The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has been awarded a $7.5 million grant from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global to continue its Program in Buddhist Studies. The new grant will support three years of fellowship and grant competitions, as well as a new publication series, collaborative public-facing projects, and an ACLS Program Officer in Buddhist Studies.

Established in 2014, The Robert. H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies 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. The program includes fellowships and grants that support research, writing, translation, teaching, and public positions in Buddhist Studies.

The new grant will extend the program through 2027 and support new initiatives to nurture the next generation of scholars and enhance public knowledge of Buddhism. ACLS will launch a new publication series in Buddhist Studies for books written by early-career awardees in partnership with a university press. Additionally, program alumni will participate in a series of convenings and collaborative writing projects to review and publicly document the work of awardees who are engaging with Buddhist communities of practice and public audiences. The grant funds a new Program Officer in Buddhist Studies on staff at ACLS to support these initiatives.

Continuing the program’s commitment to building stronger relationships with scholars working in universities and monastic institutions in Asia, the Program in Buddhist Studies will strengthen its alumni network through mentorship activities and virtual workshops for graduate students and early-career researchers in Asia. The Translation Grants in Buddhist Studies will also be revised in light of advances in AI and machine translation.

“Over the past decade, the Program in Buddhist Studies has shifted to meet the needs of the field of Buddhist Studies—prioritizing funding for junior and independent scholars, expanding the reach of Buddhist knowledge to the public through the Buddhism Public Scholars Program, and fostering greater links to institutions and scholars in Asia,” said Deena Ragavan, ACLS Director of International Programs. “ACLS is thrilled to continue this successful partnership with The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global, amplifying and expanding these efforts through a robust program of fellowships, grants, and public-facing initiatives.”

“The Foundation looks forward to continuing this groundbreaking Program in Buddhist Studies with ACLS,” said Phillip Henderson, CEO of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Global. “The program has built a thriving global community of Buddhist studies scholars and scholarship, and its new initiatives will continue to expand understanding of Buddhist traditions and values to a broad public.”

The next round of fellowship and grant competitions for the program will be announced in summer 2024.

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