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What is the Difference between JRF, SRF, & RA?

UGC NET qualified candidates will have many career opportunities in various fields i.e. research, Academic, PSU. Candidate who decide to opt path in Research and Academics stands out as one of the most prestigious, ambitious, and revered choices.

JRF will be the first step to start career in the Research field which follows SRF and Research assistant. UGC NET JRF Certificate owner will pursue Phd through JRF score. Thus, this article aims to provide an intricate panorama distinguishing between JRF, SRF, & RA, illuminating these critical designations for those journeying towards advanced academic pursuits.

What is the JRF?

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. JRF is offered to support and promote research activities among Ph.D. candidates and research scholars by providing them with monthly stipends.

JRF Overview
Age limit
  • 35 years for Male
  • 45 years for Female
Stipend 37,000
Stipend period First two years of Ph.D.
Educational Qualification A minimum of 55% in Masters
Awarded by UGC-CSIR

What is the SRF?

SRF or Senior Research Fellowship refers to the fellowship after the JRF. Once you complete the first two years of your Ph.D. as a Junior Research Fellow, you are promoted to Senior Research Fellow and enjoy the SRF benefits from the third year onwards of your research in your Ph.D. degree course. Let’s take a quick look at the main highlights to understand it further.

SRF Overview
Age limit 32-35 years
Stipend 42,000
Stipend period 3 years after the JRF
Educational Qualification Same as JRF. However, in the case of direct SRF, 3 years of Research experience after the Master’s is compulsory.
Awarded by UGC-CSIR, individual Institutions engaged in research activities.

What is a RA?

RA, or Research Assistantship, is often recruited on a temporary contract basis to “assist” and carry out research activity. A university, a research institute, or a privately held organization offers an RA. This position has a handsome monthly stipend to assist in academic or private research. Research Assistantship is also offered in exchange for partial or full tuition and or stipend. Let’s take a look at the highlight in brief.

RA Overview
Age limit 30-45 years (vary on institutions)
  • RA 1- 58,000
  • RA 2- 61,000
  • RA 3- 63,000
Stipend period Generally, 3 years or less.
Educational Qualification Ph.D. and one research publication in Standard Journal. Research Experience Post-doc is also asked in many cases.
Awarded by Individual Institutions engaged in research activities.

Difference between JRF, SRF, & RA

As you must have observed from their highlights, there is a hierarchy to the fellowship and financial assistance offered to those pursuing academics and research. Here are the significant differences between JRF, SRF, & RA that you should keep in mind.

Feature JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) SRF (Senior Research Fellowship) RA (Research Associate)
Eligibility Master’s degree with at least 55% marks (50% marks for reserved categories) from a recognized university or equivalent Master’s degree with at least 55% marks (50% marks for reserved categories) from a recognized university or equivalent and two years of research experience PhD degree from a recognized university or equivalent and five years of research experience
Tenure 2 years 3 years 5 years
Stipend  Rs. 37,000 per month  Rs. 42,000 per month  Rs. 58,000 to Rs. 63,000 per month depending on the level of experience
Position Entry-level research position Higher-level research position Research position requiring higher qualifications and research experience
Post Status Temporary position typically for two years Typically offered for a fixed tenure of three years, extendable based on certain conditions Can be temporary or permanent, depending on the specific project or research institution
Primary Focus Conducting research under the guidance of a senior researcher Conducting independent research and guiding junior researchers Carrying out advanced research and leading research projects
Promotion Eligible for promotion to SRF after successful completion of JRF tenure Eligible for promotion to RA after successful completion of SRF tenure Can be promoted to senior positions based on their performance and contributions
Admission Exam UGC NET or CSIR NET There is no standard SRF examination No exam
Age Limit 35 years 32-35 years 30-45 years


What is the Difference between JRF, SRF, & RA?_3.1


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What is JRF?

Junior Research Fellowship awarded based on UGC NET examination for research scholars with a monthly stipend.

What is SRF?

Senior Research Fellowship, a promotion after JRF, offering increased benefits during the third year onwards of Ph.D.

What is RA?

Research Assistantship position in universities, research institutes, or private organizations, assisting in research activities.

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.


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