The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is proud to announce the 2021 awardees of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies. Twenty-five scholars and one university join eight previous cohorts of awardees in a robust international network in Buddhist studies supported by the Foundation and administered by ACLS.

The Program assists scholars at all career stages, from PhD candidates to senior faculty. Fellows will conduct research on Buddhist traditions in China, India, Korea, Myanmar, Taiwan, Tibet, and Thailand.

Congratulations to all awardees!

  • One New Professorship will be established at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Seed funding over four years will create a tenure-track professorship in Buddhist studies, strengthening the curriculum of the Department of Religion at Simpson College. The award for a new professor follows the program’s new professorships at universities in France, Hungary, Mexico, and the United States.
  • Thirteen Dissertation Fellows at institutions in the United States, Canada, and Europe will devote ten months to archival research, fieldwork, and writing. Their topics range from Buddhist preaching culture in medieval China, to the gendered politics of spiritual authority in Thai Buddhism, to Myanmar Buddhist nuns’ educational practices and rituals in training.
  • Two Postdoctoral Fellows who recently completed PhDs in Poland and the United States will be in residence at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and at the University of California, Berkeley. The 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.
  • Five Research Fellows at institutions across North America will receive funding for up to nine months for research and writing. Their topics range from healing talismans in Korean Buddhism, to a history of Uighur Buddhism, to the place of liberation in Yogacara Buddhist thought.
  • Five Grants for Critical Editions and Scholarly Translations have been awarded to four individual projects and one collaborative team. Each will produce work of crucial importance to the study of Buddhism and to its wider appreciation by translating texts such as a commentary to the scripture on the Skandhas, Dhatus, and Ayatanas.

“ACLS applauds the range of topics and the depth of their insight into Buddhist traditions across the centuries and around the world,” noted ACLS President Joy Connolly. “In these exigent times, it is inspiring to see young scholars be offered a range of opportunities, including residential postdoctoral awards and a new faculty position.”

In May 2021, ACLS was awarded a $6.3 million grant extension by the Foundation to continue the groundbreaking work of the Program in Buddhist Studies. In addition, this latest round of funding will enable ACLS to systematically reach out to Asian scholars, universities, and monastic institutions as part of efforts to increase and diversify applicant pools to better reflect the communities of scholars of Buddhism worldwide, as well as establish a Buddhist Studies Public Scholars initiative to place emerging scholars in professional positions at museums and publications.

The 2021-22 competitions will open in August 2021. Contact [email protected] for more information.