The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to name the 2024 awardees of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies. The program promotes the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society, strengthens international networks of Buddhist scholars, and increases the visibility of new knowledge and research on Buddhist traditions. 

This year’s fellows and grantees include one institution and 32 scholars located in thirteen countries across Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. Their projects focus on a wide variety of languages, historical periods, and locations of research, reflecting the diversity of Buddhist traditions around the world.

  • Four Buddhism Public Scholars will be placed in one- to two-year professional positions with 84000 (Fremont, CA), the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL), the National Museum of Asian Art at the Smithsonian (Washington, DC), and the Tricycle Foundation (New York, NY). These recent PhDs will use their academic knowledge and professional experience to increase the capacity of their host organizations in areas of Buddhist art and thought.
  • Eleven Dissertation Fellows at universities in Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States have been awarded up to $30,000 each for dissertation fieldwork, archival research, and writing. The fellows’ research focuses on subjects including the decline of Buddhism in medieval India, Indigeneity and assimilation within Buddhist communities in Bangladesh, and the institutionalization of Buddhist monastics in Myanmar.
  • Six Early Career Research Fellows at institutions in France, Germany, India, Italy, and the United States will receive up to $70,000 each to advance promising research and writing projects on topics such as how bilingual texts shaped the intellectual history of Theravada societies in early modern southeast Asia, commemorative stele and “Buddhist public space” in southwest China, and the role of secrecy in premodern rural Soto Zen temples in Japan.
  • Seven Translation Grants of up to $50,000 have been awarded to individuals and collaborative groups for translations of important texts that will expand understanding of Buddhist philosophy, ritual, and doctrine. Grantees will translate works—including The Meaning of the Two Truths by Jizang and the Laghutantra-tika by Vajrapani—into Bengali, English, Italian, and Russian, making them more accessible to communities of Buddhist practice across the globe.
  • A New Professorship Grant will allow the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to establish a new tenure-track position in Buddhist Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. The new professorship will enhance both undergraduate and graduate programs, with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and the incorporation of Buddhist Studies into the broader curriculum.

“ACLS applauds these outstanding fellows and grantees, who will expand understanding of Buddhist traditions both inside and outside the academy, through research, writing, translations, a new teaching position, and professional placements at celebrated museums and publications,” said Deena Ragavan, ACLS Director of International Programs. “This eleventh cohort of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies represents a wide range of nationalities, institutions, and Buddhist traditions, echoing our commitment to better reflect and engage scholars and communities of Buddhism worldwide.”

The Program in Buddhist Studies is made possible by a $6.3 million grant extension to ACLS from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global to advance research and scholarship in the field through fellowships and grants, nurture networks through annual symposia for early career fellows, and increase and diversify applicant pools across the globe. 

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