Research Fellowship Programme

Applications are invited from highly motivated candidates for selection as Junior Research Fellows (JRF) in the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL). JRFs at PRL will be encouraged to register for a Ph.D. degree at an Institute/University with which PRL has an MoU. PRL's research scholars will adhere to the norms of the registering Institute/University as agreed upon in the MoU.

PRL, known as the "cradle of space sciences," is a premier national research institution under the aegis of the Department of Space, Government of India. The broad areas of ongoing research activities in PRL are Astronomy & Astrophysics, Solar Physics, Space & Atmospheric Sciences, Atomic & Molecular Physics, Optical Physics, Astrochemistry, Theoretical Physics, Geosciences, and Planetary Sciences.

The candidates selected as JRFs will be joining PRL in July 2020. Following are the details of the research topics and tentative intake requirements in each discipline. To get more information on research topics, you may visit the web page linked to that discipline's name.

Astronomy & Astrophysics [Candidates from Physics, Astrophysics, Applied Physics, Space Sciences, Instrumentation disciplines are eligible to apply]

Key Research Areas:
  • Instrumentation and stellar astrophysics and exoplanet research
  • Flow of Astrophysical plasma, Numerical simulation, Particle acceleration in space plasma
  • X-ray/Infrared/Optical studies of Be/X-ray Binaries (Physics stream), Understanding the properties of X-ray pulsars at different luminosity levels
  • Understanding cluster formation in molecular cloud complexes.
  • Astronomical polarimetry, milky way studies, astronomical instrumentation

Solar Physics [Candidates from Physics, Applied Physics, Space Sciences, Astrophysics disciplines are eligible to apply]

Key Research Areas:
  • Seismic coupling in the solar atmosphere.
  • Connection between solar interior dynamics and solar activity
  • Role of Magnetohydrodynamic waves in the coronal heating
  • Small-scale transients in the solar atmosphere
  • Initiation and propagation of coronal mass ejections
  • Space Weather effects of solar eruptions.

Space and Atmospheric Sciences [Candidates from Physics, Applied Physics, Space Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences Climate Science/Climate Change studies, disciplines are eligible to apply]

Key Research Areas:
  • Trace gases in the Earth's atmosphere.
  • Emission and atmospheric processes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Modeling
  • Earth's lower and middle atmospheric remote sensing and coupling processes.
  • LIDAR, RADAR and Satellite based studies of atmospheric temperature, clouds and water vapor.
  • Atmospheric Aerosols
  • Investigation of atmospheric waves and middle atmospheric dynamics using ground and satellite-based observations.
  • Investigations of ionospheric thermospheric intereactions using radio and optical techniques
  • Impact of space weather on the terrestrial magnetosphere-ionosphere (MI) system.
  • Climate Change and Global Warming

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics [Candidates from Physics, Applied Physics, Electronics, Chemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Chemical Engineering disciplines are eligible to apply]

Key Research Areas:
  • Quantum Optics, Quantum Communication, Quantum Metrology and Quantum Sensing
  • Laboratory astrochemistry, astrobiology
  • Probing the ultrafast dynamics in atoms and molecules
  • Nonlinear Optics, Quantum Optics, Structured Optical beams
  • Theoretical atomic studies on Parity and Time Reversal Symmetry Violations, Atomic Clocks, Isotope Shifts, Hyperfine Structures, Lande gj factors, Plasma embedded atomic systems, Relativistic Theory for Heavy Molecules
  • Development of exoelectron system and its application, Development of luminescence as a tool for provenance studies, extending the dating limits of luminescence technique.

Geosciences [Candidates from Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Biology, Oceanography, Marine Science, Environmental Science, Atmospheric Science disciplines are eligible to apply]

Key Research Areas:
  • Clumped Isotope Geochemistry.
  • Applications of Triple Oxygen Isotopes in Hydrosphere and Atmosphere.
  • Mantle Geochemistry, Geoarcheology, and study of Early Earth.
  • Biogeochemistry of bio-available elements and their isotopes in different ecosystems.
  • Ocean biogeochemistry and climate change.
  • Isotope hydrology.
  • Ocean acidification using corals.
  • Paleoclimate and monsoon variability using marine/lake sediments.
  • Radiocarbon and ocean circulation.
  • Aerosol chemistry and characteristics.
  • Atmospheric deposition of nutrients.
  • Precipitation chemistry
  • Catastrophic events (mass extinctions) across major geological transitions

Planetary Science [Candidates from Physics, Chemistry, Geochemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Applied Physics, Planetary sciences disciplines are eligible to apply]

Key Research Areas:
  • Physics, Dynamics and Composition of Planetary Atmospheres.
  • Dust storms and convective vortices on Mars.
  • Modeling of Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry.
  • Modeling and Observation of Interplanetary Dust Particles (IDPs) at Various Planets, Micrometeorites on Airless Bodies like Moon, Dust Charging and Levitation on Small Airless Body, Dusty Plasma.
  • Planetary Lightning: Modelling and Observation of Lightning on Various Planets like Venus, Mars etc. and its effect on the Atmosphere.
  • Electromagnetic Wave Propagation.
  • Study of Planetary materials and Terrestrial Impact craters.
  • Impact craters and their associated fluvial activities on Mars, Role of impact craters in Lunar evolution post-Late Heavy Bombardment, Exploring Impact cratering on planetary bodies (Mars/Moon), their terrestrial analogues and through experimental analysis.
  • Geological evolution of Mars using remote sensing data analysis.
  • Evolution of the lunar crust, Development of new techniques for hyperspectral/multispectral remote sensing data analysis, Comparative geology of airless planetary bodies.
  • Reflectance spectroscopy of planetary materials and analogues under laboratory simulated conditions.
  • Planetary Geophysics and Heat flow Studies.
  • Instrumentation for Planetary Exploration.
  • Planetary Geology & Geochemistry.
  • Quaternary Geochronology and Quaternary paleoclimates.
  • Organics in meteorites.
  • Stellar Nucleosynthesis from an experimental perspective.
  • Early active Sun and Short-lived nuclide studies in meteorites.
  • Secondary alterations in the protoplanetary disk.
  • Presolar grains morphological interests.
  • Optically stimulated luminescence, gamma-ray spectrometer development. Instrumentation for Planetary Exploration.
  • Study of the hydrodynamical and chemical evolution of the star
  • Planet-forming regions using numerical simulations and laboratory experiments.

Theoretical Physics [Candidates from Physics, Applied Physics, Astronomy disciplines are eligible to apply]

Key Research Areas:
  • Neutrino Physics phenomenology (Probing Neutrino Oscillation Parameters in current and future experiments, Nature of neutrinos and its connection with neutrino mass generation mechanism).
  • Theoretical investigation of anomalous electronic transport in a strange metal regime of unconventional superconductors, Theoretical investigation of unconventional magnetism in strongly correlated systems.
  • Particle Physics Phenomenology at Large Hadron Collider (LHC); Higgs, Supersymmetry, Dark Matter and Physics beyond the Standard Model.
  • Ultra cold atomic physics.
  • Effective Field Theory and Flavour Physics.

Eligibility criteria for applying to the JRF Programme

  • Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Science or Engineering with at least a first-class (60%) or equivalent grades at both Bachelor's and Master's levels.
  • Those candidates expecting their Master's degree by August 2020 are also eligible to apply, subject to having secured at least a first-class (60%) or equivalent grade(s) up to the last semester.
  • Applicants should have qualified any one of the following examinations:
    • CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) JRF/LS [December 2018/June 2019/December 2019] in Physical Sciences / Chemical Sciences / Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean, and Planetary Sciences.
    • Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) [GATE 2018/GATE 2019/GATE 2020] in Physics / Geology and Geophysics / Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences / Chemistry.
    • Joint Entrance Screening Test [JEST 2020] in Physics
Please note that if the applicant possesses more than one score in either GATE or NET then the best among them has to be provided in the application.

Applicants whose ranks are in the range of 1- 500 in any of the CSIR-UGC-NET/GATE/JEST tests are quite likely to be called for the interview at PRL subject to their fulfilling other eligibility criteria as mentioned above and their online application through PRL's website. It is expected that prospective candidates have good proficiency in fundamental physics and mathematics. Candidates should be interested in pursuing a research career in the current areas of research at PRL, as mentioned above. Preference will be given to candidates who have completed their Master’s degree in the last two years. There are about 25 positions available. However, the intake will depend on the performance of the candidate in the interview and the suitability of the candidate’s research interest to the research program of PRL. PRL is an equal opportunity institute, women candidates are encouraged to apply.

Nationality :

Candidate must be an Indian Citizen.

Age Limit :

28 years as on the last date of submission of application.

Important Dates :

Online Application Starts: 31.03.2020 (07:00 am onward)
Last date for online Application: 10 May 2020 (till 23:59 hrs.)
Dates for Interviews at PRL, Ahmedabad: 4, 5, 8 and, 9 June 2020 To be revised

Important Information :

  1. The candidates interested in applying to the PRL's JRF program must fill-in the online application form.
  2. Candidates are advised to apply well before the closing date and not wait until the last date to avoid possible hindrances such as, issues with internet connections/problems with local server(s) /power failure, etc.
  3. A valid e-mail ID and Mobile Number are mandatory for registration. E-mail ID should be kept active. Status of successful registration will be sent to the registered e-mail ID.
  4. Candidates are requested to fill-in the online Application Form with utmost care, as no modification(s) will be allowed after its submission. Request for any change/correction in the Application Form shall not be entertained under any circumstances after submission of the application form.
  5. PRL will not be responsible for any consequences arising due to furnishing incorrect/incomplete information or failure to provide the required information. Submitting the online application does not guarantee a call for the interview.
  6. The interview of the candidate will be based on the academic qualification(s) and basic knowledge in physics, mathematics, & chemistry and not on the topic of research interest opted for pursuing work towards Ph.D. degree in PRL.

Course Work

All the JRFs will be required to undergo two semesters of course work after joining PRL. Only on the successful completion of the course work will the JRFs be allowed to join a research group to start work towards Ph.D. degree.


For Junior Research Fellows (JRF): Rs. 31,000/- pm and for Senior Research Fellows (SRF): Rs. 35,000/- pm.
On the completion of two years, the JRFs will be reviewed and based on the recommendations of the review committee and approval of the Director, PRL, the JRF may be awarded the position of SRF with an enhanced fellowship as per rules. Performance of the Research Fellows shall be reviewed on yearly basis for continuation of fellowship.

Allotment of Supervisor:

The extant PRL norms for the allotment of the supervisor are as follows:
  1. Allotment of the Supervisor will be done after the completion of course work.
  2. Professor (Scientist/Engineer SG) and above can have a maximum of 5 Research Fellows at any point of time; Associate Professor (Scientist/Engineer SF) can have a maximum of 4 Research Fellows at any point of time; Scientist/Engineer-SD/ Scientist/Engineer SE can have a maximum of 3 Research Fellows at any point of time.
  3. A supervisor who will be superannuating within three years can not take a Research Fellow for supervision.