Centre of Buddhist Studies


The Centre of Buddhist Studies’ key mission is to be a catalyst for learning, research and outreach on Buddhism in Asian societies and globally, past and present. 

The SOAS Centre of Buddhist Studies (CBS) is a hub of distinguished Buddhist scholarship that generates synergy among academics and research students, from SOAS and beyond, involved in the study of Buddhism in Asian societies. It is composed of 17 permanent members of staff and emeriti, as well as a pool of associate and graduate student members from SOAS and other UK institutions.

This not only brings energy and new ideas, it also enables new audiences to appreciate and understand some of the cutting-edge research currently carried out on Buddhism.

Grants Available to SOAS Students of Buddhism

The scholarships and prizes listed below are not limited to students of Buddhism at SOAS, but they fall within the category of grants for which all students of Buddhism at SOAS can apply and compete for along with students studying other disciplines and religions.

SOAS offers several scholarships and prizes, and administers certain grants sponsored by other external bodies. A number of scholarships is also provided by the University of London, the British Government, and other scholarship agencies.

SOAS Scholarships

Postgraduate additional awards for fieldwork. Approximately twenty five awards are offered to provide some financial support to SOAS-registered postgraduate students to conduct MPhil/PhD fieldwork abroad. These awards do not cover conference attendance and are not offered more than once during an MPhil/PhD studentship. Normally these awards do not cover more than the price of a budget return airfare.

Research Student Fellowship. Some nine student fellowships are offered for postgraduate research to students registered full-time for a research degree. The value of this fellowship is the remittance of tuition fees at UK/EU rates and annual bursary of approximately £9,350. For students paying the overseas tuition fee, the remaining tuition fees payable are deducted from the bursary award. However, Overseas fee payers are recommended to apply for an ORS award, which meets the difference between the higher and lower fees.

Bursaries. Approximately eight Bursaries are offered to students who propose to register full-time for Taught Masters courses at the School. The current value of the Bursaries is just over seven thousand per annum; the Bursary does not carry remission of tuition fees. Candidates must possess a good honours degree from a UK university or equivalent qualification, although not necessarily in a branch of Oriental or African studies.

Further details on these Scholarships can be found on the Scholarship pages.

SOAS prizes

Taught Masters Prizes. Four Prizes are awarded to those finalists who, in the opinion of the Scholarships Committee, have most distinguished themselves in all elements of the examination for the Taught Masters degree. The Prize takes the form of a cheque.

Frederick Richter Memorial Prizes. There are three Frederick Richter Memo-rial Prizes: two undergraduate prizes and one postgraduate prize. This prize is awarded for the most meritorious work done by a university student during the year in the field of Oriental art, literature or music. The prize takes the form of a cheque.

SOAS-administered scholarships

Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORS). These awards are available to students intending to commence a full-time research degree, and to students who are in their first year of full-time research degree study at the School. These awards are available only to students who are liable to pay tuition fees at the rate for international students.

Awards of the University of London

The British Government Scholarships

Felix Scholarship

Felix scholarship is offered to students registered for a Masters or research (MPhil/PhD) degree. It is available only to Indian citizens under age of 30, who have at least a first class honours degree from an India university. Students with degrees from universities outside India do not qualify.

Khyentse Foundation Award for Academic Excellence in Buddhist Studies

The Khyentse Foundation, as part of its continued support of the study and academic research on Buddhism, has partnered with the SOAS Centre of Buddhist Studies to award an outstanding dissertation on the subject, written by a SOAS Postgraduate student. Once a year, outstanding MA dissertations, MPhil/PhD chapters, or research articles can be nominated by SOAS staff members. Upon examination of the writing sample by the Centre of Buddhist Studies' managing committee, the winner will be awarded a prize of £1100.

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

For PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows for research on a wide range of topics relating to Buddhism. The Foundation offers five global competitions to support research and teaching. There are no restrictions as to the location of work proposed, or the citizenship/residence of applicants. The final products of research supported may be in any language. Although the final products of research can be in any language, all applications must be submitted in English.

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