Research Fellowship Programme

Information to applicants

  1. Shortlisting the candidates for interview has been done with a cut-off (500) of All India Rank (AIR) in CSIR-UGC-NET-JRF or AP / UGC-NET JRF or AP (Env. Sc.) [December 2019/June 2020/December 2020] / GATE 2019 or 2020 or 2021, and a merit list has been prepared for each research preference as per the choice given by the candidates.
  2. Preference is given to the candidates who have completed their Master’s degree in the last three years (2019, 2020 and 2021)
  3. E-mail correspondences have been made to the candidates according to the merit list for the first phase of interview, with a request to confirm their willingness to appear for the interview. Those who have sent their confirmation will be sent the link to appear in the interview.
  4. After the first phase of interviews, if so required by the selection committee, the candidates next in the merit list may be asked to appear for the interview in the second phase. In that event, the dates of the second phase of interviews will be informed to such candidates by email at least one week in advance before 25 June 2021.
For further information/clarification, email may be sent to with the subject: “JRF2021 Interview”

In view of the current COVID 19 situation, for 2021, the selection will be made based on online interviews only.

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 fellows 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, Planetary Sciences and space exploration.

The candidates selected as JRFs will be joining PRL in July 2021 (subject to COVID-19 local conditions). 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 interactions 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, Photonics, Chemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Chemical Engineering disciplines are eligible to apply]

Key Research Areas:
  • Quantum optics, Nonlinear optics, Structured optical beams
  • Quantum communication, Quantum metrology and quantum sensing, Quantum photon computing
  • Quantum Optics, Quantum Communication, Quantum Metrology, and Quantum Sensing
  • Laboratory astrochemistry, Astrobiology
  • Ultrafast atomic and molecular physics, Femtosecond filamentation, Femtosecond laser-induced plasma plume dynamics, High harmonic generation (HHG), Attosecond physics, Quantum control of molecular reactions.
  • 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, and Quantum Computation and simulation.
  • Development of exoelectron system, Luminescence efficiency for high LET particles, Development of online radiation dosimetry system, Luminescence Spectral studies, Luminescence as a tool for provenance studies, extending the dating limits of luminescence, Study of defect centers in crystals for applications in quantum technology.

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

Key Research Areas:
  • Biogeochemistry of bio-available elements in different ecosystems
  • Ocean biogeochemistry and climate change
  • Isotope hydrology
  • Paleoclimate studies using marine and terrestrial archives
  • Isotope Geochemistry
  • Ocean circulation through radiocarbon
  • Catastrophic events (mass extinctions) across major geological transition
  • Spatial and Temporal evolution of various Landforms of India
  • Rainwater Chemistry
  • Aerosol Chemistry and Characterization

Planetary Science [Candidates from Physics, Chemistry, Geochemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Applied Physics, Space Science, 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:
  • Condensed Matter Physics
    -- Electronic transport in strange metals
    -- Quantum phase transitions and unconventional superconductivity
  • Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology
    -- Neutrino Physics phenomenology (Probing Neutrino Oscillation
  • Parameters in current and future experiments, Nature of neutrinos and its connection with neutrino mass generation mechanism, Dark Matter in models of Neutrinos mass, Stability of electroweak vacuum in neutrino mass models, Leptogenesis )
    -- Phenomenology at Large Hadron Collider (LHC); Higgs, Dark Matter,
  • QCD & EW corrections.
    -- Physics beyond the Standard Model: Grand Unification,
  • Supersymmetry, Extra Dimensions, Flavour problem
    -- Effective Field Theory, Flavour Physics
    -- Quark-Gluon Plasma and phase structure of matter at high density and temperature.
    -- Deep Machine learning in the theoretical study.

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 2021 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/AP [December 2019/June 2020/December 2020] in Physical Sciences / Chemical Sciences / Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean, and Planetary Sciences.
    • UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) JRF/AP [December 2019/June 2020/December 2020] in Environmental Sciences.
    • Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) [GATE 2019/GATE 2020/GATE 2021] in Physics / Geology and Geophysics / Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences / Chemistry.
    • Joint Entrance Screening Test [JEST 2021] 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/UGC-NET (Env. Sc.)/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 on their successful submission of application online 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 23 positions available. However, the intake will depend on the candidate's performance 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 :

The candidate must be an Indian Citizen.

Age Limit :

28 years as on the last date of the application.

Important Dates :

Online Application Starts: 29 March 2021 (07:00 IST onwards)
Last date for online Application: 10 May 2021 (till 23:59 IST)
Dates for Interviews at PRL, Ahmedabad: 3-4-7-8 June 2021.
Mode of Interviews: ONLINE

Important Information :

  1. Candidates interested in applying to the PRL's JRF program must complete the submission of 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) and power failures.
  3. A valid e-mail ID and Mobile Number are mandatory for registration. E-mail ID should be kept active at least until the end of the admission process. 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(s)/correction(s) 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 out of incorrect/incomplete information furnished and / or failing to provide the required information on time. Successful submission of the application form online does not guarantee a call for an interview.
  6. The candidate's interview will be based on the academic qualification(s) and basic knowledge in physics, mathematics, & chemistry and not on the topic of research interest opted to pursue a 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 their work towards a 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 the 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 a 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 made after the successful 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; Assistant Professor/ Reader/ Scientist/Engineer-SE/ Scientist/Engineer SD can have a maximum of 3 Research Fellows at any point of time.
  3. A supervisor who will be superannuating within three years cannot take a Research Fellow for supervision.