Centre for Rural Development Studies (CRDS)

Centre for Rural Development Studies (CRDS)

College of Natural Resources

Royal University of Bhutan

As a tertiary educational institute, the College of Natural Resources (CNR), which is a federated College under the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), is mandated to impart tertiary education and conduct research, among others. The research mandate is meant to support higher learning and assist in nation building of a knowledge-based society. To support these mandates, a Centre for Rural Development Studies (CRDS) was established in the College campus in 2010 under the leadership of the Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages (DRIL) which is managed by a Coordinator of the Research Centre. This Research Centre was named so following the strength of the College which focusses on Agriculture, Forests and Environment, and Sustainable Development. However, the CRDS started to function in 2012 only. The CRDS as a Research Centre is dedicated to conduct research and provide community support services with a focus in sustainable management of natural resources and sustainable development.

The CRDS management is currently supported by a Research Officer. Including the DRIL and the Coordinator of the Research Centre, all faculty members of the Department of Sustainable Development of the College comprises the bulk of the researchers of the centre. Therefore, the Research Centre basically relies on the interdisciplinary strength of the faculty members of the College. The overall management of the CRDS is oversighted by the Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages under the leadership of the President, the Head of the College.

Besides conducting research, the CRDS also aims to provide a decentralized and flexible training avenue for mid-level professionals, novice practitioners, farmers, and youths, among others. It offers trainings and conducts research in wildlife conservation, climate change, ecotourism, identification of plants and animal, and use of Statistical and GIS tools for research. Recently, the Research Centre has expanded its wing in providing consultancy services, short-term trainings, and entrepreneurship programme. It has an Entrepreneurship Incubation Cell where potential entrepreneurs go through a process of developing and testing a successful farm business.

The faculty members of the College are encouraged to collaborate with researchers from within and outside the country by winning collaborative projects to develop research capacity and conduct quality research. In the process of fulfilling its Vision and Mission, the CRDS develops and signs Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding with its collaborating institutions. These agreements facilitate in inviting seasoned researchers and collaborators from outside the country to develop research capacity of the CRDS. All types of international liaising services of the College are supported by the CRDS through the Liaison Officer, currently the Research Officer.


The CRDS aspires to be a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Rural Development


The mission of CRDS is to contribute to nation building by:

  • Making available high-quality research and professional services to inform policy and decision making on Agriculture, Sustainable Natural Resources management, Environmental conservation, and Sustainable Rural Development.
  • Generating innovative and appropriate farming methods and technologies to improve productivity, enhancement of food security, self-sufficiency, and improvement of the rural livelihoods.
  • Building capacity by providing training in Agriculture, Natural Resource management, Environmental conservation, Climate science, and Sustainable Rural Development.
  • Engaging with the disadvantage section of the local population to improve their livelihood.

Mandates of the CRDS:

  • Lead development of research agendas for the Centre,
  • Support the sourcing of research funding to implement research,
  • Promote relevant interdisciplinary research on rural development,
  • Promote the publication of high-quality relevant research findings,
  • Build collaborative research networks between interested parties both within (e.g. Colleges of RUB, research institutes) and outside Bhutan (e.g. external universities and research centres),
  • Liaise and maintain contact with key actors, centres and agencies working in the rural sector in Bhutan,
  • Facilitate and support debate through lectures, seminars, workshops etc. on Bhutan’s rural development agenda and rural policy in general,
  • Establish a resource Centre on rural development that draws on comparative and relevant research and theory on rural development as well as in mountain economy,
  • Provide professional and training services to different stakeholders, and
  • Organize community services of the CNR.


The current coordinator of CRDS is Mr. Tashi Dendup. The Centre is over-sighted by Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages (DRIL) under the Leadership of the President. All higher degree research including Master by Research and PhD programmes function under the Research and Innovation Section. The day-to-day functioning of the Centre and the office of the DRIL is assisted by the Research and Liaison Officer.

Contact us at:


Dr. Rekha Chhetri

Email: rekha.cnr@rub.edu.bt

Research / Liaison Officer

Mr. Sonam Tshering

Office of the Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages

Lobesa, Punakha Bhutan

Phone: +97517507499 (mobile Phone)

Email: sonamt.cnr@rub.edu.bt

Web: http://www.cnr.edu.bt/