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CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research Fellowship and Lecturer-ship

CSIR is pioneer in supporting R&D activities in the country.

CSIR has initiated various schemes over the years to benefit students to pursue their research interests in various areas of science & technology, the most noteworthy among these is CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test for JRF and Eligibility for Lectureship.

CSIR’s role in S&T human resource development is noteworthy. Presently, CSIR has been supporting a large number of research fellows/associates for pursuing their doctoral and postdoctoral research in universities and R&D institutions across the country.  

CSIR’s ‘Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science and Technology’, instituted in 1957 is the most coveted and revered prize in science and technology in the country.  Over the years, SSB Prize recipients have been recognised with fellowship of national and international academies/societies, etc.

The EMR Division under HRD Group of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) provide CSIR Research Fellowships and Associateships to bright young men and women for training in methods of research under the expert guidance of faculty members/scientists working in University Departments/Institutes of National Importance/National Laboratories and Institutes of CSIR in various fields of Science & Technology and Medical Sciences.

The CSIR Fellowships/Associateships are tenable in Universities/IITs/Post-Graduate Colleges/ Government Research Establishments including those of CSIR, R&D establishments of recognized public or private sector, industrial firms and other recognized institutions. However, CSIR reserves the right to determine the place best suited to provide necessary facilities in the area of science and technology in which the awardee is to specialize.

The CSIR Fellowships / Associateships are tenable in India. Only bonafide Indian citizens, residing in India are eligible for the award of research Fellowship/Associateships. The programme is aimed at National Human Resource Development for S & T.

The award of CSIR Fellowship / Associateships is for fixed tenure and does not imply any assurance or guarantee for subsequent employment by CSIR to the beneficiary. The authority to award/ terminate vests with CSIR. The awardee shall not lay claim to permanent absorption in CSIR, after the expiry of Fellowship / Associateship.


A large number of JRFs are awarded each year by CSIR  to candidates holding  BS-4 years program/BE/B. Tech/B. Pharma/MBBS/ Integrated BS-MS/M.Sc or Equivalent degree/BSc (Hons) or equivalent degree holders  or students enrolled in integrated MS-Ph.D program with at least 55% marks for General & OBC (50% for SC/ST candidates, Physically and Visually handicapped candidates) after qualifying the National Eligibility Test ( NET) conducted by CSIR twice a year June and December.  

Candidates with bachelor’s degree, whether Science, engineering or any other discipline, will be eligible for fellowship only after getting registered/enrolled for Ph.D/integrated Ph.D. programme within the validity period of two years.

Candidate enrolled for M.Sc. or having completed 10+2+3 years of the above qualifying examination are also eligible to apply in the above subject under the Result Awaited (RA) category.


The upper age limit for applying for the award of JRF shall be 28 years, which is relaxed upto 5 years in the case of candidates belonging to Schedule Castes/Schedule Tribes/, Physically Handicapped/Visually Handicapped and female applicants whereas 3 years in case of OBCs (Non-creamy layer candidates).


The Selection for award of JRF shall be made on the basis of a competitive written test called the National Eligibility Test (NET), conducted by CSIR at national level twice a year. From June 2011, CSIR has introduced a Single MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) Paper based test comprising of three parts. Part-A shall be common to all subjects comprising question on General Science and Research Aptitude. Part-B shall contain subject-related conventional MCQ and Part-C shall contain higher value questions that may test the candidate’s knowledge of scientific concepts and/or application of the scientific concepts. Negative marking for wrong answers shall be done.

The candidates who qualify the test are informed individually. The Fellowship is awarded on receipt of necessary details of the qualifying degree examination, proposed place of research work, research topic, the name of supervisor and the concurrence of the Institution to provide all the necessary facilities. The validity of the offer of the JRF award is two years and will not be extendable.


The stipend of a JRF selected through CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) will be Rs 31,000/ p.m for the first two years. In addition, annual contingent grant of Rs. 20,000/- per fellow will be provided to  the University / Institution.

 SRF-NET: On Completion of two years as JRF and if the fellow is registered for PhD, the fellowship will be upgraded to SRF (NET) and the stipend will be increased to Rs. 35,000/- p.m for the 3rd and subsequent years, on the basis of assessment of Fellows’ research progress/ achievements through interview by an Expert Committee consisting of the Guide, Head of the Department and External Member from outside the University/ Institution who is an expert in the relevant field, not below the rank of Professor/ Associate Professor.

The total tenure as JRF plus SRF(NET) will not exceed five years. This will include the tenure of Fellowship awarded by UGC/DST/DBT/ICMR/ICAR etc or any other funding agency/Institution. The order for continuation at the same rate of stipend as SRF(NET), continuation at the same rate of stipend as JRF or otherwise will be issued by the EMR Division of HRDG, CSIR. Extension may not also be granted if the fellow does not acknowledge the support of CSIR in his/her  research publication(s).


An annual contingent grant of Rs.20,000/- per fellow is provided to the University/Institution. For less than one year, the contingent grant will be admissible on pro-rata basis. Part of this grant may be utilized in the interest of research work, purchase of books, etc. The unspent balance of contingency grant at the end of a year may be carried forward to the next year, however, the next release of contingency grant will be subject to adjustment of unspent balance of contingency grant of the previous year thereby restricting contingency expenditure to a maximum of Rs 20,000/- in a year. The CSIR Research Fellows will be given Rs.3,000/- (lump sum) extra on submission of PhD thesis in e-form.


The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has entrusted the responsibility of conducting CSIR-UGC NET in COMPUTER BASED TEST (CBT) mode to NTA.

TIME: 3 HOURS                                                                                MAXIMUM MARKS: 200

 CSIR-UGC (NET) Exam for Award of Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lecturership shall be a Single Paper Test having Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). The question paper is divided in three parts

Part ‘A’ 

              This part shall carry 20 questions pertaining to General Science, Quantitative Reasoning & Analysis and Research Aptitude. The candidates shall be required to answer any 15 questions. Each question shall be of two marks. The total marks allocated to this section shall be 30 out of 200.

Part ‘B’

             This part shall contain 40 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) generally covering the topics given in the syllabus. A candidate shall be required to answer any 35 questions. Each question shall be of two marks. The total marks allocated to this section shall be 70 out of 200.

Part ‘C’

This part shall contain 60 questions that are designed to test a candidate’s knowledge of scientific concepts and/or application of the scientific concepts. The questions shall be of analytical nature where a candidate is expected to apply the scientific knowledge to arrive at the solution to the given scientific problem. A candidate shall be required to answer any 25 questions. Each question shall be of four marks. The total marks allocated to this section shall be 100 out of 200.

There will be negative marking @ 25% for each wrong answer.



 To commemorate the birth centenary year (2000) of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, who was the first Vice-President of CSIR in the Independent India, CSIR has instituted a special fellowship, namely, “DR. SHYAMA PRASAD MUKHERJEE (SPM) FELLOWSHIP” open to toppers of CSIR-UGC JRF (NET) awardees.

  Nature of Fellowship:

Stipend : Rs.36000/- + HRA per month during the first two years of the fellowship and a Contingency grant of Rs.70000/- p.a. May be raised to Rs.42000/- + HRA per month from third year onwards on the basis of assessment through interview. May be reverted to JRF (NET), if performance is not found satisfactory.

Duration: Initially for 2 years. Extendable as per normal rules for CSIR JRF (NET) scheme. The maximum tenure of SPM Fellowship will be up to 5 years.

An annual contingent grant of Rs.70,000/- per fellow is provided to the University/Institution.

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (SPM) Fellowships will be awarded through interview mode.

 Eligibility Criteria for calling candidates for interview:

A maximum of 10 SPM Fellowships each in Chemical Sciences and Life Sciences, and 5 each in Earth, Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences will be awarded through interview mode.

Candidates in ratio of 1:3 will be called for interview in each subject.

Nehru Science Postdoctoral research Fellowship

CSIR-Nehru Science Postdoctoral research Fellowship Scheme” has been instituted to identify promising young researchers with innovative ideas and provide them with training and research opportunities in niche areas of basic science, engineering, medicine and agriculture. The scheme aims at facilitating their transition from mentored to independent research career. CSIR intends to offer one hundred (100) such fellowships every year to promising fresh PhD holders for working in CSIR laboratories with state-of-art R&D facilities.


PhD degree holders within three years of award of PhD degree, or those who have submitted PhD theses. Applicants who are about to submit thesis are also eligible to apply, but, their selection will be subject to the condition that they would have submitted thesis before the expiry of the validity of the award offer. Applicants should have research publications in high impact factor SCI journals.

Though CSIR Nehru Science Postdoctoral Research Fellowship is open to Indian nationals, Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), a certain number (up to 20%) of fellowships may be offered to foreign nationals.

Maximum Age Limit

32 years, relaxable upto 5 years in case of SC/ST/Physically handicapped and women candidates and 3 years in case of OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) candidates.


Two years and extendable for maximum one more year based on outstanding performance and recommendation from the Director of the CSIR lab where working.


CSIR Nehru Science Postdoctoral Fellows will be paid a consolidated fellowship of Indian Rs. 65,000/- per month plus House Rent Allowance (HRA) as admissible and a contingency grant of Rs. 3.0 lakh per annum. 25% of the contingency grant can be used for domestic and international travel including per diem expenses.


 Inorganic Chemistry

  1. Chemical periodicity
  2. Structure and bonding in homo- and heteronuclear molecules, including shapes of molecules (VSEPR Theory).
  3. Concepts of acids and bases, Hard-Soft acid base concept, Non-aqueous solvents.
  4. Main group elements and their compounds: Allotropy, synthesis, structure and bonding, industrial importance of the compounds.
  5. Transition elements and coordination compounds: structure, bonding theories, spectral and magnetic properties, reaction mechanisms.
  6. Inner transition elements: spectral and magnetic properties, redox chemistry, analytical applications.
  7. Organometallic compounds: synthesis, bonding and structure, and reactivity. Organometallics in homogeneous catalysis.
  8. Cages and metal clusters.
  9. Analytical chemistry- separation, spectroscopic, electro- and thermoanalytical methods.
  10. Bioinorganic chemistry: photosystems, porphyrins, metalloenzymes, oxygen transport, electron – transfer reactions; nitrogen fixation, metal complexes in medicine.
  11. Characterization of inorganic compounds by IR, Raman, NMR, EPR, Mössbauer, UV-vis, NQR, MS, electron spectroscopy and microscopic techniques.
  12. Nuclear chemistry: nuclear reactions, fission and fusion, radio-analytical techniques and activation analysis.


Physical Chemistry:

  1. Basic principles of quantum mechanics: Postulates; operator algebra; exactly solvable systems: particle-in-a-box, harmonic oscillator and the hydrogen atom, including shapes of atomic orbitals; orbital and spin angular momenta; tunneling.
  2. Approximate methods of quantum mechanics: Variational principle; perturbation theory up to second order in energy; applications.
  3. Atomic structure and spectroscopy; term symbols; many-electron systems and antisymmetry principle.
  4. Chemical bonding in diatomics; elementary concepts of MO and VB theories; Huckel theory for conjugated π-electron systems.
  5. Chemical applications of group theory; symmetry elements; point groups; character tables; selection rules.
  6. Molecular spectroscopy: Rotational and vibrational spectra of diatomic molecules; electronic spectra; IR and Raman activities – selection rules; basic principles of magnetic resonance.
  7. Chemical thermodynamics: Laws, state and path functions and their applications; thermodynamic description of various types of processes; Maxwell’s relations; spontaneity and equilibria; temperature and pressure dependence of thermodynamic quantities; Le Chatelier principle; elementary description of phase transitions; phase equilibria and phase rule; thermodynamics of ideal and non-ideal gases, and solutions.
  8. Statistical thermodynamics: Boltzmann distribution; kinetic theory of gases; partition functions and their relation to thermodynamic quantities – calculations for model systems.
  9. Electrochemistry: Nernst equation, redox systems, electrochemical cells; DebyeHuckel theory; electrolytic conductance – Kohlrausch’s law and its applications; ionic equilibria; conductometric and potentiometric titrations.
  10. Chemical kinetics: Empirical rate laws and temperature dependence; complex reactions; steady state approximation; determination of reaction mechanisms; collision and transition state theories of rate constants; unimolecular reactions; enzyme kinetics; salt effects; homogeneous catalysis; photochemical reactions.
  11. Colloids and surfaces: Stability and properties of colloids; isotherms and surface area; heterogeneous catalysis.
  12. Solid state: Crystal structures; Bragg’s law and applications; band structure of solids.
  13. Polymer chemistry: Molar masses; kinetics of polymerization.
  14. Data analysis: Mean and standard deviation; absolute and relative errors; linear
    regression; covariance and correlation coefficient.


Organic Chemistry

  1. IUPAC nomenclature of organic molecules including regio- and stereoisomers.
  2. Principles of stereochemistry: Configurational and conformational isomerism in acyclic and cyclic compounds; stereogenicity, stereoselectivity, enantioselectivity, diastereoselectivity and asymmetric induction.
  3. Aromaticity: Benzenoid and non-benzenoid compounds – generation and reactions.
  4. Organic reactive intermediates: Generation, stability and reactivity of carbocations, carbanions, free radicals, carbenes, benzynes and nitrenes.
  5. Organic reaction mechanisms involving addition, elimination and substitution reactions with electrophilic, nucleophilic or radical species. Determination of reaction pathways.
  6. Common named reactions and rearrangements – applications in organic synthesis.
  7. Organic transformations and reagents: Functional group interconversion including oxidations and reductions; common catalysts and reagents (organic, inorganic, organometallic and enzymatic). Chemo, regio and stereoselective transformations.
  8. Concepts in organic synthesis: Retrosynthesis, disconnection, synthons, linear and
    convergent synthesis, umpolung of reactivity and protecting groups.
  9. Asymmetric synthesis: Chiral auxiliaries, methods of asymmetric induction – substrate, reagent and catalyst controlled reactions; determination of enantiomeric and diastereomeric excess; enantio-discrimination. Resolution – optical and kinetic.
  10. Pericyclic reactions – electrocyclisation, cycloaddition, sigmatropic rearrangements and other related concerted reactions. Principles and applications of photochemical reactions in organic chemistry.
  11. Synthesis and reactivity of common heterocyclic compounds containing one or two heteroatoms (O, N, S).
  12. Chemistry of natural products: Carbohydrates, proteins and peptides, fatty acids, nucleic acids, terpenes, steroids and alkaloids. Biogenesis of terpenoids and alkaloids.
  13. Structure determination of organic compounds by IR, UV-Vis, 1H & 13C NMR and Mass spectroscopic techniques.


Interdisciplinary topics 

  1. Chemistry in nanoscience and technology.
  2. Catalysis and green chemistry.
  3. Medicinal chemistry.
  4. Supramolecular chemistry.
  5. Environmental chemistry.