ICMR JRF 2021: Check Selection Procedure Step by Step!

By Renuka Miglani|Updated : June 25th, 2021

The ICMR JRF (Junior Research fellowship) 2021 exam will be organized by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the council is in collaboration with the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh conducts the entrance examination every year to empower students for successful research in the field of Biomedical Sciences and Social Sciences at its institutes. This fellowship award will purely be given on the basis of merit. The award given to the eligible candidates will depend on the placements they find in a medical university/hospital/ college /laboratory/institution of higher learning and research as applicable. Candidates who get selected through the ICMR JRF 2021 Exam will be given grants by the ICMR to complete their PhD course. We have provided below the step by step guide for the selection process for ICMR JRF 2021.

Table of Content

ICMR JRF Exam 2021 Highlights

Particulars Details 
Exam Name Indian Council of Medical Research Junior Research Fellowship exam
Conducting BodyPGIMER, Chandigarh
Available forPostdoctoral programme
Mode of ExamOnline
FrequencyOnce in a year 
Number of Test Cities 12
Total Fellowship150
Official Websitehttps://main.icmr.nic.in/

ICMR JRF 2021: Selection Procedure

Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh conducts the ICMR JRF exam once in every year via online mode. Aspirants who wish to receive a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) will need to qualify for the national-level exam. Every year, thousands of aspirants apply for the fellowship. The officials conduct ICMR JRF 2021 exam in 12 cities of the various states of the country. The ICMR officials invite applications from the eligible candidates via online mode, which will begin from 1st July 2021. One must fulfil all the minimum requirements before applying for the exam. There are a total of 150 JRF fellowships available for the qualifying aspirants. 

The selection process of ICMR-JRF consists of the following stages:

  • Registration on the Official Website
  • Appear for Online Computer Based Examination
  • Announcement of Merit List  
  • Enrol for the PhD Programme
  • Fellowship Award
  • Joining

The detailed description of all the phases of the ICMR-JRF selection process has been explained below, and students can check the selection criteria for each stage to understand the selection process in detail:-

1. Registration on the Official Website

  • Candidate's needs to register themselves by providing basic information.
  • You will receive an email with the User ID/ registration number and password after the registration
  • Log in with the details received into the portal.
  • Enter your personal and qualification details.
  • Cross-check all the details once again.
  • Upload the required documents on the portal.
  • After uploading the document, finish the application by paying the fee amount.
  • Take the hard copy/soft copy of the filled application for future reference.
  • For those candidates whose application are accepted by ICMR-JRF, their admit cards will be issued 15 days prior to the exam.

2. Appear for Online Computer Based Examination

  • Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh (PGIMR) will conduct a computer-based test for all the candidates who successfully submit their filled application forms before the last date.
  • The exam will be a single multiple-choice question-based question paper comprised of 3 sections. Candidates have to attempt Section A compulsory and either attend section B or section C. They have to mention this choice while filling the application form.
  • The first section, i.e, Section A, called the 'Aptitude' section, comprises 50 questions with 50 marks. In this section, questions can be from Reasoning, Quantitative Ability, Mathematics and General Knowledge. Candidates have to attempt all 50 questions.

  • The second section, i.e., Section B, called 'Life Sciences', comprises 100 questions with 100 marks, and the applicants should attempt any 75 questions.

  • The third section, i.e., Section C (if a candidate chooses in their application form) called 'Social Sciences' comprises 100 questions with 100 marks and the applicants should attempt any 75 questions.
SectionsQuestions Per SectionMarks Per Section
Section A-Aptitude 5050
Section B- Life Sciences 100100
Section C- Social Sciences100100
  • The paper shall carry a maximum of 125 marks and the time duration of the exam is 2 hours.
  • Those candidates who qualify for the online exam of ICMR-JRF are included in the merit list for final selection for the award of JRF fellowship.

3. Announcement of Merit List  

The vacancies for ICMR JRF is actually the number of students that are granted the Junior Research Fellowship. Every year, the ICMR Council provides 150 fellowships to deserving candidates to aid them financially in pursuing the research programme. The number of fellowships for the following categories has been provided below,

  • Life Science Fellowships - The officials will award 120 fellowships for work in the field of biomedical sciences with prominence on Life Sciences.
  • Social Sciences fellowships - The Council will distribute the 30 fellowships for the work with significance in Social Sciences such as sociology, anthropology, social work, health etc. 

4. Enrol for the PhD Programme

  • The officials will shortlist the aspirants for the ICMR-JRF fellowship based on their merit.
  • The selected aspirants will need to enrol themselves for the PhD programmes of any university recognized by UGC/MCI.
  • The JRF programme will not be responsible for any postdoctoral programme. Furthermore, the fellowship will be valid only for six months.
  • The officials will select another 100 aspirants for the position of JRF under various research schemes of ICMR. These aspirants also need to complete a PhD while working in the scheme or project. The result will be valid for 2 years for placement in ICMR funded projects/schemes. 

5. Fellowship Award

  • The fellowship will be available to the aspiring candidates who qualify for the ICMR-JRF exam.
  • Aspirants will receive a fellowship of INR 31,000 per month and an annual contingency grant of INR 20,000 per year.
  • JRF will be initially valid for two years. Upon completion of two years, the fellow's stipend will increase to INR 35000 per month from the third year. 

6. Joining

  • The selected aspirants need to join their respective fellowship as per the schedule mentioned in their award letter by ICMR. The officials will cancel the selection of those candidates who fail to join on the specified date. Aspirants will not receive any TA for appearing for the JRF exam or joining the place of work. 


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  • The ICMR-JRF 2021 exam registration will begin from 1st July 2021 and the last date to apply online is 31st July 2021. The exam is scheduled to be held on 12 September 2021 From 3 PM To 4:30 PM

  • A candidate should have M.Sc or M.A degree from a recognized university with 55% marks for General or 50% marks for SC/ST/PwD category.

  • There are 150 seats available for ICMR-JRF fellowships, 120 seats available for Life Science students, and 30 seats available for Social Science students.

  • Candidates who qualify for the exam will get a fellowship of INR 31,000 per month and an annual contingency grant of INR 20,000 per year. Upon completion of two years, the fellow's stipend will increase to INR 35000 per month from the third year. 

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