Know the Difference Between Assistant Professor and JRF: Check Details Here!

By Neetesh Tiwari|Updated : August 26th, 2021

Know the Difference Between Assistant Professor and JRF: The two most popular exams conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for awarding the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) to Indian Nations and determining the candidate's eligibility for College and University level lectureship. Every year, lacs of students fill the form of CSIR NET and UGC NET (JRF) and dream of cracking one of the prestigious exams but always get confused between these two. NET exam plays an important role in deciding whether you can apply for Junior Research Fellowship or apply for the assistant Lectureship in different universities. So it is important to have all the information before filling the application form. 

Check all the information and clear all the confusions like after clearing for JRF and Lectureship, the eligibility criteria for both the programs and how one should prepare to achieve this through this article.

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Assistant Professorship and Junior research fellowship offered by both CSIR NET and UGC NET exams, but candidates with Non-science backgrounds can apply for UGC NET, and Science background candidates can apply for the CSIR NET exam. Despite having the same objective of conducting both the exams, some important differences have to keep in mind before moving ahead with the exam preparation. Before moving to the difference between Assistant Professorship and JRF, let's check about the Lectureship and JRF programs.

What is Assistant Professor?

Becoming an Assistant professor in universities is one of the prestigious career paths for candidates. CSIR UGC NET conducts an exam twice a year to select the eligible candidates for the lectureship program. CSIR UGC NET prepares the merit list to offer Lectureship and JRF to the eligible candidates. Candidates who qualify for the lectureship program can apply for the assistant professor in government universities and private universities. Still, they will not be eligible for the PhD program or regular Junior research fellowship. 

A lectureship is an excellent option for those candidates who enjoy a particular subject and wants to make their career as an assistant professor. Government Раy bundle оf Аssistаnt Рrоfessоrs аt Gоvernment Universities begins with leаst СTС оf 6 Lаkhs. 

What is Junior Research Fellowship?

Candidates who qualify for the NET-JRF exam will get an opportunity to undertake higher education and research leading to a PhD degree in the subject of their specialization. Lectureship qualified candidates will not be eligible to participate in a Junior research fellowship. After clearing the exam, a candidate must face an interview to take PhD admission in different universities. The fellowship's tenure will be 2 years, but it will be increased to 3 years more if the research work is found satisfactory. The candidate will get a stipend of 25,000 in starting year during the research program. 

Also, Read Know the Difference Between UGC NET and CSIR NET - Check Details Here!

Assistant Professor vs Junior Research Fellowship (JRF)

We will discuss all the differences between the Lectureship and Junior Research Fellowship programs one by one. 

I. Career Options Available for Lectureship and JRF

Check all the career options available after qualifying for the Lectureship and JRF Program mentioned below:

a. As an Assistant Professor:

Assistant Professor job is considered one of the country's prestigious and respectful jobs. Some benefits after joining as an assistant professor are mentioned below.

  • After Clearing UGC NET-LS, candidates can apply as lecturers in any government and private university across the country.
  • The government provides different perks and benefits like Housing allowances, Health allowances, etc., to Lecturers and Professors.
  • Working hours are flexible, depending upon the post in different universities. Generally, a fixed 8 hours working shift is available in every university.
  • A good salary package is offered by the university or government for Lectureship, and it will be increased according to the increasing order of posts.

Career growth as a Lecturer:

Sr. No.PositionsPosition after Promotion
1Junior Assistant ProfessorAssistant Professor
2Assistant ProfessorSenior Assistant Professor
3Senior Assistant ProfessorAssistant Professor (Selection Grade)
4Assistant Professor (Selection Grade)Associate Professor
5Associate ProfessorProfessor
6ProfessorHead of Department

b. As a Junior Research Fellowship:

Candidates who want to go for the Junior Research Fellowship program can check all the career options as a JRF mentioned below.

  • Candidates who qualify as Junior research fellows will get an initial stipend of 25,000 rupees for up to two years and from 3rd Year as SRF (Basic pay =28,000). They can also apply for the PhD programs in various universities like IIT’s, IIM’s, etc., various R&D institutes.
  • Sоme оf the gоvernment Lаbs where а UGС Quаlified саndidаte mаy wоrk:
  • Candidates, after qualifying JRF, can go for the Assistant Professor/ lectureship programs. JRF is not only limited to research fields.
  • Candidates who cleared the NET-JRF exam with merit can join as project assistants, Author,s or Project managers.
  • After clearing UGC NET-JRF, candidates can get direct admission for a Ph.D. program in various premier Indian universities.
  • JRF qualified students will have an option to start their own laboratories for the research purpose.

Career growth as a JRF

Sr. No.PositionsPosition after Promotion
1Junior Research Fellow (JRF)Senior Research Fellow (SRF)
2Project Fellow (PF)Senior Project Fellow (SPF)
3Project Assistant (PA)Senior Project Assistant (SPA)
4AuthorSenior Author
5Project ManagerProject Head

II. Cutoff for Assistant Professor and JRF

After the declaration of the result for UGC NET examinations, the cutoff list for JRF and Lectureship will be prepared. There will be two separate merit lists; one for Lectureship and another for JRF. It will depend on the performance of the candidate. Cutoff depends on various factors like the number of candidates who appeared, the difficulty level of the exam, and the number of seats available for the positions. Every year the cutoff varies for JRF and Lectureship. Clearing the cutoff criteria will not guarantee you to be selected for JRF as UGC NET selects the top 6% of the candidates for the JRF program. 

Check the June 202 cutoff for JRF and lectureship program: 

Cutoff for JRF:

Chemical Science50.50%44.50 %43.25 %33.25 %25.50 %25.50 %
Earth Science59.86 %54.31 %52.79 %44.22 %40.90 %29.33 %
Life Science52.50%33.75%43.75%35.25%31.75%25%
Mathematical Science57.00 %51.38 %50.75 %40.25 %30.88 %28.75 %
Physical Science46.25 %40.68 %39.68 %31.56 %26.87 %25.00 %

Cutoff for Lectureship:

Chemical Science45.45 %40.05 %38.92 %29.92 %25.00 %25.00 %
Earth Science53.87 %48.87 %47.51 %39.79 %36.810 %26.39 %
Life Science47.25%33.00%39.38%31.73%28.58%25.00%
Mathematical Science51.30 %46.23 %45.67 %36.22 %27.78 %25.87 %
Physical Science41.62 %36.61 %35.71 %28.40 %25.00 %25.00 %

III. Age Criteria for Assistant Professor and JRF

Age criteria set by the UGC is different for assistant Professor and JRF. Check the criteria before applying for the posts.

a. For Lectureship:

UGC has not set age criteria for becoming an assistant professor. Candidates can attempt the examination for this post without any age restrictions.

b. For JRF:

Age criteria play an important role in the Junior Research fellowship program. For the award of JRF, UGC prescribed a maximum age of 28 years on or before January 1 on the year of examination. 5 years of age relaxation will be given to SC/ST/PwD and female candidates and 3 years of relaxation will be for OBC category candidates. 

Tips & Tricks to prepare for CSIR UGC NET Exam

Following are the best tips and tricks which help you to boost your score in CSIR UGC NET 2021 examination:

  • Go through the CSIR NET Syllabus and note down all the topics on a paper.
  • Check the previous year’s papers and mark the important topics to ace the exam.
  • Now it is time to check the study material for preparation. Always go for renowned publications and authors to prepare for it.
  • Try to spend at least 6–7 hours on your studies daily and allow 1-hour extra revision.
  • First, cover the important topics. As soon as you complete a topic, revise it instantly to recall the things easily.
  • Those topics that you find difficult to learn and understand should be covered in the morning hours.
  • Noon hours should be kept for the topics that can be solved with the help of short tricks and methods and revise the topics you have covered in the morning.
  • Try to cover your maximum portion in the morning and noon hours and dedicate evening hours for the practice and the analysis yourself.
  • Solve more and more previous year papers to practise the concepts.
  • Always try to make short notes so that it will help you when you revise the concepts again.
  • Try to avoid cramming the concepts rather than understand them and practice well.

Also, Read Career Options Available After Qualifying CSIR NET Exam - Complete List Here!

We tried to cover all the important information required for the CSIR UGC NET Exam.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


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  • Yes, CSIR NET and UGC NET are two different exams. UGC NET is conducted for non-Science background students but CSIR NET exam is conducted for Science background students

  • You can check the eligibility criteria for both the exams and can apply accordingly

  • JRF stands for Junior Research Fellowship. Under this, you have to work on several projects and government provides a stipend throughout the period.

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