A framework for building research capacity through leadership development, institutional building, and research practice


  • Jamba Tobden institute for Sustainable Development Research (iSDR),
  • Kezang Sherab Royal University of Bhutan


Research culture, research capacity, research leadership, research centre, policy research


This study examines the research landscape of the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) between 2014 and 2016. The institute for Gross National Happiness Studies which is a virtual research think-tank of the RUB won a competitive grant from the Global Development Network in 2014. The objective of the grant programme was to strengthen institutional capacities of higher education institutions in Least Developed Countries to design, run and evaluate quality research training opportunities. For two years (2014-2016), series of research development interventions were implemented in four pronged approaches: enhance the capacity of research leadership, develop faculty research, engage students in research, and institutionalize research centres in the colleges of the RUB. Exploratory concurrent mixed method design (Creswell & Creswell, 2018) was applied to evaluate and explore growth, change, and development of research within the timeframe between 2014 and 2016. It is noted that there have been modest achievements in research both in terms of number as well as the intrinsic value it created, establishing a culture of research, and research enthusiasm among faculties as well as students in the colleges of the RUB. The findings show significant achievement in knowledge generation, as well as in policy changes at organisational, institutional, as well as the systemic level in the RUB. This framework could be followed by universities who wish to promote research culture from the base.

Author Biographies

Jamba Tobden , institute for Sustainable Development Research (iSDR),

Jamba Tobden, Chief Researcher with the Institute for Sustainable Development Research (iSDR), a private research institute based in Thimphu Bhutan. He has Masters in Social Science from the University of Newcastle, Australia and is an independent researcher.

Kezang Sherab, Royal University of Bhutan

Kezang Sherab is Assistant Professor (PhD in Education) at Paro College of Education. He teaches health and physical education and research methodology courses. Kezang has published on a variety of educational topics and has led many educational consultancies. His expertise and research interest are in the educational evaluation, GNH Education, efficacy beliefs, educational research methods, use of SPSS and MaxQDA for data analysis, action research, educational change, student engagement, non-cognitive skills, and youth fitness. He also serves as the Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages (DRIL) of the Paro
College of Education.




How to Cite

Tobden , J. ., & Sherab, K. . (2021). A framework for building research capacity through leadership development, institutional building, and research practice. Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 10(1). Retrieved from https://bjrd.rub.edu.bt/index.php/bjrd/article/view/87