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The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies

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The online fellowship and grant administration (OFA) system is now open for applications.

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announces the fifth year of an initiative supporting research and teaching in Buddhist studies, funded by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. In cooperation with the Foundation, ACLS offers an integrated set of fellowship and grant competitions supporting work that will expand the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society, strengthen international networks of Buddhist studies, and increase the visibility of innovative currents in those studies.

The Foundation offers five competitions to support research and teaching.

The Collaborative Fellowships offered in prior competitions are no longer available in the same form. The new competition, Grants for Critical Editions and Translations, supports collaboration focused on the preparation of texts.

These are global competitions. There are no restrictions as to the location of work proposed, or the citizenship/residence of applicants. The final products of research supported may be in any language.

Although the final products of research can be in any language, all applications must be submitted in English.

Applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system (ofa.acls.org).


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies

Fellowship Details

  • Stipend of $30,000.
  • Tenure: 10 consecutive months, initiated by September 30, 2018, devoted full time to the dissertation. No other employment is permitted during the fellowship period.
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 15, 2017.


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies provide one-year stipends to PhD candidates for full time preparation of dissertations.  The fellowship period may be used for fieldwork, archival research, analysis of findings, or for writing after research is complete. 

Eligibility

  • Pursuit of the PhD degree at an accredited university.
  • Completion by April 15, 2018 of all requirements for the PhD degree except research and writing of the dissertation (the equivalent of ABD in the US system). A successful applicant, before being named a Fellow, must provide confirmation of ABD status (this must come from a university official). 
  • The application must be written in English by the applicant.
  • There are no restrictions as to the location of work proposed, or the citizenship/residence of applicants.

Selection Criteria

  • Significance of the topic and its potential contribution to Buddhist studies.
  • Coherence and cogency of presentation.
  • Feasibility of the plan of work.
  • Potential of the applicant for an academic career in Buddhist studies.

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The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Buddhist Studies

Fellowship Details

  • Annual stipend of $55,000 (In addition, if required, a relocation and health-insurance allowance of $6,000).
  • Tenure: Fellowship period must begin between July 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019, and must last for two academic years, subject to the regulations of the host institution.
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 15, 2017.
  • No university overhead is permitted.


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Buddhist Studies provide two years of funding to recent recipients of the PhD for residence at a university for the purpose of revising the dissertation into a publishable manuscript or for beginning the first new project after completion of the PhD degree.  The teaching of one course per year is encouraged.  Priority is given to residence at universities or colleges providing a collegial atmosphere and working conditions enabling the postdoctoral Fellow’s entry into an academic career in Buddhist studies. 

Eligibility 

  • Applicants must have the PhD officially conferred by an accredited university no earlier than January 1, 2014.
  • The PhD degree must be completed by April 15, 2018 (including defense/deposit and revisions) and conferred by May 31, 2018. (If the date of completion or conferral is after the application deadline, the application must include an institutional statement attesting that all requirements for the PhD will be fulfilled by the dates specified. A successful applicant, before being named a Fellow, must submit proof that the PhD was completed by April 15, 2018 and conferred by May 31, 2018 (this must come from a university official). 
  • A scholarly product must be proposed, to be written in any language. Translations, collections, or databases are not eligible without an accompanying scholarly apparatus.
  • The application must be written in English by the applicant.
  • There are no restrictions as to residence or citizenship, or as to location of research.
  • The fellowship-in-residence may be proposed at any university or college EXCEPT at the institution granting the applicant’s PhD or the institution of current employment. The proposed host university must submit via the online reference system a letter confirming willingness to host the applicant for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship-in residence.

Selection Criteria

  • Significance of the topic and its potential contribution to Buddhist studies.
  • Coherence and cogency of presentation.
  • Feasibility of the plan of work.
  • Record of the applicant’s previous accomplishments.
  • Compatibility of the applicant with the proposed university. (The application must include a sample course outline.) 

Note to Potential Host Institutions

The applicant must request a letter of support from the host institution at which he or she plans to spend the two-year fellowship period. This letter must be submitted by the host institution via the online application reference system.

The fellowship provides an annual stipend for the Fellow and will cover health insurance, if not provided by the institution. Questions concerning financial details may be addressed to BuddhistStudies@acls.org.

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The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies

Research fellowships offer support for research and writing in Buddhist studies for scholars who hold a PhD degree, with no restrictions on time from the PhD.

These fellowships provide scholars time free from teaching and other responsibilities to devote full-time to research and writing on the project proposed. The fellowship period may last up to nine months, during which time no teaching, commissioned research on other topics, or administrative duties are allowed. The fellowship may be separated into two periods, each of which must be a minimum of three months. If the entire duration is less than a total of nine months (minimum of six months), the stipend will be prorated.

There are no restrictions as to the location of the work conducted. Applicants must identify a significant scholarly product (monograph, series of journal articles, etc.) that will result from the fellowship. They will be asked for a final report at the end of the fellowship tenure describing progress made, and will be asked to report on the products resulting from it when they are published.

By accepting a stipend, the Fellow must stipulate that she/he has been officially released from teaching, commissioned research, or other employment during the entire fellowship period.

A Research Fellowship may be held concurrently with other fellowships and grants and any sabbatical pay, but the total received cannot exceed 125% of the Fellow’s academic annual salary. There is no additional financial support for dependents.

Tenure of the fellowship may begin no earlier than July 1, 2018 and must conclude by June 30, 2020.

Fellowship Details

  • Stipend: up to $70,000, to provide release from other duties for devoting full time to the proposed project. The exact stipend will be calculated based on the Fellows’ current academic salary and other fellowships, grants, sabbatical salary to be received during fellowship tenure. A nine-month stipend may not exceed 125% of the annual academic salary.
  • Tenure: Fellowship period must begin after July 1, 2018, and must end by June 30, 2020. The tenure may last up to nine months and may be divided into two periods, each of which must be a minimum of three months.
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 15, 2017.
  • No university overhead is permitted.


Eligibility

  • Applicants must have a PhD degree conferred by an accredited university. (An established scholar who can demonstrate the equivalent of the PhD in publications and professional experience may also qualify.)
  • The PhD degree must be completed by November 15, 2017 (including defense and revisions) and be conferred by May 31, 2018. (If the date of conferral is after the application deadline, the application must include an institutional statement attesting that all requirements for the PhD have been fulfilled. A successful applicant will be asked to submit proof of conferral before being named a Fellow.)
  • A scholarly product must be proposed that may be written in any language. 
  • The application must be written in English by the applicant.
  • There are no restrictions as to residence or citizenship, or as to location of research.

Selection Criteria

  • Significance of the topic and its potential contribution to Buddhist studies.
  • Coherence and cogency of presentation.
  • Feasibility of the plan of work.
  • Record of the applicant’s previous accomplishments.

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The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Grants for Critical Editions and Scholarly Translations

Grant Details

  • Grant amount: Up to $80,000 for twelve months
  • No university overhead is permitted.
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 15, 2017. 

Critical editions are of crucial importance to the expanding field of Buddhist studies. Translation has been at the core of Buddhism since the Buddha’s instruction to his monks to teach the dharma in many languages. 

These grants support a broad range of endeavor, from the creation of critical editions (with full scholarly apparatus), to translation of canonical texts into modern vernaculars, to the translation of scholarly works on Buddhism from one modern language into another.

Collaborative projects will receive priority. Ideally, they will involve scholars who are native speakers of the relevant source and target languages, and/or scholars experienced in research and study in those languages. 

Award funds can be used as stipends for work performed (e.g., to secure release time), for travel, and for related office costs, including reproduction or digitization of images, according to a proposed budget.

There are no restrictions as to the language of the final product prepared for publication.

Pending confirmation of funding, ACLS anticipates offering publication subventions to recipients of these grants who complete manuscripts. The subventions will be available through a separate competition to be announced at a later time.


Eligibility

  • Individual applicants and leaders of collaborative teams must have PhD degrees conferred by an accredited university. (An established scholar who can demonstrate the equivalent of the PhD in publications and professional experience may also qualify.)
  • The application must be written in English by the applicant.
  • There are no restrictions as to residence or citizenship of applicants, or as to location of work.

Selection Criteria

  • Significance of the text to be edited or translated
  • The potential contribution to Buddhist studies of the critical edition and/or translation, especially the potential benefit to scholarly communities using the target language
  • Feasibility of the plan of work and the budget proposed
  • Record of applicants’ accomplishment in scholarship and editing/translation

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The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation New Professorships in Buddhist Studies

Grant Details

  • Institutions of higher education worldwide are eligible to apply for grants up to $300,000 (to be expended over four years) in support of new teaching positions in Buddhist studies
  • Award funds should be used only for the new professor’s salary, benefits, and research expenses, not for indirect or administrative costs, or office expenses.
  • In addition, applicant institutions are eligible to request funds for costs related to a competitive search for the proposed position. The request must not exceed the $300,000 maximum.
  • A letter must be attached to the application from the institution’s president, vice-chancellor, rector, provost, or dean expressing the institution’s commitment to maintain the seeded position as a permanent, tenure-track post after the expiration of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation funding. At institutions without a tenure-track system, the applicant must commit to continuing the position for a substantial period after the expiration of grant funding and must provide a description of how this commitment fits its contractual practices.
  • The heart of the application is a statement outlining the proposed position—its responsibilities, departmental location, its rank, the fit with the institution’s mission and curricular plans, and the qualifications sought in potential appointees. The statement should describe the process of identifying the appointee.

Eligibility

  • Institutions of higher education worldwide--accredited colleges and universities--are eligible to apply.
  • The application must be written in English.
  • This is a global competition. There are no requirements regarding the location of the institution or the language(s) of instruction.
  • Applications must include a multi-year plan for matching at least 1/3 of Foundation funding over the grant period, but the matching ratio need not be the same each year. (Please see a sample schedule for sequenced funding that meets the matching requirement here.)

Selection Criteria

  • The institution’s commitment to establishing a tenure-track position in Buddhist Studies. At institutions without a tenure-track system, the applicant must commit to continuing the position for a substantial period after the expiration of grant funding and must provide a description of how this commitment fits its contractual practices.
  • Coherence and cogency of presentation.
  • Feasibility of the proposed budget and plan of establishing the new position.
  • The institution’s record in teaching and research.

Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS online fellowship and grant administration system (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, January 10, 2018.

Questions should be directed to BuddhistStudies@acls.orgPlease read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) before making inquiries.

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Related Links

Online Fellowship Application

Connect with the Program in Buddhist Studies on Facebook

2017 Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellows

2017 Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellows

2017 Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collaborative Research Fellows

2017  Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies

2017  Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation New Professorships in Buddhist Studies

"Buddhist Studies Today" Symposia

Buddhist studies are present in many academic disciplines and specializations.  Some of the fields engaged in the study of Buddhist traditions as well as contemporary developments are history, philosophy, archaeology, art history, anthropology, philology, and studies of religion.

For the purpose of this competition, Buddhist studies are defined broadly. It is incumbent on the applicant to state the relation of the proposed project to scholarship and to provide a rationale for the disciplinary approach to be employed.