Difference Between PhD and JRF

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between PhD and JRF

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There is a possibility that you will be awarded the fellowship if you do very well on either the CSIR test or another examination of a comparable kind. The overall amount of time spent holding the fellowship will add up to a total of five years (mostly). This specific period of five years consists of two years of Junior Reserve Force service and three years of Senior Reserve Force service. After being promoted to the position of Junior Research Fellow (JRF) at an academic institution, you are eligible to apply for a PhD program.

When it comes to pursuing a career in academia, particularly at the university level, there is a difference to be made between acquiring a PhD and a JRF. This distinction is important since the PhD is the more prestigious of the two degrees.

PhD vs JRF

Students who have completed their research thesis or dissertation are eligible to receive either the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). These two academic degrees are separate from one another and are offered to students. While the latter is a fellowship that is given to students to encourage them to continue their further education and research in the hopes that they would ultimately get a Master of Philosophy or a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The academic doctorate, sometimes known as a PhD, is the highest possible degree that may be conferred by a university. To get a doctoral degree, a candidate must first do original research that makes a significant contribution to the existing body of knowledge on the topic and then defend that research in front of a group of highly regarded professionals in the relevant area.

Students who have demonstrated academic excellence bypassing both the National Eligibility Exam and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) joint test, both of which are administered by the National Testing Agency, may be considered for a Junior Research Fellowship, abbreviated as JRF.

Additionally, it may refer to a job title that is given to a researcher who is working on a project that is supported by the government.

Both the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) are different types of academic degrees that may be earned in the area of research. Students who are pursuing a Master's or Doctoral degree may get financial assistance in the form of scholarships to support their further education and research.

When it comes to a career in academia, a PhD and a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) are two different types of academic positions that lead to different opportunities.

The greatest academic honour that may be awarded by a university is a doctor of philosophy, which is sometimes referred to as a PhD in certain circles. The completion of original research that makes a significant contribution to the existing body of knowledge in a particular field and the oral defence of that research in front of a committee of subject-matter specialists are both necessary steps in the process of receiving a doctoral degree.

Students who obtain a passing score on both the National Eligibility Test and the test given by the Council of Joint Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and which is administered by the National Testing Agency are considered qualified candidates for a Junior Research Scholarship, also known as a JRF. The main scholarship program administered by the University Grants Commission is called the JRF, and it includes the JRF.

Difference Between PhD and JRF in Tabular Form

Parameter of Comparison PhD JRF
Definition It is the highest and most prestigious degree that can be earned in higher education, and it is awarded to students who have conducted original academic research. Students who are interested in furthering their education and doing research are eligible to apply for this fellowship programme, which is made available by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Eligibility To be eligible to pursue a PhD degree, one must first get a Master's degree or an M. Phil degree. Applicants must have earned a rating of merit on either the UGC-NET or the UGC-CSIR joint test in order to be considered for the JRF.
Period It's probable that the wait will be longer than five or six years. The basic least is two years, while the maximum is five years.
Conferred by a school of higher learning, such as a college, university, or other institution of its kind. CUGS, or the Commission on Grants to Universities (UGC).
It is a requirement for Work in higher education, namely in the areas of research and teaching. Obtaining a more advanced degree such as a Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy.

What is a PhD?

PhDs are granted to students who have completed their original research in a particular topic and have thus contributed to the advancement of the knowledge base in that field. When a student's study was submitted in the form of a thesis or dissertation, it was deemed acceptable by the appropriate experts and counted toward the student's degree. You will be required to get a doctoral degree in your area of expertise if you wish to have a career as a professor, researcher, or scientist. Those who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree are permitted to and encouraged to preface their names with the title "Doctor."

The prerequisites that must be met to enrol in a PhD program vary from country to country.

Before becoming eligible to enrol in a PhD program in India, applicants must first have a Master's degree in the relevant field. Several academic institutions call for a Master of Philosophy degree.

Before a candidate may be given a Research Guide or Supervisor for their studies, they are needed to submit a Research Topic and Research Proposal to the appropriate university or institution once they have been accepted into a PhD program. The Research Supervisor would be responsible for providing the curricular content, the teaching schedule, and the evaluation procedures.

Candidates are required to submit their university or institution with progress reports on a six-monthly basis while they are working on their research topic. In addition to this, they are required to present at least two seminars and provide the Research Unit with a Certificate of Completion. After that, students are required to hand in a certificate to the Research Unit as well as publish at least one research paper in a journal that is subject to peer review.

A pre-submission seminar would be held by the candidate's supervisor before the submission of the thesis. This seminar would result in the production of a report that includes comments and revisions. To take into account the suggestions made by the supervisor, the research student would need to provide a synopsis of the amended thesis to the Supervisor at least 45 days before the thesis was due for its final submission.

After that, the Research student would then have the option to defend their thesis in front of an expert panel, after the final submission of their thesis and acceptance by the external experts. [citation needed] If the Research student is successful in convincing the committee, they will be granted a doctoral degree.

What is JRF?

Students who have achieved success on both the National Eligibility Test (NET) and the combined CSIR/NET test are eligible to receive fellowships via a program run by the University Grants Commission. This program is run by educational institutions such as universities, institutes, and colleges.

Students are encouraged to enrol in an M.Phil. or PhD program no more than two years after receiving their qualifying certificate from the NET/CSIR combined test. You will become eligible to receive the fellowship reward after you have enrolled in the program.

Students who are interested in furthering their studies and doing research in their chosen fields at the post-graduate level, leading to the degrees of Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy, might be encouraged to apply for this kind of fellowship.

To get things rolling, the fellowship will be available for a maximum of two years and will provide a monthly stipend of $25,000, in addition to providing a housing stipend. Following the completion of this fellowship term of two years, the work of the fellow is evaluated by a panel of knowledgeable individuals. If they are pleased with their performance, the fellowship might be extended for an additional three years, and they could get a wage raise as well.

If the panel is not satisfied, the fellow is granted an additional year of funding. After one year, the panel reviews the fellow's development and decides whether or not to extend his or her support for a further two years under the SRF.

The duration of this particular kind of fellowship is five years (2 years as a JRF and 3 years as an SRF).

Main Differences Between PhD and JRF in Points

  • The language used in this field may be difficult to understand for those who do not have a background in advanced studies or research. To phrase it differently: There is a difference between a junior research fellow (JRF) and a doctorate (PhD), which are both academic degrees. A fellowship program is made available to students by the UGC so that they may engage in more advanced research and academic pursuits.
  • Students must get a passing score on either the UGC-NET or the UGC-CSIR joint exam to be considered for the JRF program. Even though entrance to a PhD program requires either a Master's or an M.Phil degree.
  • A Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) is first awarded for two years before being extended for a further three years at a higher stipend by the terms of the SRF. The length of time it takes to complete a PhD degree may range anywhere from three to six years, depending on the student's speed as well as other aspects of the program.
  • A doctoral degree is necessary to work in a college or university in the capacity of a researcher, scientist, or professor. On the other hand, a Joint Research Fund (JRF) provides financial assistance to those who want to enhance their studies and do research related to the area.
  • It's possible that people with JRFs won't be able to get PhDs, but they might still earn other types of advanced degrees. However, individuals who desire to pursue a PhD need to apply for grants like the J. Robert Fulbright Fellowship.
  • A PhD is the title given to someone who has earned a degree, whereas a Jrf is a name given to a fellowship.
  • A PhD is a degree that is based on research, while a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) is a job that is granted by a central agency, such as the University Grants Commission (UGC) or the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), or by the Department in which the scholar is engaged for her or his research.
  • You are eligible to receive a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) from the Government of India for a period of up to five years while you are working toward earning your doctoral degree. Your fellowship will come to an end after you have completed all of the requirements for your PhD.


People in the general public often use the terms JRF and PhD interchangeably. The reason for this is that professors who have earned their doctorates, as well as students working toward their doctorates, may be seen attending classes and taking part in research projects while they are at a college or university. However, it is essential to bear in mind that being awarded a JRF does not ensure that one would go on to get a PhD. On the other hand, people who are working toward obtaining a PhD need to have a fellowship. The fellowship may be yours if you pass the CSIR test or a comparable one. The fellowship is for a total of five years (mostly). There were two years of JRF and three years of SRF in the five years. As a JRF, you are eligible to apply for a PhD at any university.


  1. https://www.shiksha.com/ph-d-chp
  2. https://www.ugc.ac.in/oldpdf/xiplanpdf/JRFsciencehumanities.pdf


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"Difference Between PhD and JRF." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 19 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-phd-and-jrf-439>.

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