Bharati Memorial Grant

Call for Applications

The South Asia Center announces the competition for the 28th Annual Bharati Memorial Award for the summer of 2021  (or AY 2021-22) for grants leading to doctoral dissertation research. Students in PhD programs in the Maxwell School are eligible. Students in other programs may apply, and we will fund if other funding becomes available. We are especially interested in supporting pre-dissertation research, although short-term dissertation research can be supported. We anticipate awarding 1-5 grants for 2021. Only projects concerning South Asia are eligible. Previous recipients of this or other grants awarded through the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs are eligible, but not top priority.

Grants will range from $500 to a maximum of $1500.

Please see our application guidelines for more information on the application procedure.

The application is available here

Applications will be due on Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET. 

You may apply for more than one summer grant from the Moynihan Institute, but you will not receive more than one in a given year from the Institute.  Awards are ranked separately, so if your proposal is accepted by more than one committee, you will be awarded the better opportunity. If you win an award this year, you may apply for this or another award next year.

History of Bharati Memorial Grant

Agehananda Bharati  with Dalai LamaAgehananda Bharati was not only a professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University for 30 years and the Ford/Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies, but also a world-renowned expert in the cultural anthropology of South Asia.

Professor Bharati was born Leopold Fischer on April 20, 1923, in Vienna, Austria. His interest in South Asia began when he was a young boy in Vienna learning classical Sanskrit and Hindi. He graduated Akademisches Gymnasium, Vienna, in 1941 and Oriental Institute and Ethological Institute of the University of Vienna in 1948. He received the name Agehananda Bharati in 1951 when he was ordained in the Dasanami Sanyasi order of Hindu monks. He earned his acharya, the equivalent of a PhD., from Sanyasa Mahavidyalaya in Varanasi, India, that same year.

Early in his career, Prof. Bharati became a noted scholar of Indian culture, teaching linguistics, comparative philosophy, anthropology, and South Asian studies at universities and institutions in India, Japan, Thailand, and the United States. In the 1950s, he was a lecturer in German at Delhi University, a reader in philosophy at Banaras Hindu University in India, a guest professor of comparative religion at the Nalanda Institute of Post-graduate Buddhist Academy in Bangkok, Thailand, Asia Foundation Visiting Professor at the universities of Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan, and research associate for the Far Eastern Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Prof. Bharati joined the Maxwell faculty in 1961 as an assistant professor of anthropology. He was promoted to associate professor in 1964 and to full professor in 1968. He chaired the anthropology department from 1971 to 1977 and was acting chair during the spring semester of 1985. In 1991, he was named the Ford/Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies and also was presented with the Chancellor's Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement.

An outstanding Sanskritist who spoke 15 classical and modern European and Indian vernacular languages, he is recognized as one of the leading pioneers in the field of tantric studies. He is perhaps best known for his books The Tantric Tradition (The Hutchinson University Publishers, 1966) and The Ochre Robe (Ross-Erikson Press, 1980). Prof. Bharati also wrote hundreds of articles for publications distributed worldwide, was an editor for several international publications, and presented numerous lectures and papers at national and international professional conventions.