The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Buddhist Studies

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

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships provide two years of funding to recent recipients of the PhD for residence at a university for the purpose of revising the dissertation into a publishable manuscript or for beginning the first new project after completion of the PhD degree.

This program is made possible by a generous grant from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 

Valeriya Gazizova
Valeriya Gazizova  |  Abstract
The project investigates the underground Buddhist activity in Kalmykia between the late 1950s and late 1980s, the period when Buddhism was strictly forbidden there by the Soviet state. Through a study of archival materials, newspapers and periodicals, and interviews, the research involves documenting the lives and religious activities of Kalmyk Buddhist monks who survived the repression and around whom unofficial centres of Buddhist practice were formed during this period, while also exploring their continued role in the post-Soviet restoration of Kalmyk Buddhist institutes and revival of Kalmyk ethnic and religious identity. This study expands our knowledge about lineages of Kalmyk Buddhists and consequently about the present situation of Buddhism in Kalmykia.

Independent Scholar  -  'Clandestine Buddhism' in Soviet Kalmykia (1958 to 1988) and Its Role in the Post-Soviet Buddhist Revival
the Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge

Oren Hanner
Oren Hanner  |  Abstract
The notion of collective moral responsibility refers to the accountability of groups for actions performed by their members. Western philosophers, however, disagree on the sense in which collectives can be regarded as moral agents and consequently, as bearers of moral responsibility. The present research seeks to shed light on the problem from an Indian Buddhist perspective, by investigating relevant philosophical ideas in the thought of Vasubandhu. The study explores his treatment of ideas such as collectivity, intentionality and responsibility, in his Abhidharma works (Abhidharmakośabhāṣya, Karmasiddhiprakaraṇa, Pañcaskandhaka), Yogācāra works (Viṃśikā, Triṃśikā) and their commentaries, while comparing them to Western accounts, and applies the new principles to current ethical issues.

Junior Fellow, Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies, Universität Hamburg, Germany  -  Collective Moral Responsibility in the Thought of Vasubandhu: Philosophical, Comparative and Applied Issues
the Center for Buddhist Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Hyoung Seok Ham
Hyoung Seok Ham  |  Abstract
This project will reconstruct Indian Buddhists’ conflicts with Vedic Brahmins until the sixth century. It will focus on the contents of Bhaviveka’s (500-570 CE) chapter on Mimamsa in his Madhyamakahrdayakarika and, its auto-commentary, Tarkajvala. The main topic of this text is the theory and practice of karma, or human action and its consequence. Debates on the principle of karma and karmic efficacy of religious practices such as bathing, fasting, and vegetarianism will be historically reconstructed. It will illuminate not only the essential nature of Buddhist-Brahmin contestation, but also examine the finer details of the Buddhist notion of karma based on extant textual evidence.

Affiliated Scholar, Korea University  -  Buddhist Confrontation with the Veda: A Historical Analysis of Bhaviveka’s Mimamsa Chapter of the Madhyamakahrdayakarika and Tarkajvala
the Department of Philosophy, Kyushu University, Japan

Joseph Anthony Marino
Joseph Anthony Marino  |  Abstract
Over the past twenty years, scholars have laid the groundwork of Gandharan Buddhist Studies by establishing an effective model for the analysis of newly discovered Gandhari manuscripts. This now allows for secondary level research to take the field into new territory. My project combines a critical and comparative study of an unpublished Gandhari manuscript with a study of the pedagogical function of metaphor in early Buddhist literature, thereby contributing to our knowledge of Gandharan Buddhism and the Gandhari language while at the same time expanding the scope of the field. I intend to publish the philological study as a volume in the Gandharan Buddhist Texts Series, and the study of metaphor and pedagogy as an article in a religious studies journal.

Doctoral Candidate, Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington  -  Imagining the Dharma: Metaphor as Pedagogy in Two Gandhari Sutras of the Robert Senior Collection
the Asian Studies/Religion Program, Cornell University