The Glorisun Network partners offer partial and full fellowships for Masters and Ph.D. students. Recipients of these fellowships will have the opportunity to participate in a multi-year international and interdisciplinary project, sponsored by SSHRC and led by Jinhua Chen (titled: From the Ground Up: East Asian Religions through Multi-Media Sources and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 2016–2023). The fellowships offer opportunities to participate in research visits to East Asia, and to interact with international scholars and students to develop skills in working with local partners and international peers. Recipients may also receive training on how to identify, document, photograph and transcribe primary source materials. Students will learn to work in diverse multicultural, international, and interdisciplinary environments.

Hamburg University



Ph.D. Fellowship 2019-2022 With a B.A. in Law, Yu Gao has been trained both in Anthropology at East China Normal University (M.A. 2015), and Chinese Studies at Chinese University of Hong Kong (M.Phil 2017). From 2012 to 2015, she explored the interrelations among the state, the temple, and the followers in a Buddhist temple in Hangzhou. From 2015 to 2017, she focused on popular religions in local society in late imperial China with a historical anthropology approach. Thanks to the Glorisun Fellowship, she could continue to explore her interest in Chinese religions with the Ph.D. project, studying the China branch of the transnational Buddhist monastery Foguangshan via the historical and anthropological approaches at Hamburg University. During the last two years, after several field visits to the cities in the Yangtze River Delta, now she is back in Hamburg to work on the final dissertation.

LIU Chen

Ph.D. Fellowship 2021-2022 Liu Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in Sinology at the University of Hamburg. She obtained her M.A. from Tianjin University of Commerce and her B.A. from Hebei University. Her research area includes the study of Dunhuang and Heishuicheng manuscripts, the language and culture of Buddhist scriptures, Buddhist rituals and rituals in Sanskrit and Chinese Buddhist scriptures. Currently, her Ph.D. dissertation uses textual and literary techniques to look into Bodhisattva Ring and the Song monk Zhijian’s Westward Journey.


Ph.D. Fellowship 2019-2020 Léo Messerschmid will be finalizing his Ph.D. thesis’ draft (working title “The Tradition of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism in Its Reception in Medieval Japan. A Study of the Keiran shuyôshû and its Chinese Antecedents”). In 2017 he participated in FROGBEAR research cluster in Japan which included field trip to temples, museums, and libraries in the Kyôto area. The trip afforded him the opportunity to access materials he works with first-hand and in their extant manuscript editions.

Franz VEIT

M.A. Fellowship 2018-2019 After transitioning from South Asian Studies at the University of Heidelberg to Buddhist Studies at Hamburg University, Franz aims to further expand his proficiency in Pali, Sanskrit and Japanese. He is spending the winter term of 2018/2019 at the renowned International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies, Tokyo. He is interested in contemporary, modern and ancient hermeneutical practices across various traditions on questions of ethics and politics, since the dramatic global transformations of societies and their polities in the last two centuries also pose major questions for the exegesis of Buddhist teachings. How should we make sense of “universal monarchs”, royal metaphors and a history of close relations between rulers and Buddhist institutions in post-monarchical worlds? Was Buddhist political praxis and philosophy merely ad hoc and opportunistic or may there be even a consistent attitude in the rājanīti-genre from which one would have to extrapolate towards modern political affiliations? But maybe we find ourselves in a tetralemma between history and philosophy, kings and citizens, as well as between the lovers of wisdom and those of power.


M.A. Fellowship 2018-2019 Ms. Liu Qi is enrolled as MA student of Buddhist Studies. For her thesis she uses methods from cultural anthropology and religious studies in order to analyze contemporary practices of sky burial in the Autonomous Region of Tibet and adjacent regions. She currently visits with Professor James Laidlaw, holder of the William Wyse Professorship of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University, with the goal of developing methodologies appropriate to her research. She received a one-year scholarship that helps defray her living expenses in Hamburg and Cambridge.


University of British Columbia

Jeremy JAMES

M.A. Fellowship 2022-23 Jeremy James is an M.A. candidate in Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and a graduate of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at East China Normal University in Shanghai. His research interests include various aspects of traditional Chinese culture, namely literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Prior to enrolling at the University of British Columbia, he spent several months living with a monastic community at a Chinese Buddhist temple in Canada to learn about their way of life.

Xian’ao SHI

Ph.D. Fellowship 2021-23 Xian’ao received her MA in Buddhist Studies from the University of Hong Kong and SOAS, University of London. Currently she is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Asian Studies, UBC. Her research interest includes the history of Chinese Buddhism, Humanistic Buddhism, and topics on Buddhism and modern society. She is now working on her dissertation project on Chinese Buddhist women in the early twentieth century.
Mylinda SUN Ph.D. Fellowship 2021-2023 Mingli Sun is a Ph.D. student at The University of British Columbia. Her research area is Buddhist material culture in Medieval China with a focus on the Western Pure Land images in Sichuan from the Tang and Five Dynasties, on which topic she has a dozen of publications as journal articles and book chapters. The major ones include (1) ‘An Analysis of the transformation tableaux of the Sutra of Visualizing Amitayus Buddha as Carved on the Cliffs in Sichuan Area from the Tang and Five Dynasties’ (from the Study on the Grotto Arts 石窟藝術研究, 2016); (2) ‘An Analysis on Factors of Light Circles and Treasure Ships of Transformation Tableaux of the Sutra of Visualizing Amitayus Buddha in Sichuan Area from the Tang and Five Dynasties’ (Palace Museum Journal 故宮博物院院刊, 2017); (3) ‘An Analysis of the transformation tableaux of the Sutra of Visualizing Amitayus Buddha of Stone-carved in Dazu’ (A Full Collection of the Stone Carvings in Dazu 大足石刻全集, 2018); (4) ‘An Analysis of the images of treasure birds in the transformation tableaux of the Western Pure Land Sutras in Sichuan from the Tang and Five Dynasties’ (Journal of Putuo Studies 普陀學刊, 2020); and (5) ‘A Textual Examination on the Image of Amitābha with Fifty Bodhisattvas’ (Journal of Dazu Studies 大足學刊, 2020).

Weiyu LIN

M.A. Fellowship 2018-2020. I transitioned from my undergraduate studies of Spanish and French literature to now studying Buddhism. In this new field, I retain my inclination to stay close to the text and language. I have started my studies of Tibetan and Japanese, hoping that one day I could traverse across Buddhist scriptures and scholarship with minimum language barrier. As for the classical Chinese, I am putting myself through intensive translation exercises, using primarily Fazang’s philosophical treatises that bear on the practice of panjiao (doctrinal classification). Through translation and annotation, I wish to refine my sensitivity to Buddhist language and to make my foray into studying the intellectual history of medieval Chinese Buddhism.


University of California, Berkeley

Howard MU


M.A. Fellowship 2019-2021 Howard Mu completed his M.A. in the Group in Asian Studies at University of California, Berkeley in 2021. During the two years of his M.A. program, he studied Sanskrit and Japanese, and completed several research projects on medieval Chinese Buddhist intellectual history. His research topics included the 4th-century Madhyamaka thinker Sengzhao, the 6th-century Dilun commentator Jingying Huiyuan, and the 6th-century Madhyamaka commentator Jizang. His M.A. thesis, titled “Buddha Nature as the Middle Way—Jizang’s Madhyamaka Interpretation of Buddha Nature,” analyzed Jizang’s understanding of the doctrine of Buddha Nature based on the Nirvāṇa Sūtra as well as his response to various doctrinal controversies on Buddha Nature in his time from a Madhyamaka standpoint
Zhoulun XIE

M.A. Fellowship 2019-2021 With the generous support of the funding, Zhuolun Xie completed an M.A. thesis entitled Rethinking Soushan tu: The Painting of the Search in the Mountains from the Collection of the Berkeley Art Museum and Beyond during her time at Berkeley. In 2021, Zhoulun became a Ph.D. student studying premodern Chinese art in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Her recent research interests include paintings of religious themes from the tenth to the seventeenth centuries, especially their consumption and circulation. She also has an interest in Buddhist visual and material culture in Dunhuang. Zhuolun received her M.A. in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley and her B.A. in Art History from Boston College.


Ph.D. Fellowship 2018-2019, 2021 Max Brandstadt is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He works on the history of Sui and Tang Buddhism, particularly the Three Levels Movement, as well as the relationship between religious and political forms of authority.


 Ph.D. Fellowship 2018-2020 Meghan Howard holds a B.A. in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies from Harvard University (2004). Her work as a Tibetan translator and interpreter led her to Songtsen Library in Dehradun, India, where she spent four years working on a translation project involving Dunhuang materials related to the history of Tibet’s imperial period (7th to 9th centuries). Her research interests center on cultural and religious exchanges between Tibet and neighboring peoples from the imperial period through the fourteenth century. She is currently writing a dissertation on Facheng 法成/Chödrup (Chos grub, d. c. 860), an influential Buddhist monk and translator of Buddhist scriptures from Chinese to Tibetan and vice versa.

Fedde de VRIES

Ph.D. Fellowship 2018-2019 Fedde de Vries holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Leiden University, the Netherlands, (2012) and an M.A. in Asian Studies from University of California, Berkeley (2015). After obtaining his M.A. he spent a year at Dharma Realm Buddhist University, Ukiah, California, as resident translator. His primary research interest is the thought of the prolific Huayan author Chengguan. Fedde endeavors to put this research in the context of the history of Buddhist thought and, where possible, modern philosophy.


University of Cambridge 


Ph.D. Fellowship 2022

Ilay Golan is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge University. During his studies for B.A. and M.A. degrees in Tel Aviv University he studied Mandarin and Classical Chinese, Chinese literature, and history of religions in China. His field of work is Chinese popular religion, folk religious practice, and the study of the Chinese and Buddhist Pantheons of deities. For his thesis, Ilay studied a group of maritime deities once popular along the coasts of southeastern China, called The Water Immortal Venerable Kings (Shuixian Zunwang 水仙尊王). He is currently working on a dissertation about Chinese maritime religion during the late-imperial period, tracing the origins of sailors’ beliefs in marine-protector deities such as Guanyin.

Mia MA

Ph.D. Fellowship 2020-2021 Mia Ye Ma received her B.A. in Art History from University of St-Andrews (2016) and M.A. degree in Art and Archaeology in East Asia from SOAS, University of London (2018). She also did internships at British Museum and National Museum of China. She is currently a PhD student in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern studies, University of Cambridge. In the faculty, she gives lectures of Buddhist Art for the undergraduate course “Chinese Art and Material Culture”. Her current research focuses on a corpus of Goryeo Water-moon Avalokiteśvara Paintings, which globally number around 45 pieces and had mistakenly been attributed to Chinese professional painters of the Mingzhou workshop.

Ven. Phra Kiattisak PONAMPON

 Ph.D. Fellowship 2020-2021 Phra Kiattisak Ponampon (釋智譽) is currently a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. He received an MA from the Department of Religions and Philosophies, SOAS, University of London. His research concentrates on Buddhist meditative techniques and visionary experience in the Foshuo guanfo sanmei hai jing. He is currently working on an early Dunhuang manuscript of this scripture.

Junfu WONG

Ph.D. Fellowship 2020-2021 Junfu Wong is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. He received his MA degree from the Department of Religions and Philosophies, SOAS, University of London. His research seeks to explore the religious rituals and beliefs of lay people during the fifth and sixth centuries by analyzing epigraphical texts inscribed on stone stelae. He is also interested in the cultural interaction of China with its neighbors along the Silk Road. Another topic he works on is the interplay between Buddhism and Taoism during the Northern and Southern Dynasties.

University of Oxford


Qingniao LI


Ph.D. Fellowship 2019-2022 The title of her research project is “Sattabuddhānāṃ Pūjārtham: The Worship of the Seven Buddhas and the Historical Transmission of the Pāli Mahāpadāna-sutta and its Textual Parallels in Sanskrit and Chinese”. The heart of this research will be a philological and comparative study between the Pāli Mahāvadāna-sutta, the Sanskrit Mahāvadāna-sūtra manuscripts from Central Asia, and the textual parallels of this MAP/MAV family preserved in the Chinese Āgamas. As her research deals with various recensions of the MAP/MAV, a close comparative philological study of all the available textual sources will help to uncover the historical transmission of this sutta/sūtra family. While comparing different textual parallel, she will undertake a thorough investigation of the MAV manuscripts and analyse their distinctive features. In addition, she also works on the English translations of MAP and MAV, and their textual parallel in the Chinese Dīrgha-āgama. Furthermore, this research will take into account the archaeological findings concerning the Seven Buddhas in India, Southeast and East Asian Buddhist areas.

HUỲNH Quốc Tuấn (Ven. Thick Nhuan Tu)


Ph.D. Fellowship 2019-2022, Glorisun-Zacchetti Fellowship recipient for 2021-2022 Ven. Tuan is the first recipient of the Glorisun-Zacchetti Fellowhip, which honours the late Dr. Stefano Zachetti who was a well-respected scholar and part of the Glorisun network since its inception in 2017 until Dr. Zachetti’s untimely death in 2020. Venerable Tuan is in his second year of his doctorate, with working title “An Early Prajñāpāramitā Commentarial Tradition: A Study of the exegetical features of the Da zhidu lun (*Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa).” This study approaches the Da zhidu lun as a commentary on the Larger Prajñāpāramitā with a focus on its commentarial features and methods.It adopts both a macroscopic approach (which aims at sketching an overall picture of the interpretive program of the Da zhidu lun) and a microscopic approach (which aims at analysing in detail this program based on the three case studies). This study also intends to situate the Da zhidu lun in a larger picture of the Indian Mahāyāna exegetical tradition. His educational background has solely been focused on Buddhist Studies: B.A. in Buddhist Studies (MCU, Thailand), Master of Buddhist Studies (HKU, Hong Kong), M.A. in Buddhist Studies (SOAS, London), and M.Phil. in Buddhist Studies (Oxford).


Ph.D. Fellowship 2021-2022 Jacob Fisher started his doctoral research in October 2021. His tentative thesis title is “Nectar, water, or blood? Indo-Tibetan perspectives on perception across realms, and conventional and ultimate pramāṇas”. Before coming to Oxford, Jacob completed the Master’s Programme in Buddhist Studies of Sutra and Tantra, a seven year traditionally orientated study programme based on the Tibetan Geshe degree, at Instituto Lama Tsongkhapa Italy. After completing the program, he spent another five years teaching it to the monks at Nalanda Monastery France, upon the request of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. At the conclusion of that period, he completed a one-year Master’s degree at the University of Oxford, graduating with a distinction and winning the Yeshe Khandro Prize for the best thesis in the study of Tibetan Buddhism. Jacob’s doctoral research focusses on Indian and Tibetan Buddhist epistemology. His research specifically focuses on how Indian śāstra literature and their Tibetan commentaries resolve the question of relativism and valid conventional knowledge within the context of an illusory world. The study revolves around a classical example found across south Asian dialectical traditions: that of a river and the vastly distinct perception of it by hungry ghosts, animals, humans, and gods. He hopes this research will shed new light on Buddhist solutions to the central philosophical question of relativism, in both its ontological and epistemological dimensions

Nelson Elliott LANDRY

 Ph.D. Fellowship 2018-2019

Nelson completed his B.A. at McGill University in World Religions. He then moved to China for four years, where he did foundational language courses and an M.A. in Buddhist Studies at Peking University in Mandarin. He is presently in his third year of doctoral studies at the University of Oxford and is in final stages of writing up with funding from the Quebec government ((FRQSC) based in Montreal). His doctoral project looks at the figure of Daoxuan 道宣 and his role in Buddhist Chinese social history. At Oxford, Nelson was supervised by Stefano until his untimely death and Barend ter Haar (now at Hamburg University), who is now joined by John Kieschnick (Stanford University). Nelson’s external examiner will be Max Deeg (Cardiff University). Following his doctorate, Nelson plans to apply for postdocs to continue working on East Asian Buddhism. His thesis title is: “Miracles in Medieval Chinese Buddhism: An analysis of Daoxuan’s Ji shenzhou sanbao gantong lu 集神州三寶感通錄 (Collected Record of Miracles Relating to the Three Jewels in China)”. A brief abstract of his project follows:

Daoxuan (596-667CE), was an influential religious and political figure in early Tang dynasty (618– 907) Buddhism. He is best known for his exegetical work in the monastic codes (Skt. Vinaya; Ch. lü 律), composing seminal commentaries on Dharmaguptaka (Ch. Fazang bu 法藏部) Vinaya texts. Daoxuan did not however only work with the monastic codes. He was also a dedicated Buddhist apologist, a scrupulous cataloguer, and a prolific compiler of hagiographies as well as Buddhist miracle tales. The scholarly literature on Daoxuan often aims to explain his influence on the monastic codes and practice in China, often cutting across those recorded miraculous events in his life that might have influenced him. What can we say of his own experience of religious life in China, or of his own religiosity? Later in his life Daoxuan had many experiences of the miraculous and this doctoral thesis explores the influence such experiences had on Daoxuan. How did they inform Daoxuan’s views, especially regarding scriptures and canonicity? How did the medieval Chinese cultural context affect Daoxuan’s opinions and writing? This thesis answers these questions through close analysis of Daoxuan’s Ji shenzhou sanbao gantong lu 集神州三寶 感通錄 as well as other related texts.

He has completed two full chapters. The first is the introduction to his completed thesis. The second is the penultimate chapter and covers Daoxuan’s relation to religious objects.

Princeton University


M.A. Fellowship 2020-2022 Echo joined the program in the Asian Religions subfield in 2020. Her research interests center on disability, body, medicine, and healing in medieval Chinese Buddhism. She is particularly interested in the disciplinary nature of Buddhist images and the interactions between images and practitioners in the realm of dream. She is also interested in the dialogue between religion and science fiction. Prior to coming to Princeton, Echo received her B.A. in Comparative Literature at Georgetown University and her M.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.


Hebrew University of Jerusalem


M.A. Fellowship 2022 Shani Goldfrad is an M.A. student in the India-Indonesia program of the Asian Studies department, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is interested in exploring the concepts of speech and sound in South Asian religions, particularly in a performative context. Her current research focuses on speech, body, and performance in early Buddhist thought. In her M.A. dissertation, she follows the expression of esoteric beliefs around speech and sound in classical South Indian music. In addition, Shani is a performing violinist, practicing various traditional musical styles. Through her music, she seeks to maintain active engagement with the ideas and theories that she pursues in her research.

TAN Yingxian

Ph.D. Fellowship 2021-2022 Tan Yingxian is currently a Ph.D. student in the department of Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI). Her first M.A. thesis (HKU, 2016) focuses on the doctrinal differences between what is known as Chinese syncretic Chan and Japanese pure Zen. Her second M.A. thesis (HUJI, 2019) reappraises the economic rationale behind Northern Zhou’s persecution of Buddhism. Now she is working on the State-Saṃgha relation in late sixth and early seventh century China. Her Ph.D. dissertation deals with this subject from a double perspective: that of the state’s religious policy on the one hand and that of the Buddhist response on the other. Her participation in Frogbear/Glorisun programs in both 2019 and 2020 enabled her to broaden the perspective of her research, as did her role as the reporter on the Glorisun’s 2021 “From Jetavana to Jerusalem” conference. In mid-December of 2021 she held a photograph exhibition on Buddhism in modern China for the first time at HUJI, with special focus on monumental monasteries versus village hermitages.