timeline 

Nomination Process

Nominations are put forward by six members of the University community.  This group must include at least one student, one staff member, one faculty member, and one alumnus/a indicating the extent of the nominee’s acknowledgement by the University community as a person of substantial and widely recognized scholarly distinction. 

Each nomination shall be accompanied by:

  • A letter supporting the nomination
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Three arm’s-length, external referee letters in support of the nominee’s suitability for the distinction

Nominations must be submitted to the VPRI Office by the Dean of the Faculty in which the nominee holds her / his primary appointment. Nominations must be received by the VPRI Office by 5:00 p.m. on July 17th, 2020. The nomination package should be submitted by the Dean to Stacey Herzer [], Manager, Internal Research Competitions in the VPRI Office. 

Selection Criteria

Nominees must hold the rank of full professor. Nominations will be evaluated against criteria that demonstrate the characteristics of an exceptional professor worthy of this honour.  The criteria include:

  • Demonstration of consistent excellence in teaching and conducting research;
  • Recognition as an outstanding and innovative researcher whose accomplishments have made a major impact in his or her research field;
  • Demonstration of superior record of attracting and supervising graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows;
  • Demonstration of effective and innovative teaching methods;
  • Recognition as a strong, passionate and inspirational teacher who encourages students to pursue excellence;
  • Demonstration of continuing commitment to student success through advising and mentoring inside and outside the classroom and/or laboratory;
  • Achievement of distinction in the academic and wider community as an extraordinary teacher and/or researcher;
  • Achievement of national and international acclaim in the areas of teaching and/or research in the form of an award or recognition of high esteem; and
  • Demonstration of continuing receipt of a high degree of respect from students, fellow faculty members, and members of the University administration.

The Review Process

Members of a Review Panel will assess the nominations to the UKP program. Based on the reviewers' assessments expressed as their ranking of each nominee, the Vice-President, Research & Innovation will make a recommendation to the President, who will in turn make a recommendation to the Board of Governors on which nominees should receive the distinction of University Killam Professor. 

Review Panel

The following will sit on the review panel:

  1. The Chancellor (Chair)
  2. The Provost and Vice-President, Academic (UBC Vancouver)
  3. The Provost and Vice-President, Academic (UBC Okanagan)
  4. The Vice-President, Research & Innovation (will Chair in the absence of the Chancellor)
  5. The Chair of the Senior Appointments Committee
  6. Up to 7 existing University Killam Professors
  7. Up to three additional selected advisors
  8. The Manager, Internal Research Competitions, Vice-President Research & Innovation Office (ex officio – Secretary)


Deadline for Nominations: 5:00 p.m. on July 17, 2020

Announcement/Funding Start: Fall 2020