Home   »   Research Associate   »   JRF

Difference between Research Associate and JRF, Check Here

While both involved in research, a Research Associate and Junior Research Fellow (JRF) represent distinct stages in an academic career. JRF is an early-stage, temporary position typically awarded to Master’s degree holders pursuing a Ph.D., funded by a fellowship like UGC NET JRF. They primarily assist senior researchers and gain research experience.

In contrast, a Research Associate holds a Ph.D. and has a permanent or fixed-term position contributing more independently to projects, often leading their own research areas. Think of JRF as an apprenticeship and Research Associate as a mid-career professional, both crucial for the advancement of research but at different levels of responsibility and expertise.

JRF Overview

JRF stands for Junior Research Fellowship. It is a prestigious research fellowship awarded to candidates who clear the UGC NET (University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test) examination and rank among the top candidates. Those who want to make a career in Research & Academia or Higher Education inevitably have to pursue a PhD degree. A Ph.D. degree takes up a lot of time and money.

Thus, JRF is offered to support and promote research activities among Ph.D. candidates and research scholars by providing them with monthly stipends. After the UGC announcement, the stipend is 37,000 for the first two years and 42,000 for the rest of the period.

JRF Overview
Name of the Fellowship JRF (Junior Research Fellowship)
Conducting Authority NTA (National Testing Agency)
Awarded by UGC/ CSIR
Age limit 30 years
Eligibility Master’s Degree in relevant subject with minimum 55%
Exam Type Online CBT- MCQ type
Stipend 31,000-42,000
Validity 3 yr

What is a Research Associate?

A research associate is a professional who works in a research capacity within an organization, such as a university, research institution, or private company. They are typically involved in conducting research projects, analyzing data, and contributing to the development of new knowledge in their field of expertise

Many of you would confuse a Research Associate with a Research Assistant. Well, these are two different positions available on any funded research project.

  • A Research Associate is usually more qualified and holds at least a doctoral degree.
  • Research assistant is more of a junior position with less autonomy. A Research Associate is a senior position with a lot more autonomy and responsibilities.

To promote research and upskill the post-doctoral candidates with relevant skills in the area, the Govt, through UGC, opens opportunities for candidates to further engage in research activities. This is more prevalent in applied subjects with real-world use cases, especially science subjects. They are usually hired for research projects funded by Govt. Institutions, private institutions, industrial firms, and more.

Difference between Research Associate and JRF

By now, you must have realized that the JRF and Research Associate are two very different things. They are related to research, but that is where the similarity ends. A Research Associate position comes much later in the Research & Academic career after the doctoral degree. So, let’s check out the differences between Research Associate and JRF in detail.

Difference between Research Associate and JRF
Particulars Research Associate JRF
Level A Position on funded research. Fellowship for PhD
Age limit 35-40 years 30 years
Time period For 3 years For 2+3 years
Stipend 58,000-63,000 37,000-42,0000
Eligibility PhD plus with research publications Master’s with 55%
Process of Recruitment Interview UGC NET exam
Research Work Have Experience with more than 5 Research Journal Working on Research Part
Position type Permanent or fixed-term Temporary (2-5 years)
Responsibilities Conduct research, analyze data, write reports, publish findings Assist with research tasks, collect data, learn research methods
Career stage Mid-career Early-career (often pursuing Ph.D.)
Focus Contributing to specific projects or research areas Gaining research experience

It’s important to note that the specific roles and responsibilities of an RA and JRF may vary based on the organization, project requirements, and funding sources. These differences serve as general distinctions between the two roles.


Sharing is caring!

About the Author

I serve as a Team Leader at Adda247, specializing in National and State Level Competitive Government Exams within the Teaching Vertical. My responsibilities encompass thorough research and the development of informative and engaging articles designed to assist and guide aspiring candidates. This work is conducted in alignment with Adda247's dedication to educational excellence.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *