Bhutan PhD Portal

Scholarship in Bhutan is young but growing. Many complain about the lack of research materials when writing or researching about Bhutan. This is not true while considering an increasing number of dissertations written by the Bhutanese who have studied in universities around the world as well as by the non-Bhutanese. I have provided below a list of PhD dissertations that I came across in the Internet, most of which are available in the public domain.

*** Please write to to update the list.


Jigme Nidup: Growth, Poverty and Inequality: Essays on the Bhutanese Economy (PhD, 2017). RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.


Sonam Pelden: Making sense of suicides by school students in Bhutan: Documenting a societal dialogue. PhD (2016), Curtin University, Australia. Abstract

Dorji Penjore: Harvesting the Half: The persistence of sharecropping in Samcholing, Trongsa, Bhutan. PhD (2016). The Australian National University. Abstract

Phuntsho Choden: An investigation of the antecedents and the influence of social capital: A multilevel analysis based in Bhutan. PhD (2006), Queensland University of Technology. Abstract

Kinzang Dorji: Utility of an existing biotic score method in assessing the stream health in Bhutan. PhD (2016), Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Abstract

Dawa Wangchuk: The Decentralization of Development Planning in Bhutan. PhD (2016), University of Canberra, Australia. Abstract

Tenzin Wangchuk: Quantitative assessment of air quality in different indoor and outdoor environments in rural Bhutan. PhD (2016), Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Abstract

Phuntsho Dolma: Investigating Bhutanese mathematics teachers’ beliefs and practices in the context of curriculum reform. PhD (2016), Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Abstract


Simon Teoh: Gross National Happiness (GNH) in Bhutan’s GNH tourism model: an investigation using grounded theory methodology. PhD ( 2015), Murdoch University, Australia. Abstract

Tshering Dorji: Soil organic carbon variability under montane ecosystems: assessing the influence of landscape attributes. PhD (2015), University of Sydney. Abstract

Mum Chhhetri: Genetic Characterization & Molecular Mapping of Rust Resistance in Wheat. PhD (2015). University of Sydney.

Gampo Dorji: International Health (???). DrPH (2015). Boston University School of Public Health, US.

Roam-Sarah Knapp: Environmental Modernity in Bhutan: Entangled Landscapes, Buddhist Narratives and Inhabiting the Land. PhD (2015), Department of Geography, Cambridge University.

Karma Rinzin: Population Dynamics and Health Status of Free-Roaming Dogs in Bhutan. PhD (2015), Murdoch University. Abstract

Tony Robinson-Smith. The Dragon Run’, A Travel Memoir of Bhutan with Critical Commentary Examining Representation of the Self in Modern Travel Writing. PhD ( 2015), Nottingham Trent University. Abstract

Rinchen Tshewang: Bhutanese Eighth Grade Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Their Classroom Learning Environment in Relation to the New Mathematics Curriculum. PhD (2015), Queensland University of Technology. Abstract

Kinley: Professional Development Through Participatory Design: An Attempt to Enhance ICT Use in Teaching at the Royal University of Bhutan. PhD (2015), Aalborg University, Denmark. Abstract

Elizabeth Louisa Monson: Ethical Formation in the Works and Life of ’Brug smyon Kun dga’ legs pa. PhD (2015). Department of Religion, Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Abstract. Review.

Tshering Yangden: Pchiru Shelni: A Sexual Practice in Bhutan. PhD (2015), University of Wollongong, Australia.  Abstract

Karma Tenzing:  The Role of Property Rights in High Altitude Rangeland Management in Bhutan. (PhD 2015), Charles Sturt University–Albury, Australia. Research profile.

Sangay Jamtsho: Implementing a Whole-School Approach to Student Wellbeing: A Study Examining the Implementation Experiences of Bhutanese and Australian Teachers in Wellbeing Leadership Roles. PhD (2015), Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia. Abstract

Sonam Chuki: Women in Politics in Democratic Transition – The Case of Bhutan. PhD (2015). Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Abstract

Ugyen Tshewang: Civil Service HRM Reforms in a New Democracy: The Case of Bhutan. PhD (2015), The Queensland University of Technology. Abstract

Tashi Gyeltshen: The Nature of Academic Leadership at the Colleges of Royal University of Bhutan. PhD (2015). Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Abstract

Sonam Tashi: The Prospects of Organic Farming in Bhutan. PhD (2015). The Institute of Organic Agriculture, University of Bonn. Abstract

Nicole Hollered: The Resettlement of Bhutanese Refugees in the UK. PhD (2015). Brunel University.

Vijay Raika Monger: Epidemiology of Selected Pig Viral Diseases in Bhutan. PhD (2015), Utreche University, the Netherlands. Research profile.

Susan V. Lester: Bhutanese counselors’ experiences with Western counseling: A qualitative study. PhD (2015). Old Dominion University. Abstract.

Lungten Wangdi: A study on the anthropometric profile and its relationship with physical performance of Bhutanese taekwondo atheletes. PhD (2015), Mewar University, India.


Matteo  Miele: L’Alta Asia buddhista (Tibet, Bhutan e Mongolia) tra il crepuscolo dell’Impero Ch’ing e la nascita della Repubblica cinese: aspetti geopolitici e diplomatici britannici. PhD (2014). University of Pisa (in Italian).

Sonam Rinchen: A Study of the Emotional Climate of a Science Education Class for Pre-service Teachers in Bhutan. PhD thesis (2014), Queensland University of Technology. Abstract

Ngawang Norbu: Partial Altitudinal Migration of a Himalayan Forest Pheasant: First Insights and Conservation Implications. PhD (2014), International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, Germany. Abstract

Kent Schroeder: The Politics of Gross National Happiness – Image and Practice in the Implementation of Bhutan’s Multidimensional Development Strategy. PhD (2014). The University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Abstract

John M Schuelka: Constructing Disability in Bhutan – Schools, Structures, Policies, and Global Discourses. PhD (2014). The University of Minnesota. Abstract.

Lhawang Ugyel: The Dynamics of Public Sector Reform: Implementation of the Position Classification System in Bhutan. PhD (2014). The Australian National University, Canberra. Abstract

Phurpa Wangchuk: Phytochemical Analysis, Bioassays and the Identification of Drug Lead Compounds From Seven Bhutanese Medicinal Plants. PhD (2014). University of Wollongong, Australia. Abstract

Kezang Sherab: Gross National Happiness Education in Bhutanese Schools: Understanding the Experiences and Efficacy Beliefs of Principals and Teachers. PhD (2014). University of New England, Australia. Abstract

Else Griek: Human Rights in Translation: Dispute Resolution in the Bhutanese Refugee Camps in Nepal. PhD (2014). Tilburg University, Cobbenhagen.Chelsea Robles: Tradition, Modernisation, and Education Reform in Bhutan: Irreducible Tensions? DPhil (2014). University of Oxford. Abstract

Tina Lamsal: Globalizing Literacies and Identities: Translingual and Transcultural Literacy Practices of Bhutanese Refugees in the U.S. PhD (2014). University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.Tshewang Lhendup: Development of an inter-seasonal thermal storage system. PhD (2013).  University of Melbourne, Australia. Abstract


Sonam Tshering: A Study on GNH Metrics: Handling Missing Data; Designing, Analyzing and Modeling GNH Data; Constructing GNH Index and Developing GNH System. PhD (2013), University of the Ryukyus. Abstract

Kuenga Namgay: Transhumant Agro Pastoralists of Bhutan: Do They Have a Place in the 21st Century? PhD (2013). Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Khamsum Kinley: Towards Modelling Web Search Behaviour – Integrating Users’ Cognitive Styles. PhD (2013). Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

Deki C. Gyamtso: An Inquiry into the Nature of Teaching and Learning Practices at the Royal University of Bhutan. PhD (2013). University of New England, Australia.Bunty Carolyn Avieson: The voice of the dragon: the emerging media in the new democracy of Bhutan. PhD (2013). Macquarie University, Australia. Abstract

Neyzang Wangmo: Infectious waste management in Bhutan: An analysis of policy and practice. PhD (2013), La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia. Abstract


Gembo Tshering: Developing a National Assessment Model to Inform Educational Policy in BhutanPhD (2012), La Trobe University, Australia. Abstract

Ariana Maki: The Temple of Tamzhing Lhundrup Choling and the Legacy of Pema Lingpa (1450-1521): An Iconological Study. PhD (2012). Ohio State University. Abstract

Tobgay Tobgay: Tectonics, Structure, and Metamorphic Evolution of the Himalayan Fold-thrust Belt, Western Bhutan. PhD (2012). Princeton University. Abstract

Kuenga Wangmo: National Identity and the Dzong: Investigating the Role of Dzong in the Construction of Bhutanese National Identity. PhD (2012), Department of Archaeology, Cambridge University.

O.N. Katel: Forest Resources Use by Park Residents and Conservation Management in Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, BhutanPhD (2012), Asian Institute of Management, Thailand.

Tenzin: Studies on the Epidemiology and Control of Rabies in Bhutan. PhD (2012). University of Sydney, Australia. Abstract

Nicole Gail West: Evaluation of Malaria Surveillance in Bhutan, 2006-2012. PhD (2013), Yale University, US.


Kinzang Dukpa: The epidemiology of foot-and-mouth disease in the kingdom of Bhutan. PhD (2011), Murdoch University. Abstract

Purna B Chhetri: Analysis of Structure, Composition and Single Tree Selection Systems in Broad Leaved Forests of West Central Bhutan. PhD (2011). University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Abstract

Karma Nidup: Genetic Structure and Biodiversity of Pigs (Sus scrofa) in South Asia and Papua New Guinea. PhD (2011), University of Sydney, Australia. Abstract

Gwendolyn Hyslop: A Grammar of Kurtop. PhD (2011). University of Oregon, US. Abstract

Winnie Bothe: Forming Local Citizens in Bhutan: The Traditionalization of Participation – Empowerment, Domination or Subjugation? PhD (2011). University of Copenhagen. Abstract.

Dolma Choden Roder: Girls Should Come Up”- Gender and Schooling in Contemporary Bhutan. PhD (2011). Arizona State University. AbstractReview of the thesis. 

Karma Tshering: Sustainable Tourism Development as a Viable Tool both for Conservation and Community Development. PhD (2011). The University of Sydney, Australia.

Dorji Thinley: The Role of Bhutanese Folk Literature as a Source of Cultural Knowledge in the Secondary English Curriculum for Schools in Bhutan. PhD (2011). University of New England, Australia. Abstract

Kinley Dorjee: Linguistics (??). PhD (2011). English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India.

Phanchung: The integration of whole crop cereal silage into pasture-based dairy systems. PhD (2011), University of Melbourne, Australia. Abstract


Sonam Kinga: Society, Kingship and Politics: A Study of the Democratization Process in Contemporary Bhutan. PhD (2010). Kyoto University. Japanese abstract

Tshering Cigay Dorji: Mining Unstructured Data Using Field Association Knowledge. PhD (2010). University of Tokushima, Japan.

Singye Namgyel: A Model for Quality Pre-Service Teacher Education in Bhutan. PhD (2010), University of New England, Australia. Abstract.

Karma Kuenza: Civil engineering ??? PhD (2010), the National University of Singapore.


Kathleen Stiles: Navigating Learning in Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon. PhD (2009). University of California-Santa Barbara, California. Abstract

Elizabeth Allison: Enspirited Places, Material Traces – The Sanctified and the Sacrificed in Modernizing Bhutan. PhD (2009). University of California-Berkley, California. Abstract

Mari Miyamoto: Development Policies and Environmental Politics in Contemporary Bhutan. PhD (2009). Kyoto University, Japan. Japanese abstract

Tashi Zangmo: Women’s Contribution to Gross National Happiness: A Critical Analysis of the Role of Nuns and Nunneries in Education and Sustainable Development in Bhutan. PhD  (2009), University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Abstract

Mayer Arvind Gosai: Land Use Change in Thimphu, Bhutan From 1990–2007: Effects of Cultural, Political, and Economic Frameworks. PhD (2009). The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, US.


Sonam Wangyel Wang: Understanding Ecological Interactions Among Carnivores, Ungulates and Farmers in Bhutan’s Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. PhD (2008). Cornell University, US. Abstract

Kinley Tenzin: Regeneration and Gap Dynamics in Mixed Conifer Forests of the Bhutan Himalayas. PhD (2008). University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Abstract

András Darabant: Aspects of Tsuga Dumosa Regeneration Ecology with Special References to Sustainable UtilizationPhD (2008). University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Abstract

Mani Ram Moktan: Comparison of Regeneration, Species Composition and Structure in Mixed Conifer Forests of the Western Bhutan Himalaya. PhD (2008). University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Abstract

Reiki Crins: Meeting the “other”: living in the present, gender and sustainability in Bhutan. PhD (2008), University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Tandin Dorji: The Cult of Radrap (Ra gdra), ‘Nep’ of Wangdue Phodrang (Bhutan). PhD (2007). University of Nanterre, Paris, France. Book chapter

William Buffum: Sustainability Issues Related to Community Management of National Forests in Bhutan. PhD (2007). University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Abstract


Pema Wangda: Mountain Forest Pattern and Management of Natural Resources in the Bhutan Himalaya. PhD (2006). University of Tokyo, Japan.


Tashi Wangchuk: The Evolution, Phylogeography, and Conservation of the Golden Langur (Trachypithecus geei) in Bhutan. PhD (2005). University of Maryland, US. Abstract

Dorji Wangchuk: The Resolve to Become a Buddha – A Study of the Bodhicitta Concept in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. PhD (2005), University of Hamburg, Germany. Abstract

Phuntsho Namgyel: Forest Policy and Income Opportunities from NTFP Commercialisation in Bhutan. PhD (2005). University of Reading, UK.  Abstract


Karma Phuntsho: The Position of Mipham in the Indo-Tibetan Debate on Emptiness. DPhil (2003). Oxford University, UK. A critical review by Robert Mayer.

Lam Dorji: Assessing the Evolution, Status and Future Implication of Forest Vegetation Resources Management in the Inner Himalayas of the Kingdom of BhutanPhD (2003). Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand.


Jagar Dorji: Curriculum Change and Pedagogical Practices: An Analysis of the Implementation of the Post-1986 Curriculum Change in Bhutanese Schools. EdD (2001), University of New England, Australia.

Phub Rinchen Dukpa: Continuous Assessment as a Method of Student Evaluation in Primary Schools in Bhutan: An Analysis of Policy and Practices in English Curriculum 1986–1998. EdD (2001), University of New England, Australia.


Richard Whitecross: Zhabdrung’s Legacy – State Transformation, Law and Social Values in Contemporary Bhutan. PhD (2002). University of Edinburgh, UK. Abstract


Akiko Ueda: Multiple Discourses on Modernisation, Culture and Tradition in Bhutan: State Development Policies and Development Discourses Among Young People in Education. PhD (2001), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK.


Lungten Norbu: Cattle Grazing – An Integral Part of Broadleaf Forest Management Planning in Bhutan. PhD (2000). Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurizh, Switzerland. Abstract

Cristina Giesch: Evolution of the Forest Uses and Their Impact on the Forest Structure with Regard to Sustainability in Central Bhutan. PhD (2000). Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurizh, Switzerland. Abstract

Sangay Wangchuk: Local Perceptions and Indigenous Institutions as Forms of Social and Performance for Sustainable Forest Management in Bhutan. PhD (2000). Yale University, US. Abstract

Giesch Christina: Evolution of the Forest Uses and Their Impact on the Forest Structure with Regard to Sustainability in Central Bhutan. PhD (2000). Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland. Abstract


Pema Thinley: The Efficacy of “Intervision” as a School Level Change Process: A Descriptive Analysis of the Experiences of Four Participating Schools in Bhutan. EdD (1999), University of New England, Australia.


Yonten Dargye: Origin and Development of Drukpa Kagyu. PhD (1997). Delhi University. Thesis was published as History of the Drukpa Kagyud School in Bhutan (12th to 17th Century) (Thimphu: National Library of Bhutan, 2001).

R. B. Hinton: Health in Transition : The Bhutanese Refugees. PhD (1997). University of Cambridge.


Pema Gyamtsho: Assessment of the Condition and Potential for Improvement of the High Altitude Rangelands of Bhutan. PhD (1996). Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurizh, Switzerland. Abstract


Sonam Chhoki is perhaps the first Bhutanese to complete PhD at least in Humanities. I could not find any details of her research, and perhaps her paper “Religion in Bhutan I: The Sacred and the Obscene“, published in Michael Aris & Michael Hutt (eds.), Bhutan: Aspects of Culture and Development (pp.107-122). (Kiscadale Asia Research Series 5.) Gartmore, Stirlingshire: Paul Strachan – Kiscadale Ltd.) was based on her research.


C. T. Dorji: History of Bhutan Based on Buddhism. PhD (1990). Magadha University, India. The dissertation has been published.

Deo Narayan S. Dhakal: Hydropower Development in Bhutan: An Analytical Framework for Evaluating Prospects and Strategy. PhD (1990). Colorado School of Mines, US. Abstract


Yoshiro Imaeda: Histoire médiévale du Bhoutan : établissement et évolution de la théocratie des ‘Brug pa. PhD (1987?), Pierre and Marie Curie University – Paris 6 (in French), France.


Paul Alexander Draghi:  A Comparative Study of the Theme of the Conversion of a Hunter in Tibetan, Bhutanese and Medieval Sources. (PhD, 1980). Indian University.


Michael Aris: A study on the historical foundations of Bhutan, with a critical edition and translation of certain Bhutanese texts in Tibetan. PhD (1978). School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.


John Ardussi: Bhutan Before the British – A Historical Study. PhD (1977). The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.  Abstract

I want to thank Dr. Karma Phuntsho, Prof. Dorji Wangchuk and Dr. Phuntsho Namgyel for giving the right to upload their dissertations on this portal. For the rest of the dissertations, I have provided links (where available) to the websites where they are currently being hosted.

I welcome you to add to the list by writing me at

Ongoing PhD research

** Most research topics are provisional.

Heidi Karst, Protected areas and ecotourism: Charting a path toward social-ecological wellbeing. University of Waterloo, Canada.

Alice Neikirk: Bhutanese Refugee Experience. The Australian National University, Canberra.

Catherine Schuetze: Traditional veterinary practice of Tibetan cultural areas. The Australian National University.

Phuntsho Choden: ??, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Chuki Wangmo: ??? Melbourne University, Victoria.

Deki Wangmo: Primary Health Care (PHC) – how Bhutan has implemented PHC concepts and principles and how Bhutan can address emerging health care challenges through a PHC approach. Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Dorjee: Assessing the risk of alien plant invasions to the developing countries: Bhutan a case study. Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra.

Dorji Yangka: How can Bhutan remain a happily carbon neutral economy. (PhD candidate, 2015-2019). Curtin University.

Dr Kinley Wangdi: Spatial decision support system for malaria elimination in Bhutan. Australian National University.

Dr. Tshokey: A Study on the Epidemiology of Rickettsial Diseases and Q Fever in Bhutan. University of Newcastle, Australia.

Gyambo Sithey: Health Policy for Happiness. Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney.

Joseph Stadler: Refugees and Advocates: Bhutanese Refugees, Resettlement NGOs and the Co-construction of a Social Memory of Victimhood.  The State University of New York at Buffalo.

Karma Dorji: Soil science???. La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Karma Tshering: ??? University of Sydney, Australia.

Karma Wangchuk: Phylogeny of the family Pterobryaceae from Sino-Himalayan region based on morphological and molecular data. Queensland University of Technology.

Kelzang Tashi: Contemporary Manifestation of Non-Buddhist Religious Tradition in Bhutan. The Australian National University.

Kencho Lham: Post-compulsory education of young people and their destinations in western Bhutan. Melbourne University, Australia.

Kinga Pemo: Exploration of Breastfeeding Promotion and Practices in Bhutan. Deakin University, Australia.

Kuenga Nidup: ??? Curtin University.

Kunzang Choden: Assessing vulnerabilities and developing strategies for climate change adaptation in forest management units in Bhutan. University of Melbourne.

Mareike Wulff: The Korphu Drub – an ethnographic case study of a community-based mask dance festival in Bhutan. Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.

Matthew Branch: Environmental Governance and Development in Bhutan. Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA.

Nidup Dorji: Adverse Life Experiences and Quality of Life among Senior Citizens of Bhutan. PhD candidate (2013-2016). Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Palmo Thinley: ??? Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Rinchen Dorji: Disability education in Bhutan. The University of New England.

Rinchen: Advanced design methodologies for the long-span cold-formed steel portal frame buildings. University of Sydney.

Rob Marjerison: Identifying an Organization Assessment Methodology for Allocating Funding to New Venture Proposals in Bhutan. International School of Management, Paris, France.

Sangay Tenzin: ??? The University of Adelaide.

Sarina Theys: The Soft Power of Non-Western Small States: The Cases of Bhutan and Qatar. Newcastle University, the UK

Som Gurung: ??? Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Sonam Choiden: Economics of wellbeing and Happiness (Gross National Happiness of Bhutan). Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Sonam Pelden: Youth suicides in Bhutan. Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Sonam Wangchuk: Agriculture economics: Socioeconomics and Resource Allocation Decision among Crop-Livestock Farmers in Bhutan. Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Gießen, Germany.

Tashi Tobgay: Community directed educational intervention for malaria prevention and control in malaria endemic areas of Sarpang District, Bhutan. Thammasat University, Thailand.

Tshering Dema: Visualization tools that can meaningfully show the rich implicit patterns and information hidden in long duration acoustics (?). Queensland University of Technology

Tshering Jamtsho: Fertility decline and shift in childbearing desires among Bhutanese women. The Australian National University.

Tshewang Norbu: ??? Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Tshewang Wangchuk: Snow leopard population genetics in Bhutan. University of Montana.

Ulrike Cokl: Cultural hospitality practices, tourism and the economy of relationships in Bhutan. A view from a Bhutanese village. University College London, UK.

Wangchuk Rinzin: Variation in Dzongkha, the National Language of the Kingdom of Bhutan: A Study of the Realisation of Nasality and Rhoticity. University of Essex, UK.

Yangdon: ??? University of New England.