ANNOUNCEMENT: The NEW Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation/ACLS Program in Buddhist Studies

June 1st, 2013

Offered in partnership with the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the grants reflect the Foundation’s belief in Buddhism’s relevance to contemporary issues.

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation/ACLS Program in Buddhist Studies, a new initiative supporting research and teaching in Buddhist studies funded by a $1.9 million grant from the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. Working with the Foundation, ACLS will offer 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. ACLS will organize competitions for Dissertation Fellowships, Postdoctoral Fellowships, Collaborative Research Grants, and Visiting Professorships.

These are global competitions. There are no restrictions as to the location of work proposed or the citizenship of applicants.

“We are honored to partner with the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation,” said ACLS President Pauline Yu. “The humanities study how people create and convey meaning; the study of religions is thus one of the core concerns of the humanities. This new initiative will help bring Buddhist studies to the center of academic inquiry worldwide.”

“We are committing substantial resources to strengthening the teaching and study of Buddhism in modern society, supporting outstanding scholars and institutions worldwide. This is an important step towards realizing my family’s vision of developing a Buddhist Learning Network to further the study of Buddhist philosophy and broaden its impact in the twenty-first century,” said Robert Y.C. Ho, chairman of the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation.

Dissertation Fellowships assist advanced graduate students at a critical point in their academic careers, helping them accelerate progress to the degree and prevent attrition in later stages of doctoral study. This one-year fellowship will allow Ph.D. candidates to devote full time to preparing dissertations.  The fellowship period may be used for fieldwork, archival research, analysis of findings, or for writing after research is complete.

Postdoctoral Fellowships enable scholars early in their careers to establish scholarly credentials and strengthen their research records. This is especially valuable in emerging fields, where those just starting out often break new ground. These two-year fellowships provide funding that will allow recent recipients of the Ph.D. to revise the dissertation into a publishable manuscript or to begin the first new project after completion of the Ph.D. degree.

Collaborative research grants foster interdisciplinary scholarship at a time when more and more contemporary issues cannot be adequately addressed by a single discipline. Recently, scholars across the university have shown a growing interest in the intellectual wealth of Buddhist studies and a desire to work with Buddhist studies specialists.

These grants will support work that may be interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary.  International and multilingual projects are encouraged.  Especially welcome are projects that relate several traditions in Buddhist studies to each other or that relate scholarship on the broad Buddhist tradition to contemporary concerns in other academic fields.

Visiting professorships in Buddhist studies enable universities without programs in the field to explore the contributions it could make to their institutions.  Institutions with existing programs of Buddhist Studies may strengthen their curricula and research capacity.  Institutions without such programs may accept a visiting professor as a means of exploring the contribution this field could make to the institution’s portfolio.  These grants will allow universities and colleges to host accomplished scholar-teachers in Buddhist Studies as visiting professors for one semester or one academic year.

Application guidelines and more information are available at

Please send all inquiries to