Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About ICMR JRF

The ICMR provides research projects developed at the ICMR with structured oversight, guidance and academic support throughout a Three year calendar. The aim is to support long-term needs of research groups, both scientifically and for professional development, This endeavour has experienced remarkable success, with the annual cohorts having completed all aspects of the programme.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in collaboration with Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh will hold a National level examination for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), for Indian national candidates at Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Srinagar (J&K) and Varanasi etc.

A total of 150 Fellowships would be awarded. [120 fellowships in the field of Biomedical Sciences with emphasis on Life Sciences (like microbiology, physiology, molecular biology, genetics, human biology, biotechnology, biochemistry etc

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About ICMR JRF

Q1. When the ICMR-JRF entrance  examination is usually announced? When  it is usually held? 
Answer : The examination notice is  published in leading English Newspapers  of India usually during March/April and  also on the websites of Indian Council of  Medical Research (ICMR) and Postgraduate  Institute of Medical Education and  Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. The  entrance examination is usually held once  a year in first/second week of July, on a  Sunday.

Q2.  Where will be the Centres for the  written examination located?
Answer : Test fo ICMR JRF is conducted at  thetwelve Centres viz., Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai,  Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad,  Kolkata,  Mumbai,  Srinagar (J&K) and Varanasi.

Q3. What is the eligibility criterion for  appearing in the entrance examination? Answer : You should have a Post Graduate  degree inbasic science or Post Graduate  degree in professional course (B.Tech in  biomedical sciences are not eligible) with  55% marks for General/Other Backward  Class (OBC) and 50% for SC/ST/Physically  Handicapped (PH)/Visually Handicapped  (VH). The upper age limit is 28 years  [relaxable up to five years in case of candidates belonging to SC/ST/PH/VH and  female candidates, three years in the case  of OBC category].

Q4. What is the number of fellowships  awarded annually? What are the subjects?  Can I also apply for other JRF  appointments? 
Answer :  A total of 150 Fellowships would  be awarded; 120 for work in the field of  biomedical sciences with emphasis on life  sciences and 30 for social sciences. Another  100 candidates would be selected for  consideration for positions of  JRF under  various research  projects of ICMR only  (subject to fulfilling the conditions for  appointment under the projects) for the  duration of that project. These JRFs  would also be permitted to complete  Ph.D. while  working in the project, if  enrolled. The  validity of result will be two years for  placement in ICMR funded projects for this  category.

Q5. What is the pattern of the written  examination?  Do I have to attempt all  the  questions?&
Answer : The paper will consist of two  Sections.

The Aptitude Section (Section  A)  will have 50 questions on
(i) scientific phenomenon in everyday life;
(ii) general knowledge in sciences; and
(iii) common statistics. All these 50  questions would be compulsory with each  question carrying 1 mark.

The subject  specific section (Sections  B  &  C) would  pertain to (B) Life sciences and (C) Social  sciences.  Each question carries one mark. The candidate may attempt questions in  either of the two areas. Each area of  section B & C would have 100 questions  and the candidate may attempt  any  75  questions in the predesigned  area  of Section B or C.  Candidates are required  to indicate the option for Section B or C in the application form too. Negative marking  @  0.25 will be made for each of  the  wrong  answer. If the candidate  attends more than 75 questions in  Section B or C, then only the first 75  questions will be evaluated. The questions in both the Sections would  appear in English only.

Q6. What is the duration of the written  examination?
Answer . The test will consist of one paper of  two hours duration.

Q7. Can I have a look at the sample  paper for JRF examination?
Answer. The specimen paper for ICMR-JRF  is available  at:

Q8. Is there any syllabus for the  examination? 
Answer. The syllabus is as per PG level by  University Grants Commission (UGC), New  Delhi

Q9. Is there any aggregate marks cut-off  for selection? 
Answer. The final result will be based on  aggregate of  55% marks obtained in both  the Sections for General category and OBC  and 50% for SC/ST and  PH/VH.

Q10. What is criterion for results for  selection? 
AAnswer. Two separate merit lists, one  comprising the candidates qualifying  for  Life sciences and the second  for those  candidates qualifying for Social sciences,  will be made on the basis of their performance in the above exam.

Q11. What is the admission procedure  after selection? 
Answer. The list of successful candidates  would be available on the ICMR website.  Selected candidates must join their  respective course on the prescribed date  as indicated in their admission letter.

Q12. Can I enroll myself in any  research institute/organization for my  JRF work? 
Answer.  The candidates selected for the  JRF programme of ICMR would be  permitted to enroll themselves for the  Ph.D. programme (the  Ph.D. topic should  be strictly pertaining to health research) of  any University or government college  recognized by  the UGC/ or any medical college recognized by Medical Council of  India (MCI).

Q13. What will be the validity of  JRF  awarded? 
Answer. The validity of fellowship  awarded to a candidate will be one year.

Q14. What will be my joining time? 
Answer. Selected candidates must join  their respective course on the prescribed  date as indicated in their admission letter.  The selection of those who fail to join by  the specified date shall automatically  stand cancelled.

Q15. What is the tenure of the  fellowship? 
Answer.  JRF is generally for first two  years. Only after successful assessment by  the  Review Committee, JRF may be  upgraded as SRF after 22 months of  commencement of work either on the date  when Review Committee meets but not  before completion of two years. And SRF is generally for three years or submission  of  Ph.D. whichever is earlier. However,  total  duration  is five  years. The  fellowship can be terminated at any  time on a month’s notice if the progress of the work is not satisfactory or on  receipt of adverse reports from the Guide. In the event if the fellow leaves  before completing one year, he/she may be required to refund the stipend drawn by him/her from  the  date of joining to the date of leaving the  fellowship.

Q16. What is the stipend amount that I  will be getting? And what is amount of  House Rent Allowance (HRA) and  contingency for the fellowship? 
Answer. 1st year Rs.25,000/- 2nd year  Rs.25,000/- 3rd year or thereafter  whenever upgraded as a SRF Rs.28,000/-  till submission of PhD thesis or 5th year, whichever is earlier (Terms  and conditions may be adopted from ICMR  Fellowship rules available at The HRA will be given  as  per  rules. If the fellow gets  accommodation in the institute hostel  then he/she will not be eligible for  drawing  HRA. The contingent amount for  JRF/SRF will be Rs. 20,000/-  per annum.

Q17. How and when will I receive the  funds from ICMR? 
Answer. One needs to send the duly filled  and signed mandate form for receiving  e-payments along with a photocopy of a  cancelled cheque  (should be clearly  scanned) for purpose of verification of the  concerned bank account where money  (stipend) is to be remitted. Relevant  certificates from hostel warden / AO  specifying the date of joining hostel  facility  should be submitted to avail HRA. If  residing in a private accommodation,  proof of rent paid from the land lord should be submitted.

Q18. Do I have to send reports annually  or quarterly? 
Answer.  The Fellow shall submit annual  reports for 1st year and all annual report  thereafter as per the prescribed standard  ICMR proforma.

Q19.  When should I submit the annual  reports? 
Answer. The first annual report should  be  submitted after 10 months from the date  of commencement of  the fellowship  (through the Guide along with  his/her  appraisal)  giving complete  factual details of  the  research work done. Subsequent  annual  reports as per the standard  proforma  should be submitted  through the Guide  two months before completion of the  fellowship year.

Q20.  Is  the  Utilization  Certificate  (UC)  also  required? 
Answer. Annual UC  is needed from April to  March each financial year.

Q21. Can I  transfer my fellowship from  one institute to other? 
Answer : A Fellow will not be allowed  transfer from one institution to another except in special circumstances with the  prior approval of the DG, ICMR. No  Travelling Allowance  (TA) will be paid as  a result of such a transfer.

How to prepare for ICMR JRF Exam life science ?
Answer :

  1. Make your own strategy. You can do better preparation and it is possible to crack ICMR JRF exam in life sciences and it is not very tedious task. 
  2. If you are interested in self-study then it depends on you which study materials you are going to choose. But Personally we will recommend some strategy while choosing books for ICMR JRF exam. You have to read best books for ICMR JRF Life Sciences Exam and choose books in this form:
  3. Content –wise (means followed the Syllabus of ICMR JRF Exam)
  4. Exam –specific books like ICMR JRF or national level examinations like CSIR-NET
  5. Practice Questions similar to CSIR-NET Life Sciences Exam or ICMR JRF exam And the Most important point, you have to read at least 5-6 Hours in a day.
  6. If you think that your preparation touch the optimum mark, then you can check your preparation by participating in Online test series of ybstudy. After appearing in Online exam, you will get All India Rank, score card, time taken to solve each question, hints & solutions , percentage, comparison with toppers, part-wise performance, cut-off analysis etc.
  7. You can also read some books as a reference, its your choice and you know better which books to be consulted for ICMR JRF perspective.

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