New Killam Fellowship named after NRC scientist

News release

National Research Council of Canada scientist and professor, Dr. Paul Corkum, recognized for his outstanding contributions to research in Canada

December 4, 2023 – Ottawa, ON – Today, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Killam Trusts announced the creation of the Killam NRC Paul Corkum Fellowship in honour of Dr. Paul Corkum's outstanding contributions to research in Canada.

"I am honoured to have my contributions recognized with this prestigious fellowship," says Dr. Corkum. "Collaboration is essential for good research and the advancement of knowledge. Some of my most rewarding experiences both professionally and personally are the result of great teamwork with talented colleagues, postdoctoral fellows and students. I hope that this fellowship continues to encourage partnership and mentorship in the research community."

Dr. Corkum joined the NRC as a postdoctoral fellow in 1973 to work on experimental physics. He co-leads the NRC-uOttawa Joint Centre for Extreme Photonics, and is also a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Ottawa.

The Killam NRC Paul Corkum Fellowship will support advanced study and research excellence. The fellowship will create opportunities for mid-to-late career Canadian and international scholars to collaborate with NRC researchers. This new program will provide opportunities for external scholars to have access to the NRC's unique infrastructure and resources, and work with an NRC researcher to further Dorothy Killam's vision of building Canada's future through advanced study.


"Dr. Paul Corkum's long-standing and prolific career at the NRC is not only a testament to his undeniable leadership in areas such as attosecond science, but also his mentoring work in developing future Canadian science leaders. This new fellowship will inspire national and international scientists to follow in his footsteps to achieve research excellence."

– Iain Stewart, President, National Research Council of Canada

"The future-focused nature of Dr. Corkum's research is aligned with this new fellowship's vision of building Canada's future through advanced study. It was only fitting to establish a fellowship in his name as his research encourages innovation across multiple sectors and transforms the way we live."

– Bernard F. Miller, KC, Managing Trustee, Killam Trusts

Quick facts

  • Known as the father of attosecond molecular imaging, Dr. Corkum gained international recognition when he proposed a method for producing attosecond pulses. Later on, along with Dr. Ferenc Krausz, he became the first to successfully produce sub-femtosecond (or attosecond) pulses—incredibly short flashes of light that allow scientists to capture the movement of subatomic particles and observe molecular reactions as they occur.

  • His research brings physicists much closer to controlling the movements of electrons as they speed along inside molecules. This manipulation of electrons in attosecond time could lead to breakthroughs in fields as diverse as computing, engineering and medicine.

  • A highly decorated researcher and scholar, Dr. Corkum has received many prestigious awards and professional honours, including the Killam Prize for natural sciences (2006); the John C. Polanyi Award (2007); the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (2008); the King Faisal International Prize for Science (2013); and the co-recipient of the Wolf Prize in Physics (2022).

Associated links


Media Relations
National Research Council of Canada

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