Tsadra Foundation Advanced Buddhist Studies Scholarships provide Western Buddhists with an opportunity for in-depth study of Buddhist philosophical literature in the Tibetan language. The Foundation offers three-year scholarships to Westerners who wish to study at Tibetan Buddhist institutes in India and Nepal. In special cases, extended studies scholarships are available to those who complete three-year studies scholarships.

Scholarships are available for both lay and monastic Western women and men in all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Please note that these scholarships are not available for translator or interpreter training programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Please consider carefully your financial situation and think of others less fortunate and apply only if you are truly in need of assistance.

  • Acceptance at the institute where you wish to study for three years
  • Be a practicing Tibetan Buddhist for five years or more
  • Hold a B.A. or the equivalent
  • Be able to receive a twelve-month, renewable study visa for your specific institute (either in India or Nepal)
  • Proficiency in Tibetan (both colloquial and classical) at an intermediate level
  • Be a passport holder of Europe, the Americas, or Australasia

Preference will be given to those already enrolled in a shedra and those whose previous studies have included Collected Topics (bsdus grwa), Classifications of Mental States (blo rigs), Classifications of Reasons (rtags rigs), and debate training.

Personal qualities that we are looking for include, but are not limited to:

  • Prior experience living in South Asia and studying Buddhism in Tibetan
  • Understanding of, and respect for, monastic culture and traditional modes of study
  • Diligence and enthusiasm for learning
  • Open-mindedness
  • Emotional stability and flexibility.

Financial Award

Scholarships cover the following costs each year for three years:

  • Tuition or an offering to the institute in lieu of tuition
  • Room and board
  • International medical insurance
  • Round-trip economy airfare from India or Nepal to the scholarship recipient’s home country (This will provide scholarship recipients with the opportunity to return to their home countries once a year during their break)
  • Modest allowances for books, incidentals, and visa expenses

Application Procedure

Required documentation
  1. Online application form: complete the online application form linked below.
  2. Curriculum vitae: in addition to other academic studies and work experience, this should include all relevant Buddhist studies, Tibetan language studies, meditation practice, any meditation retreats, and the date you took refuge.
  3. Please include any other relevant information in a short paragraph. Provide your CV in PDF format during the Online Application Form submission.
  4. Two letters of recommendation: from a university professor, Western Buddhist teacher or meditation instructor, or senior Western sangha member. Please ask that these letters be sent directly to in PDF format. Also, please note that we do not accept letters written in Tibetan or from one’s root, or primary, teacher, meditation instructor, or lama.
  5. A letter from the institute you wish to attend stating that you have been accepted for a three-year period of study. Please provide this letter in PDF format during the Online Application Form submission.
Scholarship Deadlines
  • Applications are due September 1.
  • Candidates must be available for interviews during September and October.
  • Final decisions will be announced by November 15.

Reporting and Evaluation

Scholarship recipients are required to submit a report in June and an annual report in December to the Studies Scholarship Director. Each scholarship recipient is expected to pass their institute’s yearly exams and maintain the required academic standards and rules of conduct of their institute.

A scholarship recipient who wishes to discontinue his or her studies at any time for reasons other than medical ones, a family emergency, or natural disaster will be required (within a reasonable timeframe) to reimburse the Foundation for the amount of scholarship funding he or she has received up to that point.


Online Application Form

If you would like to apply for an Advanced Studies Scholarship, please complete and submit the Online Application Form along with the other required documents, as listed above in the Application Procedure section. Extended studies scholarships may be available to those who complete three-year studies scholarships.