CSIR NET JRF 2023: Exam Date, Syllabus, Eligibility, and more



23 September, 2023

CSIR NET JRF 2023: Exam Date, Syllabus, Eligibility, and more

What is the CSIR NET Exam?

CSIR NET (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research National Eligibility Test) is a national-level examination conducted in India. This exam is supervised by the National Testing Agency (NTA), which administers the joint CSIR – UGC NET examination. The examination is aimed towards determining the eligibility of candidates for the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) Programme and Lectureship (LS) positions.

Candidates who are selected for the CSIR NET JRF position get the opportunity to carry out their research under the guidance of expert faculty/scientists in top national universities or national laboratories. As per government regulations, the CSIR NET JRF recipients receive a stipend of Rs. 31,000 per month for the first two years of their fellowship. After the initial two years, if the CSIR NET JRF award registers for further Ph.D., his/her fellowship shall be upgraded to Senior Research Fellow (SRF) with a higher stipend of Rs 35,000 per month.

Highlights of the CSIR NET Exam

Name of the Exam  CSIR NET
Conducting Body  National Testing Agency (NTA)
Exam Level  National
Exam Frequency  Twice a year (June and December)
Duration 180 minutes (3 Hours)
Mode of Exam  Computer Based Test (CBT)
Date of the Exam  December 2023 (tentative)
Application Start Date October (tentative)
Number of Parts – Part A
– Part B
– Part C
Number of Questions Chemical Science – 120
Earth Science – 150
Life Sciences – 145
Mathematical Science – 120
Physical Science – 75
Total Marks  1000
Negative Marking Varies as per part & subject
Type of Questions  MCQs
Medium of Exam  Bilingual (Hindi/English)
Number of Attempts  No count until the upper age limit
Official Website

Note: To get information in regard to the exact marking scheme, candidates should refer to the official notification uploaded by the NTA on their website.

Eligibility Criteria for CSIR NET JRF 

To apply, you must fulfill the following educational qualification and age criteria for the CSIR NET JRF:-

  • Education Qualification

    – A candidate with an MSc or equivalent degree or graduate of integrated BS-MS/BS – 4 years/ BE/BTech/ BPharma/ MBBS with a minimum of at least 55% marks for General UR, General EWS, and OBC categories. For SC/ST, third gender, and PwD candidates, the minimum marks requirement is 50%.

  • Age Limit

    – A candidate must be below the age of 28 years before applying for the exam. For SC/ST/third gender/PwD and female applicants, the upper age relaxation is up to 5 years. Whereas, it is 3 years for the OBC candidates (non-creamy layer).

Note: For further details of the educational qualifications, please refer to the official notification by NTA.

Registration Process & Fee

  1. Register online on the website by filling in the personal details to receive your application number and then set a password.
  2. Complete the application form by providing information like educational qualification, contact, work experience, choice of exam center, etc. In this section, you have to choose the post you are applying for such as JRF or LS.
  3. Upload the scanned photograph, signature, and other documents, as prompted.
  4. In this section, you need to pay the application fee via the prescribed method, including net banking/debit card/credit card / UPI.
  5. Finally, cross-check the details filled in the application form and submit the form.

Application Fee

Category  Fee (INR) 
General 1100/-
General EWS/ OBC (NCL) 550/-
SC/ST 275/-
Third Gender 275/-

CSIR NET JRF Exam Pattern

Each subject of the CSIR NET exam – comprises of three parts in which a candidate has to attend only a certain number of questions as prescribed by NTA.

Part A: This section is common in all the sections and is designed to assess cognitive abilities and quantitative analysis. Questions are based on topics such as logical reasoning, graphical analysis, analytical and numerical ability, quantitative comparisons, series formation and puzzles among others. The candidates are required to attempt 15 questions of two marks each.

Part B: In this section, topics from your chosen subject are covered and you have to attempt around 20-35 questions from this section.

Part C: This part has a higher difficulty level where scientific concepts and their applications are covered.

CSIR NET JRF 2023 Admit Card

The admit card or hall ticket is generally released 7-15 days prior to the examination. From exam date, venue, time to shift and exam day guidelines everything is available on the admit card. Please note that there will be the same admit card for both JRF and LS candidates.

CSIR NET JRF Qualifying Marks

To be on the merit list, a candidate should at least secure minimum qualifying marks.

Category  Minimum qualifying marks (%)
General/EWS/OBS 33

CSIR NET JRF Selection Procedure 

To get selected for a Junior Research Fellowship, the candidate has to undergo certain steps. After the release of the scorecard, a merit list will be released based on which a candidate will be called for an interview round.

Those candidates who will be able to join a PhD in a research lab or institute within two years of the final declaration will be eligible for the JRF award.

Career After CSIR NET

If you have qualified for CSIR NET, there will be many career options available, such as:

  • PhD from top Indian Institutes
  • PhD from a reputed international institute (depending on their qualification criteria)
  • Research work in the private sector
  • Research work or get associated with PSUs

Difference Between JRF and LS

It is very common that the candidates get confused between JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) and LS (Lectureship/Assistant Professor) positions in the CSIR NET JRF exam. Even though there is no separate exam for both these positions, here are the key distinction between the two:

Category  Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) Lectureship (LS) 
Educational Qualification Candidates with MSc or equivalent degree / or 4 year BS-MS/ BE/ BTech/ B Pharma/ MBBS/ master’s students whose results are still awaited are eligible. Candidates with MSc or equivalent degree or integrated 4 years programmes are eligible.
No one with only a bachelor’s degree is eligible.
Age Limit 28 Years (excluding the category relaxation) No upper age limit
Certificate Validity 2 Years Lifetime

CSIR NET Preparation Tips 

  • Time management is crucial when a candidate decides to appear for the examination. One should regularly give mock tests to speed up.
  • Thoroughly understand the syllabus and prepare a topic-wise study plan accordingly. Focus on the areas in which you lack.
  • Revision is the key to every competitive exam you prepare. Revise as much as you can before the exam.
  • For the general aptitude paper, divide the topics into 3 categories: weak, moderate, and strong. Based on this, prioritise each one of them.
  • While preparing notes, try to include more flowcharts, tables, and diagrams and colours. This makes the content easily understandable.
  • In a mathematical science paper, Part A should be attempted in the end, and the time frame to complete the same should be under 25 minutes.

Previous Year Question Papers 


Q1. What is the difference Between UGC NET and CSIR NET?

The primary difference is that UGC NET is conducted for candidates in the field of Arts, Commerce, and Humanities whereas, CSIR NET is for Science, Engineering and Technology candidates.

Q2. How Many Times Is CSIR NET Conducted in a Year?

CSIR NET is conducted twice a year i.e. in the months of  June and December for JRF.

Q3. How Many Times Can We Give the CSIR NET Exam?

There is no limit for the number of attempts until the candidate fits the maximum age criteria.

Q4. Is the CSIR NET Exam Online or Offline?

It is a Computer Based Test (CBT) in online mode.

Q5. What Is the Age Limit for JRF in CSIR NET?

The upper age limit for JRF is 28 years in CSIR NET.


Banner mage source:

Get Free Career Guidance