Khyentse Foundation Buddhist Studies PhD scholarship

Edinburgh Buddhist Studies network, University of Edinburgh, Khyentse Foundation PhD scholarship in Buddhist Studies.





The scholarship is to the value of 25,000 USD per year, for a maximum of four years, for PhD study beginning in either September 2020 or January 2021.

Application deadline: 14 June 2020, 22:00 GMT.

Funded by the Khyentse Foundation. 

Why study here?

Edinburgh Buddhist Studies is a growing research community.  The successful applicant will have at least two supervisors, and these can be from different schools. Language training is available in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Sanskrit and Pāli supervision is also available on an ad hoc basis. 

PhD students in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences have access to world-class library facilities, student research funds for archive/fieldwork/conference trips, and extensive skills training. You would have the chance to audit taught courses at undergraduate and masters level where these would enhance your research, or to participate in PhD-level reading groups. Research students are encouraged to participate in our rich array of events and activities, including works-in-progress workshops and round-table discussions with visiting scholars.


The scholarship is to the value of 25,000 USD per year, for a maximum of four years, subject to satisfactory progress reports each year. The money can be used towards fees and/or living costs as the student chooses.


In order to qualify for the scholarship competition, applicants must receive an offer of place to study for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, for a project in the field of Buddhist Studies.

Applicants for a PhD should have at least a 2:1 honours degree with a mark of at least 65% in a relevant subject, and typically a specialist masters degree with a high level of attainment (at least 67% in both coursework and dissertation), or their international equivalents. You should also have academic training in the area of your research project.

Applications for the scholarship will be assessed by the steering committee of the Edinburgh Buddhist Studies network, according to three main criteria:

  • the qualities of the applicant (qualifications/experience; preparedness for the proposed study)
  • the qualities of the research project (coherence, originality, significance)
  • the extent to which the project fits the expertise of the supervisors available and the research environment in Edinburgh.


To apply for this scholarship:

Step 1: Take a look at the research profiles of the following staff to see which one(s) most closely match your interests. Contact the appropriate person (your potential supervisor) by email to discuss your proposed topic.

  • Dr Naomi Appleton: Senior Lecturer in Asian Religions, School of Divinity
  • Dr Ian Astley: Senior Lecturer in Japanese, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
  • Professor Joachim Gentz: Chair of Chinese Philosophy and Religion, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
  • Dr Halle O’Neal: Reader in History of Art, Edinburgh College of Art
  • Professor Jonathan Spencer: Regius Professor of South Asian Language, Culture and Society, School of Social and Political Science.

Step 2: Apply for a PhD* at the University of Edinburgh in the relevant area: Religious Studies, Japanese Studies, Chinese Studies, Social Anthropology, History of Art or South Asian Studies. Your proposed supervisor can advise you as to which programme is most suitable for your project. You should apply as soon as you are able, but at least two weeks before the scholarship deadline (ie. end of May 2020).

Step 3: Download the Buddhist Studies scholarship form below, complete it and email it to by the scholarship deadine: 14 June 2020, 22:00 GMT. You do not need to wait for official acceptance of your PhD application before submitting the scholarship form.


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*If you have already made a PhD application to the University of Edinburgh, just follow Step 3: download the form, and send it to by  14 June 2020, 22:00 GMT.

Further information

If you have any questions about the scholarship, please address them to your proposed supervisor, or to


Edinburgh Buddhist Studies network

Khyentse Foundation