Junior Research Fellowship (PRL Funded)


Applications for Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs) at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) are invited from highly motivated and dynamic candidates to pursue research in any of the following science domains:
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.
The candidates selected as JRFs will be joining PRL in July 2024.
Following are the details of the research topics in each research domain. Please visit the web pages of each discipline for more information on research topics before filling in the online application.

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Solar system's minor bodies like Comets and Asteroids in the optical wavelengths (imaging-polarimetry and low-resolution spectroscopy), exoplanets around stars, multiwavelength (from radio to optical wavelengths) research on stellar astrophysics including M dwarfs, symbiotic stars, morphological studies of star formation regions both high mass and low mass stars, optical and near-IR studies of transient events like novae, supernovae, GRBs, optical and near-IR studies of star clusters, extragalactic astronomy, studies of Radio galaxies using GMRT, and other radio telescopes, Optical and near-IR instrumentation for PRL 2.5m telescope, Space-based X-ray astronomy instrumentation for future X-ray missions, Space-based X-ray observations of black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs in binary systems, Active Galactic Nuclei and X-ray polarizations, Numerical simulation of the solar atmosphere and heliosphere.

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Experiment: Quantum entanglement, quantum communication, quantum cryptography, quantum imaging, quantum sensing, nonlinear optics, quantum materials, quantum emitters, plasmonics, cavity QED, integrated photonic quantum computing, structured beams, generation and detection of THz radiations, shock processing of materials, reactions induced in astrochemical ices by projectiles, radiations, and shockwaves, ultrafast reactions studies, femtosecond and attosecond processes, fragmentation dynamics of molecules, Photons and auger electron studies, XUV generations, Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, crystal defect dynamics studies, luminescence dosimetry, luminescence dating, Earth surface processes studies. Theory: Atomic many-body methods to study atomic clocks, parity and CP symmetry violations, isotope shifts, polarizabilities, machine learning, and parallel programming.


Evolution of Earth since accretion, Subduction zone processes, Submarine volcanism; Sediment Provenance; Geoarchaeology; Quaternary landforms and Earth surface processes; Biogeochemical cycling of elements in marine and terrestrial environments; Isotope hydrology; Paleoclimate and Paleoceanography; Marine geochemistry; Chemical weathering and climate; Aerosol composition and chemistry.

Planetary Sciences and Space Exploration

Planetary geology, Planetary atmospheres, and ionospheres based on science data from space missions; Theoretical modelling and observational studies of physical processes of Mars, Venus, Moon, and asteroids; Investigating the origin and evolution of the solar system through laboratory analysis of extraterrestrial material (meteorites and sample returned missions); Analysis of data from Indian missions Chandrayaan-1, -2, -3, Mars Orbiter Mission and Aditya-L1; Development of scientific instrumentation for future planetary missions to Moon, Venus, and Mars.

Solar Physics

Physics of solar oscillations, structure and evolution of sunspots, magnetohydrodynamic processes in the solar atmosphere, coronal heating, solar eruptions, space weather predictions, observations and analysis of data obtained from Multi-Application Solar Telescope and Aditya-L1 space mission, design and development of sophisticated instruments for solar observations, and participation in upcoming national projects like National Large Solar Telescope.

Space and Atmospheric Sciences

Physics of the Sun-earth interactions; space weather and its impact on society; ionospheric processes; lower, middle and upper atmospheric wave dynamics and coupling processes; aerosols and Earth's radiation budget; observations/modelling of trace gases, volatile organic compounds; atmospheric boundary layer and cloud dynamics; greenhouse gases/global warming, climate change. Opportunities are available for participation in research based on the data obtained from the ongoing Aditya-L1 mission and upcoming space science missions like DISHA and missions to Venus and Mars.

Theoretical Physics

Condensed matter Physics - including quantum condensed matter physics, topological materials, unconventional superconductivity, strongly correlated electronic systems, itinerant magnetism; Particle Physics - including neutrino physics, collider physics, dark matter phenomenology, CP violation, baryogenesis, heavy flavor physics, effective field theories, strong interaction physics, precision calculations in strong and electro-weak interaction physics, studies of extended gauge, global and space-time symmetries; cosmology and Astroparticle Physics; Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques in fundamental 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.
  • Candidates expecting their master’s degree by August 2024 are also eligible to apply, subject to having secured at least a first-class (60%) or equivalent grade(s) up to the last semester.
  • Candidates from disciplines of any branch of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering Physics, Photonics, Space Physics, Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science, Oceanography, Meteorology, Geology, Geophysics, Earth Science and Remote Sensing are eligible to apply.
  • Candidates should be interested in pursuing a research career in the current research areas at PRL, as mentioned above.
  • Applicants must have qualified in any one of the following exams:
    1. CSIR-UGC-NET JRF/AP not before 2022 in Physical Sciences/Chemical Sciences/Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean, and Planetary Sciences,
    2. GATE not before 2022 in Physics/Geology and Geophysics/Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences/Chemistry,
    3. JEST [2024] in Physics,
    4. UGC-NET JRF/AP not before 2022 in Environmental Sciences (applicable for candidates applying in Geosciences, Space & Atmospheric Sciences, Planetary Sciences & space exploration. Physics at UG and PG level is mandatory for candidates applying for Space & Atmospheric Sciences research preference.
    5. Applicants whose All-India ranks are in the range of 1-500 in any of the CSIR-UGC-NET/UGC-NET/GATE/JEST tests are likely, but not assured, to be called for an interview at PRL subject to their fulfilling other eligibility criteria mentioned above and online application through PRL's website.
    6. Prospective candidates are expected to have good proficiency in fundamental physics and mathematics.
    7. PRL encourages gender diversity.
    8. All candidates meeting the above minimum requirement are encouraged to apply.

External Junior and Senior Fellowships Awards :

  • PRL encourages hosting candidates who are awarded research fellowships by various Central Govt. schemes (CSIR-JRF, DST-INSPIRE) for pursuing research at PRL.
  • Candidates with External Funded Fellowships can also apply through this advertisement.
  • A valid Junior Research fellowship award letter from the agencies is required to execute this fellowship. The awarding agency will specify the amount and duration of the fellowship. The disbursement and continuation of the fellowship will be subject to the norms specified by the awarding agency or specified by PRL Ahmedabad, as deemed fit.
  • Selection will be based on an interview. Merely satisfying the basic eligibility criteria is no guarantee for being called for a test/interview. Depending on the number of applications received PRL may put additional academic performance-based criteria for shortlisting the candidates.
  • The terms and conditions for externally funded research fellows will be as per their funding agency, but to the extent as per PRL & DOS rules and regulations. In case of any conflict of regulations between the funding agency and PRL, the rules & regulations of PRL/DOS will take precedence.
  • Research Fellows can avail of the First aid medical facilities provided at PRL Dispensary. No medicines shall be issued, nor PRL shall entertain any hospital bills.
  • Externally funded research fellows will not be provided hostel accommodation by PRL, and they can avail HRA as applicable.

Nationality :

The candidate must be an Indian citizen and should have studied at recognized Universities/Institutes in India.

Age Limit :

28 years as on 01st July 2024

Important Dates :

Online Application Starts: 15 March 2024
Last date for online Application: 26 April 2024 (till 23:59 hrs. IST) **
Interview dates at PRL, Ahmedabad: 27-31 May 2024.
The candidate's sole responsibility is to ensure the fulfilment of the eligibility criteria as notified. The candidate should fully comply with the procedural requirements and time limits stipulated for submission of the online application. Any deviations from the above would cancel candidature, and any representation on such matters will not be entertained.

Important Information (please read this before filling in the application online):

  1. Candidates interested in applying to the PRL's JRF program must complete the submission of the online application form.
  2. A valid e-mail ID and Mobile Number are mandatory for registration. E-mail ID should be kept active until the end of the admission process. The status of successful registration will be sent to the registered e-mail ID.
  3. PRL will not be responsible for any consequences arising from 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.
  4. The candidate's interview will be based on the academic qualification(s) and basic knowledge in physics, mathematics, & chemistry and not on research interest opted to pursue research in PRL.
  5. Candidates are advised to apply well before the closing date and not wait until the last date to avoid possible hindrances, such as internet connection issues, local server(s), and power failures.

Course Work

All the JRFs have to undergo two semesters of coursework after joining PRL. Only on the successful completion of the coursework 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. 37,000/- pm and for Senior Research Fellows (SRF): Rs. 42,000/- pm (as governed by Dept. of Space guidelines). 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. The performance of the Research Fellows shall be reviewed on a yearly basis for the continuation of the fellowship.

Incentive for exceptionally meritorious PRL JRFs: ATAL Fellowship:

PRL has instituted a Platinum Jubilee Research Fellowship (ATAL) for PRL JRFs aspirants with proven academic credentials pursuing high-quality fundamental research at PRL. The fellowship will be for 03 years (from 3rd to 5th year tenure). There is a provision of a maximum of two ATAL fellowships, and the amount will be Rs. 40,000 per month in kind, in addition to the regular monthly Research Fellowship.

Allotment of Supervisor:

The final decision on the research topic and supervisor will be made based on the following:
  1. JRF's performance in the course work and
  2. Requirement of ongoing research projects at PRL.
Accordingly, Information on available research topics and supervisors, as decided by the competent authority of PRL, will be shared with JRFs, at an appropriate time.


S.No. Question Answer
1 I have qualified for JEST 2023. Am I eligible to apply? NO
2 I have done M.Tech. in Remote Sensing/Engineering Physics/Applied Physics/Space Sciences. Am I eligible to apply? YES
3 I have qualified JEST 2024 but completed B.Tech. Am I eligible to apply? NO
4 I am awarded the DST INSPIRE fellowship for PhD/CSIR JRF. Am I eligible to apply through this advertisement? YES
5 I have qualified in JEST 2024. Do I need to apply separately to be considered for the JRF 2024 program at PRL? YES, you need to apply.
6 My master’s degree is in Physics. Can I choose Space & Atmospheric Sciences/Planetary Sciences as my discipline of research preference? YES. The knowledge in Physics will prove to be extremely useful as it is applied to several space research topics.
7 I have qualified for UGC-NET in Environmental Science but have not studied Physics at UG and PG levels, can I apply for Space & Atmospheric Sciences? NO