Frances Garrett

Associate Professor
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 214A, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Buddhist studies
  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Buddhism and medical traditions in Asia


I am an Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Studies in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, where I’ve taught since 2003. From 2016-2021, I was Inaugural Director of the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto. Before that, I was the Associate Chair of the Department for the Study of Religion (2010-2017). I am currently Director of the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program at New College, University of Toronto.

In my research I’ve collaborated with students, scholars, and community experts to explore the intersections between tantric practice, ritual/occult knowledge, and medical history and theory in Tibet. I’ve also worked with Tibetan scholars and students in Amdo to study the Tibetan King Gesar epic, and most recently have been working with communities in Sikkim around Mt Khangchendzonga. In partnership with students, I’ve also published on experiential learning, outdoor education, and methods for student flourishing. Language instruction methodologies have also been a special interest of mine for over two decades. Although single-authored work is most common in my field, I prioritize co-authoring research publications with students or members of the community as often as possible. 


  • Undergraduate and graduate level courses on Buddhist Studies, Tibetan Buddhism, and Tibetan language and literature.





2012 – Northrup Frye Award, University of Toronto


Selected Research Grants

2021 – eCampus Ontario Virtual Learning Strategies grant for Windvane project

2019 – Grant from Khyentse Foundation (with Sarah Richardson) for Engaging Education in Buddhist Studies initiative

2017 – SSHRC Insight Grant (2017-2022) for “Himalayan Borderlands

2011 – SSHRC Aid to Research Workshops Grant (2011-12)

2011 – SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (2011-2014) for “Mapping an Epic: Religion and Healing in Inner Asia

2010 – SSHRC Research Development Initiative Grant (2010-2012) for “Gold, Statue, Text: Mapping Movement in Tibetan History

2009 – SSHRC Image, Text, Sound and Technology Grant (2009-2010) for “Interpreting Visual Representations of Tibetan Ritual

2008 – SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2008-2011)



PhD, University of Virginia
BA, Columbia University