Difference Between PhD and JRF

Difference Between PhD and JRF

Ph.D. and JRF are two distinct designations that are associated with a profession in academia, particularly in higher education.


The primary distinction between a PhD and a JRF is that the former is a degree awarded to students upon completion of their research thesis or dissertation, whilst the latter is a certificate awarded to students upon completion of their research thesis or dissertation. When compared to the former, the latter is a fellowship that is awarded to students as an incentive to continue further studies and research that will eventually lead to an MPhil or PhD degree.

Generally speaking, a Doctorate in Philosophy, sometimes known as a PhD, is the highest degree that may be awarded by a university in any academic field. To be awarded a PhD, one must conduct original research that contributes to the advancement of knowledge in a specific topic and defend that study in front of a panel of field experts who are knowledgeable in that field.

For its part, a Junior Research Fellowship, also known as a JRF, is a type of fellowship that is awarded by universities/colleges/institutions under the University Grants Commission’s flagship Junior Research Fellowship scheme to students who pass the National Eligibility Test and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) joint test, both of which are administered by the National Testing Agency.

It may also refer to a post awarded to someone who is doing research for a government-sponsored initiative.

What is a PhD?

It is the highest degree that may be awarded by a university to students who have finished their original research work in a specific area and have therefore contributed to the expansion of the knowledge base of the discipline in which they studied.

The degree is a mark of recognition gained by students for their study effort, which is presented in the form of a thesis or a dissertation to the appropriate field experts for review and approval.

An advanced doctorate degree is often required for positions such as Professor, Researcher, or Scientist in a university or other research institution. In many subjects, a doctoral degree is also required for work as a researcher or scientist in the industry. Those who have received a PhD degree are entitled to and may use the title ‘Doctor’ before their first and last names.

The requirements for admission to a PhD program range from one country to the next.

Students who want to pursue a PhD degree in India must first get a Master’s degree in the academic area in which they choose to specialize. Depending on the university, they may also be required to have an MPhil degree.

Following their acceptance into a PhD program, applicants are required to submit their Research Topic and Research Proposal to the appropriate university or institutions, after which they will be assigned a Research Guide or Supervisor to work with. The Research Supervisor would supply them with the course material, the teaching schedule, and the assessment technique, as well as any other necessary information.

While working on their research project, the applicants are required to submit progress reports to the relevant university or institution every six months. Also required are at least two seminar presentations and the submission of a Certificate to the Research Unit in accordance with the established format. In order to graduate from the Research Unit, individuals must publish at least one research article in a peer-reviewed publication and submit a certificate to the unit.

Prior to the submission of the thesis, the candidate’s supervisor would organize a pre-submission seminar, on the basis of which a report comprising comments and amendments would be provided. When the Research student submits a summary of the amended version of the thesis to the supervisor at least forty-five days before the final submission, the supervisor will ensure that the recommendations are taken into consideration by the Research student.

Following the final submission of the thesis and ultimate clearance by the external experts, a viva-voice would be held in which the Research student would be given the opportunity to defend their thesis in front of an expert’s panel of judges. Assuming the latter is persuaded, the Research student will be awarded a PhD degree by the university.

What is JRF?

It is a fellowship program administered by the University Grants Commission that is provided by universities, institutions, and colleges to students who have qualified for both the National Eligibility Test (NET) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) joint test, as well as other qualifying exams.

In order to continue their education after passing the NET/CSIR combined test, applicants must enroll in an MPhil/PhD program within two years after getting their qualifying certificate. The amount of the fellowship would be given only after you had joined.

It is the purpose of this kind of fellowship to encourage students to engage in advanced research and study in their chosen subjects, eventually leading to the completion of an MPhil or PhD.

The fellowship (which consists of a monthly salary of Rs. 25,000 plus a House Rent Allowance) is first offered for a period of two years. Following the completion of the fellowship period of two years, the research work of the fellow is evaluated by a panel of industry professionals. The fellowship is prolonged for a further three years if they are happy with the work. In addition, the stipend is increased under the awards of Senior Research Fellowship.

A one-year extension is granted to the fellow if the panel is dissatisfied with the results of the evaluation process. After a year, the experts examine the work of the fellow, who is then awarded two further years of SRF if the panel is happy with the progress made by the fellow during that year.

In this case, the overall duration of the fellowship is 5 years (2 years JRF+ 3 years SRF).

Difference Between PhD and JRF

  • Both titles are associated with sophisticated studies and research, and as a result, they often cause misunderstandings among the general public. The primary distinction between a PhD and a JRF is that the former is the highest degree that may be awarded to students by their individual institutions, whilst the latter is not. While the latter is a fellowship program offered to students by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to assist them in pursuing advanced research and study.
  • In order to be eligible for the JRF program, students must pass the UGC-NET or the UGC-CSIR joint examination. A Master’s or M.Phil degree, on the other hand, is required in order to enroll in a PhD program.
  • A JRF is initially awarded for two years, with the possibility of being extended for a further three years with an increased stipend under the provisions of the SRF. While a PhD program may be finished in as little as three years and as much as five or six years, a master’s program can be completed in as little as two years.
  • A PhD degree is required for work as a professor, researcher, or scientist in a university or an institution, as well as for employment in the private sector. A JRF, on the other hand, gives financial aid to students wishing to pursue higher education and intellectual research.
  • A person who has a JRF is not eligible to pursue a PhD. Fellowships such as the JRF, on the other hand, are essential for obtaining a PhD degree.


People often mix the terms JRF and PhD, and they wrongly employ them as synonyms. This occurs because, in a college or university setting, both scholars who have earned a doctorate and those who are seeking a PhD degree may be observed attending courses and participating in research activities. However, it is vital to realize that receiving a JRF does not guarantee that one will get a PhD. A fellowship, on the other hand, is necessary for those pursuing a PhD degree.

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