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

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies offers an articulated set of fellowship and grant competitions 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 Collaborative Research Grants support interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary work encouraging international and multilingual projects. It welcomes projects that relate different Buddhist traditions to each other or that relate scholarship on the broad Buddhist tradition to contemporary concerns in other academic fields.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.

Read more about this program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

  • A Study of Sera Monastery  |  Abstract

    Sera Monastery was one of Tibet's premier monastic educational institutions and the second largest monastery in the world. Its program of studies was known throughout Asia, attracting students from as far away as Mongolia and Japan. Sera also produced some of the most important saints, scholars, and political leaders in Tibetan history. This project will result in a book-length study of the monastery—the first of its kind in a Western language—in the form of a two part monograph on Sera. Part One of this book introduces Buddhist monasticism, its development in India and Tibet, and Sera's programs of study and ritual. Part Two is a narrative history of the Sera monastery from its founding up to the present, both in Tibet and in the Indian diaspora.

    Jose Ignacio Cabezon
    Jose Ignacio Cabezon

    Professor, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Penpa Dorjee
    Penpa Dorjee

    Assistant Professor, Restoration Department, Central University of Tibetan Studies

  • A Study of Sera Monastery  |  Abstract

    Sera Monastery was one of Tibet's premier monastic educational institutions and the second largest monastery in the world. Its program of studies was known throughout Asia, attracting students from as far away as Mongolia and Japan. Sera also produced some of the most important saints, scholars, and political leaders in Tibetan history. We propose to write a book-length study of the monastery—the first of its kind in a Western language. The book is divided into two parts. Part One is organized thematically: introducing Buddhist monasticism, its development in India and Tibet, and Sera's programs of study and ritual. Part Two is a narrative history of the Sera monastery from its founding up to the present, both in Tibet and in the Indian diaspora.

    Jose Ignacio Cabezon
    Jose Ignacio Cabezon

    Professor, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Penpa Dorjee
    Penpa Dorjee

    Assistant Professor, Restoration Department, Central University of Tibetan Studies

  • From Vijayapuri to Sriksetra? The Beginnings of Buddhist Exchange across the Bay of Bengal as Witnessed by Inscriptions from Andhra Pradesh and Myanmar  |  Abstract

    The project will investigate the beginnings of Buddhist exchange across the Bay of Bengal based on the inscriptions of Vijayapuri (modern Nagarjunakonda) in India and Sriksetra (near modern Pyay) in Myanmar. Combining the expertise of five leading scholars from Europe and the United States, it will produce a state-of-the-art digital publication of these documents, and a volume of articles dealing with early Buddhist networks and the spread of Indian culture to Southeast Asia. Crossing the academic divide between South and Southeast Asia, it will make a key contribution to the decipherment of the Pyu language, address the challenge that early Buddhism in Myanmar poses to the notion of a "Sanskrit cosmopolis," and refine current models of the diffusion of Buddhism across Asia.

    Arlo Griffiths
    Arlo Griffiths

    Professor, Southeast Asian History, Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient

    Stefan Baums
    Stefan Baums

    Lead Researcher, Buddhist Manuscripts from Gandhāra, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities

    Ingo Strauch
    Ingo Strauch

    Professor, South Asian Studies, Université de Lausanne

    Vincent Tournier
    Vincent Tournier

    Lecturer, Study of Religions, SOAS, University of London

    Julian Karl Wheatley
    Julian Karl Wheatley

    Independent Scholar

  • From Vijayapuri to Sriksetra? The Beginnings of Buddhist Exchange across the Bay of Bengal as Witnessed by Inscriptions from Andhra Pradesh and Myanmar  |  Abstract

    The project will investigate the beginnings of Buddhist exchange across the Bay of Bengal based on the inscriptions of Vijayapuri (modern Nagarjunakonda) in India and Sriksetra (near modern Pyay) in Myanmar. Combining the expertise of five leading scholars from Europe and the United States, it will produce a state-of-the-art digital publication of these documents, and a volume of articles dealing with early Buddhist networks and the spread of Indian culture to Southeast Asia. Crossing the academic divide between South and Southeast Asia, it will make a key contribution to the decipherment of the Pyu language, address the challenge that early Buddhism in Myanmar poses to the notion of a ‘Sanskrit cosmopolis’, and refine current models of the diffusion of Buddhism across Asia.

    Arlo Griffiths
    Arlo Griffiths

    Professor, Southeast Asian History, Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient

    Stefan Baums
    Stefan Baums

    Lead Researcher, Buddhist Manuscripts from Gandhāra, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities

    Ingo Strauch
    Ingo Strauch

    Professor, South Asian Studies, Université de Lausanne

    Vincent Tournier
    Vincent Tournier

    Lecturer, Study of Religions, SOAS, University of London

    Julian Karl Wheatley
    Julian Karl Wheatley

    Independent Scholar

  • The Life of the Buddha at Jonang Monastery in Tibet: Art, Literature, and Institution  |  Abstract

    The Life of the Buddha (LOTB) presents and analyses in a synthetic fashion the first complete photographic documentation of the monumental murals depicting the Buddha narrative at Jonang Monastery in Tibet, their related literature, and their architectural and historical contexts. LOTB will offer scholarly and learning communities the first collaborative means to research and engage image, text, architecture, and history as an integrated and meaning-rich whole by focusing on the most important pre-modern mural renderings of the Buddha’s life remaining in Tibet. The impact for the humanities will be twofold: the largest project to date on visual and textual Buddha narratives in Tibet, and a new digital tool for synthetic teaching and research of Buddhist images and texts in context.

    Andrew Quintman
    Andrew Quintman

    Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University

    Kurtis R. Schaeffer
    Kurtis R. Schaeffer

    Professor, Religious Studies, University of Virginia

  • The Life of the Buddha at Jonang Monastery in Tibet: Art, Literature, and Institution  |  Abstract

    The Life of the Buddha (LOTB) presents and analyses in a synthetic fashion the first complete photographic documentation of the monumental murals depicting the Buddha narrative at Jonang Monastery in Tibet, their related literature, and their architectural and historical contexts. LOTB will offer scholarly and learning communities the first collaborative means to research and engage image, text, architecture, and history as an integrated and meaning-rich whole by focusing on the most important pre-modern mural renderings of the Buddha’s life remaining in Tibet. The impact for the humanities will be twofold: the largest project to date on visual and textual Buddha narratives in Tibet, and a new digital tool for synthetic teaching and research of Buddhist images and texts in context.

    Andrew Quintman
    Andrew Quintman

    Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Yale University

    Kurtis R. Schaeffer
    Kurtis R. Schaeffer

    Professor, Religious Studies, University of Virginia

  • The Transmission and Influence of a Buddhist Story in Vietnam: A Case Study of The Precious Scroll of Incense Mountain  |  Abstract

    This project includes detailed analysis, English translation, and publication of the earliest available recension of the Chinese text of Precious Scroll of Incense Mountain (Xiangshan baojuan), the unique woodblock that survived in Vietnam, as well as the study of its impact on Vietnamese literature, especially the folk oral tradition. This text deals with the Buddhist story of Princess Miaoshan, retold in vernacular language, and has particular significance for the female audiences in China and Vietnam. Numerous Vietnamese versions of this story exist, and our purpose is to demonstrate the adaptation and domestication of this story in Vietnam, as well as its significance in the context of the cults of female deities in the countries of Eastern Asia.

    Rostislav Berezkin
    Rostislav Berezkin

    Associate Professor, National Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Fudan University

    Lan To Nguyen
    Lan To Nguyen

    Researcher, Institute of Sino - Nom Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences