Announcing the 2019 Awardees of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies


In 2019, twenty-six scholars are joining the growing cohort of fellows and grant recipients in The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies. The program, now in its sixth year and administered by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), will award over $1.5 million to scholars worldwide at all career stages, from PhD candidates to senior faculty. Congratulations to all awardees!

Eleven Dissertation Fellows studying at institutions in the United Kingdom and the United States, will devote ten months to archival research, fieldwork, and writing.

Three Postdoctoral Fellows with recently-completed PhDs from Japan and the United States, will spend two years in residence at universities in the United Kingdom and the United States. Fellows have the opportunity to teach at their host universities while revising their dissertations into books or starting their first major projects after the PhD.

Seven Research Fellows at institutions in North America and Europe will receive support for up to nine months’ release from teaching to concentrate full time on research and writing.

Five Grants for Critical Editions and Scholarly Translations will support three individual projects and two collaborative teams. Based in Asia and Europe, this cohort of grantees will produce work of crucial importance to the study of Buddhism and contribute to the wider appreciation of material that remains untranslated into modern languages. 

There were no New Professorship grants awarded this year.  

“This year’s selection committee faced the very difficult task of selecting only twenty-six scholars from a cohort of exciting proposals,” commented Andrzej W. Tymowski, director of international programs at ACLS. “The projects funded in 2019 travel across new lands, texts, and topics of Buddhism, enriching not only the field of Buddhist Studies, but many other humanistic disciplines.”  

Established in 2005, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organisation based in Hong Kong. Key to the Foundation’s mission is to increase the understanding and impact of Buddhist values and insights globally, and to deepen intercultural awareness through the arts.

To help build a global field of academic research, teaching and exchange, the Foundation supports a series of Buddhist studies grants administered by the American Council of Learned Societies. As well, the Foundation has endowed resources in Buddhist studies at Stanford University, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and The Courtauld Institute of Art. It also supports the Buddhist Digital Resource Centre, a Chinese Buddhism lecture series at SOAS University of London, and the Buddhist Ministry Initiative at Harvard Divinity School.

Seeking to broaden the understanding of Buddhist art, the Foundation helped establish the Galleries of Buddhist Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum and supports exhibitions including recently, Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia exhibition at the Sackler Gallery (2017-2020) and Understanding Buddhism Through Art, a three-year education programme designed by Museum Rietberg.