The 2017 Fellows of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies Start Their Research, Teaching, and Writing


In 2017, 24 scholars and two universities are joining the growing cohort of fellows and grant recipients in The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies. The program, now in its fourth year and administered by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), will award $2 million to scholars at all career stages, from PhD candidates to senior faculty. In line with the program’s international character, grants are being made in North America, Asia, Europe, and Eurasia. Congratulations to all awardees!

Twelve Dissertation Fellows from Canada, France, the Netherlands, and the United States will devote 10 months to archival research, fieldwork, and writing.

Four Postdoctoral Fellows from Germany, Korea, Russia, and the United States will spend two years in residence at universities in Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 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.

Six Research Fellows will receive support for 10 months’ release from teaching to concentrate full time on research and writing.

The Collaborative Fellowship awarded this year will fund collaboration between two scholars from France and Germany for a project that requires the expertise of both a social anthropologist and a philologist/historian of religion.

Two New Professorships will be supported at universities in Paris and Irvine, California. Seed funding over four years will establish two tenure-track professorships in Buddhist studies.

“We look forward to engaging with our 2017 cohort and learning about Buddhism and privatisation, Buddhist voluntarism, and underground Buddhism, to mention but a few of this year’s topics,” noted Andrzej W. Tymowski, director of international programs at ACLS. Dr. Tymowski added, “Our fellows have a rich toolbox of methodologies, languages, and disciplinary approaches that enhance both the academic and public reach of their themes and projects.”

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies is committed to supporting our fellows’ research and writing and also assisting them in the dissemination of their work and expert knowledge. In this spirit, the program will sponsor a public roundtable, “Bridging Divides in Buddhist Studies,” during the XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS) at the University of Toronto. The roundtable will take place at the Royal Ontario Museum on August 21, 2017. More information will soon be available on the ACLS website.

The 2017-18 competitions will open in July 2017. Information is available at

Contact: Andrzej Tymowski, 212-697-1505 x145

The American Council of Learned Societies, a private, nonprofit federation of 75 national scholarly organizations, is the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences. Advancing scholarship by awarding fellowships and strengthening relations among learned societies is central to ACLS’s work. This year, ACLS will award more than $20 million to over 300 scholars across a variety of humanistic disciplines.

Established in 2005, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organisation based in Hong Kong. The Foundation’s dual mission is to foster appreciation of Chinese arts and culture to advance global learning and to cultivate deeper understanding of Buddhism in the context of contemporary life.

The Foundation’s Buddhist studies and Buddhist art programmes include the Buddhist Ministry Initiative at Harvard Divinity School; a centre and an endowed professorship in Buddhist studies at Stanford University; a centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto; an endowed chair and programme in Buddhism and Contemporary Society at the University of British Columbia; a multi-year lecture series at SOAS University of London; the Centre for Buddhist art and conservation and MA programme at The Courtauld Institute of Art; the Galleries of Buddhist Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum; a three-year exhibition Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia opening in the Sackler Gallery in Washington in October 2017 and other exhibitions of Buddhist art around the world.