We believe that formal education is one of the most important avenues for the pursuit, exploration, and delivery of Buddha’s wisdom. Therefore Khyentse Foundation is dedicated to the development and enrichment of Buddhist Studies programs at universities and institutions around the world. In the interest of preserving the traditional system of rigorous Buddhist scholarship, we seek out and support programs that emphasize the critical thinking and analytical skills that are essential to Buddhist academic methodology.

In an era when the study of humanities is threatened, our academic initiative provides endowments and extensive funding for faculty positions, Buddhist Studies centers, and Buddhist lecture series. We also offer support for graduate students and awards for outstanding scholarship.

I feel that with this one contribution we’ve started the equivalent of one hundred monasteries.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on establishing the Khyentse Chair of Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley

Strategic Approach

When Buddhist ideology began to migrate from East to West in the 1900s, much of it arrived informally and haphazardly, often not accurately reflecting the sophistication, complexity, rigor, and richness of the curricula at centers of learning in the East. The foundation’s academic initiative focuses on finding and clearing bottlenecks in Buddhist Studies programs at universities and institutions worldwide and helping to fill in the gaps of programs that are in development. Once these opportunities are identified, we partner with institutions to strengthen Buddhist Studies programs by providing funding in areas such as long-term faculty positions, endowed chairs, visiting professorships, language programs, and student support services.

To bridge the gap between western academia and Tibetan scholars, KF is sponsoring the Academic Research Program Initiative (ARPI) in collaboration with the University of Hamburg to foster research activities in Himalayan Buddhist monastic seminaries.

Source Languages

Because many Buddhist Studies programs require in-depth study of Buddhist texts in their original language, institutions need to offer courses in languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, and classical Tibetan and Chinese. Teachers for these classes are difficult to find, and universities feel that they are hard to justify financially. We work with those institutions to ensure that scholars receive the instruction and support they need.

Graduate Support, Awards, and Prizes

Valuing all levels of formal Buddhist study, we offer a number of scholarships, grants, awards, and prizes as incentive and thanks for the work our recipients are doing or hope to do. From Buddhist Studies Scholarships, to prizes and awards for completed work, to the Khyentse Fellowship, we hope that our financial support provides the motivation for continued exploration and dedication to the preservation and promotion of Buddha’s wisdom.


On and Off Campus

Whether or not they are formally enrolled in Buddhist Studies programs, we look for ways to bring like-minded students together through Buddhist activities on campus. For those who are not on campus but are interested in Buddhist academia, we offer the Goodman Lectures, an online monthly lecture series delivered by leading scholars in the field of Buddhist Studies from our partner institutions in Asia, Europe, and North America.