The SmD Project is administered by a Swiss project manager, who is supported and advised by a well-known and very experienced Tibetan consultant. Until 2016, at each project site (Bylakuppe and Mundgod), a Geshe served as a coordinator for the everyday needs of science teaching. The project management supports the monastery administrations in organizing and implementing continuing science classes. A Tibetan physics teacher assists the teaching team both in the preparation of the science introduction workshops and in the translation of the Western teachers' presentations.
Rules for Science Studies in the Gelugpa Monasteries
The participants in the science classes are monks and nuns, who are usually chosen from the upper level of the last four years of the regular monastic studies and from the lower level of the Geshe Lharampa education. This is to say that they have already studied Buddhist philosophy for about 11 or 12 years and are 20 to 25 years old. Some of them have acquired a little knowledge of science in their early regular school years. Now, in the monasteries, they are instructed by Tibetan or Indian teachers, who have graduated in science from an Indian university and have obtained a teaching diploma. It is intended that, after four years, the students pass an internal exam within their monastery, and that, after two more years, a final examination has to be passed, which will be identical in all monasteries. This ultimate test should carry the same weight as the traditional tests in Buddhist philosophy. Science education started in all mayor monasteries of the Gelugpa tradition in summer 2014. Other traditions will follow with maybe some different study rules.