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Berthe Jansen receives Early Career Award for research into ancient Tibet

Berthe Jansen receives an Early Career Award from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) for her research on Buddhism and law in ancient Tibet. She receives the prize, an amount of 15,000 euros and an artwork, for her innovative research.

Berthe Jansen

Tibetan studies

Berthe Jansen is a postdoc researcher at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). Her research, financed by a Veni grant, deals with the interaction between Buddhism and law in ancient Tibet. 'I look at how monks and laypeople with a monastic education influenced the legal system. I do this by carrying out source research on Tibetan law books, but also by using other works that refer to how the law was interpreted by Buddhists in 17th and 18th century Tibet', Jansen explains. 

A very welcome surprise

The Early Career Award was as a very welcome surprise. Jansen: 'As researchers, we are always rushing on to the next project, to do more and to get better with a lot of self-criticism, without really thinking about what we have achieved. This award helps me to reflect on the time and energy I have put into my work in recent years - and that none of this has been in vain!'

Open Access

'I haven't quite figured out how to spend the money yet. I will most likely spend part of it on making my next book on the interaction between Buddhism and the law in Tibet openly accessible', says Jansen. 'I was lucky that my first book was published in Open Access as well as paperback (with financial help from the Mellon Foundation). I believe that research done with public money should also be freely accessible to the public. Unfortunately, that still costs money.'

It is the first time that the KNAW Early Career Awards are awarded and the winners come from all academic fields. A total of twelve Dutch researchers have been given awards, including three scholars from Leiden, including Carolien Stolte.

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