Killam mentorship award presented to Dr. Kiran Soma



Dr. Kiran Soma (centre) with trainees in his laboratory.

Dr. Kiran Soma (centre) with trainees in his lab

Dr. Kiran Soma, a professor in the department of psychology, received a Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring, marking a first for the department—and formally recognizing his exceptional mentorship.

Dr. Soma has trained over 100 undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians from diverse backgrounds. His trainees have gone on to successful careers in academia, medicine, law, business, government, engineering, and the biotech/pharmaceutical industry.

At the core of Dr. Soma’s mentorship philosophy is the belief that helping his trainees improve their critical thinking and technical skills will position them for long-term success. Other tenets of his philosophy include fostering creativity, communication skills, and integrity. He encourages his trainees to be independent and take ownership of their research and careers.

“I’m thrilled to receive this award, the recognition of my colleagues, and most importantly, the appreciation of my mentees! Simply being nominated for the Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring by past and present trainees is a “win” in my mind. I'm grateful to work with amazing trainees, and it is a joy for me to facilitate their personal and professional growth.”
Professor, UBC Psychology & Member, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health

Dr. Soma’s students describe him as “the best of the best,” a mentor who tailors his approach to each of his students, adjusting his style to their individual needs. He is a passionate advocate for diversity and equity in science, who carefully considers issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion in science and is intent on building a respectful and collaborative environment for all those around him. Dr. Soma is consistently described as possessing the ability to hold high standards for the trainees around him, in a way that fosters growth, education and the desire to meet and exceed his expectations. He shows the utmost compassion for his students and postdocs and gives much of his time to aid their personal development. His kindness, encouragement, scientific integrity, and passion for science have had a lasting, positive influence on the personal and professional development of many students, postdocs and colleagues.

About the Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring

The Killam Awards for Excellence in Mentoring recognize outstanding mentorship of numerous graduate students over many years. Recipients show outstanding ability to foster the intellectual, professional, and personal development of graduate students, as well as activities that go beyond excellent research supervision, including personal development and service to the scholarly community.