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 deadline for the following programs is 9PM Eastern Time on November 15, 2021:

  • The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies
  • The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Early Career Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies
  • The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Translation Grants in Buddhist Studies


The deadline for the following programs is 9PM Eastern Time on January 11, 2022:

  • The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation New Professorships in Buddhist Studies
  • The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars

Scholars from Asian universities and monastic institutions are especially encouraged to apply.

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announces the ninth 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 Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies, administered by ACLS, is committed to inclusion, equity, and diversity as integral components of merit that enhance the scholarly enterprise. It is a priority of this program that cohorts of Fellows and grantees be broadly inclusive of different backgrounds, cultures, and any aspects that make one unique. In Buddhist studies we seek balance in regard to citizenship and university affiliation, as well as in languages, topics, Buddhist traditions, and locations of research.

The Foundation offers five competitions to support teaching and basic research in the humanities and related social sciences.

These are global competitions. There are no restrictions as to the location of work proposed or the citizenship/residence of applicants. Although applications must be written in English, the final written products may be in any language.

Applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship and Grant Administration (OFA) System (ofa.acls.org). Questions should be directed to BuddhistStudies@acls.org Please read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) before making inquiries.

Please note that Collaborative Fellowships in Buddhist Studies, Visiting Professorships in Buddhist Studies, and Postdoctoral Fellowships in Buddhist Studies are no longer offered.

 

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

Fellowship Details

  • Stipend: $30,000
  • Tenure: 10 consecutive months, initiated by September 30, 2022, 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 (OFA) System (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9PM Eastern Time, November 15, 2021.

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies provide stipends to PhD candidates for full time preparation of dissertations. The ten-month 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, 2022 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 or equivalent 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.
  • Work proposed must be in the humanities or related social sciences.

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 a career that will make full use of Buddhist studies expertise

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

Early Career Research Fellowships offer support for research and writing in Buddhist studies for pre-tenure scholars who hold the PhD degree, with priority given to those teaching full time. 

These fellowships provide scholars time free from teaching and other responsibilities to concentrate on research and writing for the project proposed.  Priority will be given to unemployed or underemployed scholars; emeriti are not eligible. 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 duration is less than nine months (minimum of six months), the stipend will be prorated.

There are no restrictions as to the location of the work conducted. Each applicant must identify a significant scholarly product (monograph, series of journal articles, etc.) that will result from the fellowship. At the end of the fellowship tenure, a final report will be due describing progress made. Fellows will be asked to report to ACLS any publications based on their fellowship work, when they are published.

When accepting a stipend, the Fellow must confirm being officially released from teaching, commissioned research, administrative duties, or other employment during the entire fellowship period.

An Early Career Research Fellowship may be held concurrently with other fellowships or grants and with 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, 2022 and must conclude by June 30, 2024.

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, 2022, and must end by June 30, 2024. The tenure may last up to nine months (minimum: 6 months) and may be divided into two periods, each of which must be a minimum of three months.
  • Applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship and Grant Administration (OFA) System (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9PM Eastern Time, November 15, 2021.
  • 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 16, 2021 (including defense and revisions) and be conferred by May 31, 2022. (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.)
  • An applicant must hold a PhD degree conferred no earlier than January 1, 2013. 
  • Applicants who have obtained tenure, or whose tenure review will be complete before May 31, 2022, are not eligible. 
  • A scholarly product must be proposed; it may be written in any language. 
  • 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
  • Record of the applicant’s previous accomplishments

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The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Translation Grants in Buddhist Studies

Grant Details

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 are welcome.

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

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

ACLS offers publication subventions to recipients of these grants who complete manuscripts. Subventions will be considered by the selection committee that meets following completion. They will be awarded on the quality of the written product. To be considered for a subvention, manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter and a budget.
If you have a completed manuscript, based on your work during the grant period, please email us at BuddhistStudies@acls.org

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 the location of work proposed or the citizenship/residence of applicants.

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
  • The proposed position must be a new position, not a replacement for a retirement or for an otherwise vacated position in the same or very similar field.
  • The establishment of the position must contribute significantly to the institution. This has been taken to mean establishing a curriculum in Buddhist Studies where none has existed or where such a curriculum was in clear and urgent need of support.
  • 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's funding, consistent with the university's policies on tenure-track positions. At institutions without a tenure-track system, the applicant institution 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.
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship and Grant Administration (OFA) System (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9PM Eastern Time, January 11, 2022.

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 strength of 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
 

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The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Buddhism Public Scholars

Award Details

  • Stipend: $70,000 plus health insurance
  • [$60,000 paid through institution's payroll system; $10,000 allowance for relocation and professional development paid by ACLS directly to the scholar]
  • Tenure: 12 months beginning in September 2022
  • Completed applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship and Grant Administration (OFA) System (ofa.acls.org) no later than 9PM Eastern Time, January 11, 2022.

On behalf of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies announces a new initiative to place recent recipients of the PhD in professional positions at museums and publications that present and study the traditions of Buddhism. The selected Buddhism Public Scholars will use their academic knowledge and professional expertise to bolster the capacity of museums and publications in the area of Buddhist art and thought in all traditions and locations in which Buddhism is practiced. 

Buddhism Public Scholars

  • Take on substantive, intellectually meaningful responsibilities at cultural institutions
  • ​Receive annual stipends of $60,000, health insurance, and an allowance of $10,000 for relocation and professional development 
  • Begin one-year positions in September 2022 

Host Institutions

  • Benefit from the scholar’s knowledge and professional capacities, including cultural competencies, and strong skills in writing, project management, and problem-solving.
  • ​Guide the scholar’s contributions to ongoing projects or to the design of new ones 
  • Provide oversight and access to requisite resources 
  • Encourage and enable networking and mentorship  

We expect the Buddhism Public Scholars initiative to nurture mutually beneficial partnerships between scholars and hosts that will help disseminate knowledge of Buddhist traditions to broad publics.

Each applicant may apply for up to two of the available positions listed below, indicating which is the first preference.   

Eligibility

  • Applicants must have a PhD formally conferred after January 1, 2018. 
  • ​An applicant without a PhD in hand must have the Graduate School certify by April 15, 2022 that the degree will be confirmed before the commencement of the fellowship according to the university calendar.  
  • Applicants' PhDs may be in any field in the humanities or humanistic social sciences
  • Applicants must be authorized to work in the US for the entire duration of the position. Neither ACLS nor the host institution can sponsor scholars for visas. 

Application Requirements

Applications must be submitted online and must include:
  • A completed application form, including a short statement of interest in applying Buddhist knowledge at the institution chosen.  Applications for two positions require separate statements of interest, each targeted to a specific position. 
  • ​A cover letter tailored to each selected position and addressed to the host institution (1-2 pages). Applicants applying for two positions will submit two distinct cover letters.  
  • A résumé (1-2 pages). 
  • Two letters of recommendation are required for each position selected, which should address the applicant’s knowledge of Buddhist traditions, professional competencies, and the fit with the position selected. 

Review Process and Selection Criteria

Selection and placement will take place in three stages. The first round of evaluation is a peer review conducted by the Selection Committee of the Program in Buddhist Studies, which evaluates the five competitions of the Program, including Buddhism Public Scholars. Finalists emerging from this round will be interviewed by the host institution.  In the third stage, ACLS will match the preferences of the hosts with the preferences of the applicants and present nominees for positions to the hosts.

First-round reviewers will evaluate applications based on:
  • ​Knowledge of Buddhist traditions and disciplinary competence 
  • Demonstrated ability to connect academic and non-academic skills and capacities to the responsibilities of the applicant’s selected position(s) 
  • Applicant's academic and extra-academic accomplishments 
  • The capacity of an award to advance The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation’s interest in presenting and interpreting Buddhist knowledge, traditions, and cultures to broad publics. 

Participating Host Institutions

The PDFs of the job descriptions and information on the hosts are available below.

The Detroit Institute of Arts 

The Minneapolis Institute of Art 

The National Museum of Asian Art at the Smithsonian Institution 

Tricycle: The Buddhist Review 

Wisdom Publications 

Applications for these positions are accepted solely through the Buddhism Public Scholars program. Only complete applications, submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system (ofa.acls.org) by January 11, 2022, will be considered. Please do not contact any of the host organizations with questions. 

 

Questions on any of the five competitions should be directed to BuddhistStudies@acls.org. Please read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) before making inquiries.