Research Fellowship Programme

Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), known as the “cradle of space sciences” in India, is a premier national research institution under the aegis of the Department of Space, Government of India. Applications are invited from highly motivated students for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), leading to a Ph.D. degree. The broad areas of ongoing research activities in PRL are Astronomy & Astrophysics, Solar Physics, Space & Atmospheric Sciences, Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics, Theoretical Physics, Geosciences and Planetary Sciences.

The JRF programme will start from July 2019.

Following are the details of research topics and tentative intake requirement in each discipline. To learn more details on research topics you may visit the respective discipline web page linked with its name.

Astronomy & Astrophysics

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
Pre-requisite: PG in Physics, Astrophysics, Space Sciences, Instrumentation
Tentative Intake: 5

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

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 Matter-antimatter Asymmetry (CP violation), Parity Violation, Atomic Clocks, Nuclear Charge Radii from Isotope Shifts, Nuclear Momenta from Hyperfine Structures, Lande gj factors, Plasma embedded atomic systems, Relativistic studies on 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.
Pre-requisite: PG in Physics, Electronics, Chemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Chemical Engineering, Biology
Tentative Intake: 6


Key Research Areas:
  • 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
Pre-requisite: PG in Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Biology, Oceanography, Marine Science, Environmental Science, Atmospheric Science
Tentative Intake: 6

Planetary Science

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.
Pre-requisite: PG in Physics, Chemistry, Geochemistry, Geology, Geophysics
Tentative Intake: 8

Solar Physics

Key Research Areas:
  • Seismic coupling in the solar atmosphere
  • Role of Magnetohydrodynamic waves in the coronal heating
  • Small-scale transients in the solar atmosphere
  • High energy processes during solar eruptions
  • Computer simulation of the solar coronal transients
Pre-requisite: PG in Physics, Space Sciences, Astrophysics
Tentative Intake: 4

Space and Atmospheric Sciences

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.
  • Impact of space weather on the terrestrial magnetosphere-ionosphere (MI) system.
  • Climate Change and Global Warming
Pre-requisite: PG in Physics, Space Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences
Tentative Intake: 6

Theoretical Physics

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
Pre-requisite: PG in Physics
Tentative Intake: 5

Eligibility criteria for applying to the JRF Programme

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Science or Engineering with first class (60%) or equivalent grades at both Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. We encourage science/engineering students to apply for our JRF programme and emphasize that students should be interested in carrying out doctoral research in the above-mentioned areas only. We expect prospective candidates to have a reasonably good proficiency in basic physics and mathematics.
  • Master’s degree should be on or after 2017. Those students expecting Master's degree by August 2019 are also eligible to apply, subject to having secured first class (60%) or equivalent grades up to the last semester.
  • Nationality: Only candidates with Indian citizenship can apply.
    Age Limit: 25 years as on 31.12.2018 (born on or after 31.12.1993).

  • Applicants should have qualified in any one of the following examinations:
    • CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test, NET [December 2017/June 2018/December 2018] in Physical Sciences / Chemical Sciences / Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences.
    • Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) [GATE 2017/GATE 2018/GATE 2019] in Physics / Geology and Geophysics / Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences / Chemistry.
    • Joint Entrance Screening Test [JEST 2019] in Physics.
Please note 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.

Selection Procedure :

  1. All the candidates interested in applying to the PRL JRF programme must fill the online application form.
  2. Fulfilling minimum qualification and filling online application do not guarantee a call for an interview. The applications received in response to this advertisement shall be scrutinized by taking into account their CSIR-UGC-NET/GATE/JEST and Post Graduation scores and shortlist will be prepared. Candidates shortlisted as per PRL norms will be called for an interview.
  3. Those candidates whose Post Graduation final semester/year results are not declared but qualify through the interview will be provisionally offered JRF in PRL. However, their joining will be regularized subject to their scoring an aggregate of the first class (60% marks) in Post-Graduation.

General Information for Online Application :

  1. Candidates are advised to apply well before the closing date and not wait till the last date to avoid the possibility of disconnection/local server issues/power failure etc.
  2. A valid e-mail ID and Mobile Number is mandatory for registration. E-mail ID should be kept active. Status of successful registration will be sent to the registered e-mail ID.
  3. Candidates are requested to fill in the online application form with utmost care, as no modifications will be allowed after submitting the application form. Request for change/correction in the Application Form shall not be entertained under any circumstances after submitting the application form.
  4. PRL will not be responsible for any consequences arising due to furnishing incorrect/incomplete details or failure to provide the required details. Submitting the online application does not guarantee a call for the selection procedure
Important Dates:
Online Application Starts:17.03.2019 (07:00 am onward)
Last date for online Application : 20 April, 2019 (till 17.00 hrs.)
Dates for Interviews at PRL, Ahmedabad: 27-28 May and 17-18 June 2019

Course Work

All the students will be required to undergo two semesters of course work after joining PRL, and only after the successful completion of the course work, students will be allowed to join the various research groups.

Stipend and other financial Support:

  1. Selected JRFs will be paid fellowship as per the Department of Space norms. Renewal of fellowship is based on a review conducted each year. The total duration of fellowship will be five years.
  2. An academic allowance of 10,000/- per year will be given for five years.
  3. Expenses connected with the registration for a Ph.D. degree, such as, tuition fees and examination fees will be borne by PRL.

Allotment of Guides:

The extant PRL norms for the allotment of guide are as follows:
  1. Allotment of guide will be done after the completion of course work.
  2. Professor (Scientist/Engineer SG) and above can have a maximum of 5 students at any point of time; Associate Professor (Scientist/Engineer SF) can have a maximum of 4 students at any point of time; Scientist/Engineer-SD/ Scientist/Engineer SE/ Reader can have a maximum of 3 students at any point of time
  3. A supervisor who is superannuating within three years from the time of student joining should not take a student
Online Application