Call for Applications: Intensive Program in Buddhism

Call for Applications: An International and Intensive Program on Buddhism at Cambridge

August 20-September 10, 2018; Cambridge, United Kingdom

The Glorisun Global Network of Buddhist Studies at UBC, with the assistance from its partner at Cambridge and the Research Center for Buddhist Texts and Arts at Peking University, cordially invites applications for an intensive program on Buddhist Studies. Lasting for three weeks from August 20 to September 10, 2018, this program is composed of two segments: Segment 1 from August 20 to August 29 and Segment 2 from September 1 to September 10, which are connected by an intersegmental conference (detailed below).

The backbone of this program consists of six seminars delivered by six faculty members from six of the Glorisun partner universities. Each seminar combines close reading of primary sources (non-Chinese primary sources may be accompanied by English translations), lectures on the implications of these sources, and guided presentations from participating students on their research, which could be their term papers, or thesis chapters. The six instructors for this year’s intensive program include, alphabetically:

  1. Jinhua Chen (UBC): What Was Moved (and Removed) from Stone to Paper?: Close Reading of Monastic Biographies with their Epigraphical Originals (Segment 1);
  2. Michael Friedrich (Hamburg): Mādhyamika and Daoism in Early Medieval China (Segment 1);
  3. Imre Galambos (Cambridge): Stories and Manuscripts between East and West (Segment 2);
  4. Leonard van ter Kuijp (Harvard): The Transfer of Buddhism from India to Tibet and Its Transformation (Segment 2);
  5. Stefano Zacchetti (Oxford): Early Chinese Buddhist Translations and Commentaries (Segment 2);
  6. Ru Zhan (PekingU): Buddhist Cave Arts: From Ayutthaya to Dunhuang (Segment 1).

The intersegmental conference (scheduled for August 30-31, 2018) for this year’s intensive program will be on manuscript culture that will bring together around 25 top scholars from all over the world who will delve into different aspects of manuscript cultures of different Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions in Asia. Student participants are encouraged to attend and, shall they get relevant papers, present at the conference. Details of the conference are available here.

The program also supports a series of occasional lectures, to be delivered by 6-7 top scholars, both based in Europe and coming from East Asia and North America. In addition to participating in these seminars, lectures and the intersegmental conference, student participants will conduct several field trips in Cambridge and neighboring areas, to gain firsthand experience of famed religious sites. They are also encouraged to present their research papers to their program instructors, lecturers, and their peer participants. Outstanding students will be selected and invited to carry out short-term (6-12 months long) research at UBC and UBC’s partner universities in East Asia, Europe and North America that are linked together through a large SSHRC-sponsored international and interdisciplinary project on Buddhism and East Asian Religions ( This may further bring them the opportunity of pursuing doctoral degrees or doing postdoctoral research at these top universities.

Participants are required to take part in all of the activities supported by the program, including the lecture series, the conference, students’ forum and field trips. Senior undergraduate students and graduate students specializing in any Buddhist tradition(s), and postdoctoral fellows working on relevant fields, are encouraged to apply. Please direct applications and inquiries to Please submit applications before April 25, 2018. Each application should include (1) an application form (to be provided upon request via the above email address), (2) updated curriculum vitae, (3) one writing sample, and (4) a reference letter (to be emailed by the referee directly to the above email address). Priority will be given to those applicants who are able to participate in both segments, although applications may also be considered from applicants who can only take part in one segment due to compelling reasons.

To guarantee sufficient interaction of student participants with instructors and between student participants themselves, student enrollment is limited to 30. In addition to being exempted from all tuition and administration fees, a successful candidate may receive a subsidy ranging from US$1,000-1,500 (depending on his or her individual needs and the distance s/he has to travel for the program) that will help defray program-related expenses, including lodging, meals, and transportation.

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