CSIR – NET (JRF) Exam Eligibility

CSIR awards a large number of NET and JRFs every year to candidates from various fields. The CSIR-NET, or Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Nationwide Eligibility Test, is a national test administered by the University Grants Commission.  CSIR NET Exam is conducted twice a year in the months of June and December. The Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) is a fellowship offered to students by virtue of this exam organized by NTA to pursue scientific research in their respective fields. Candidates interested to pursue research in the field of Geology, Oceanography, Climatology, Geophysics, Marine Geology, Paleoclimate, etc. shall appear for the CSIR – NET Earth Science Exam. Successful aspirants can also practice their lectureship in several disciplines of Science and Technology in Indian institutions and colleges through the CSIR NET Exam.

The following candidates are eligible for CSIR NET in Earth Science:

  • Candidates with a BS- 4-year program / B. Tech / BE in earth science or related subjects.
  • Candidates with Integrated BS-MS / MSc. (or any other equivalent degree) in Earth Sciences or related fields.
  • The minimum marks in the respected qualifications must be at least 55% for General and OBC, and 50% for SC/ST and Specially abled candidates. 
  • Candidates who have enrolled in the Integrated MS-PhD program or have completed their B.Sc. (Hons) or equivalent degree are also eligible to apply for the exam
  • The eligibility is only offered after registering and/or enrolling for Ph.D. or integrated M.Phil – Ph.D. program within the validity period of the score. The validity period of the score is two years.
Age LimitThe upper age limit for the JRF Award is 28 years. A relaxation of 3 years is given to OBC (Non-creamy layers candidates), and 5 years to SC/ST/Physically Handicapped/Visually Handicapped/ Female applicants.There is no upper age limit for Lectureship awards.
Qualifying ExaminationIntegrated MSc/MSc/BE/B. Tech. Candidates enrolled for M.Sc. or having completed 10+2+3 years of the qualifying examination are also eligible to apply in the above subject under the RA category.RA Category is the Result Awaited Category and the candidates will have to produce an RA-Certificate in this scenario.
Minimum Marks RequiredCandidates must secure a minimum of 55% marks in their respective Qualifying Examinations (General and OBC), and a minimum of 50% for SC/ST candidates, Physically and Visually handicapped candidates.

Validity of Score and Eligibility

The validity of JRF-Certificate and NET- Lectureship is two years. So, the candidates can also attempt the exam in the first year of the Master’s Program as well; as the first attempt will be in December for 1st-Semester Masters Student and the results will be published in March-April of the following year. The scores will be valid for two years from the date of publication of the results. There is no limit to the number of attempts a candidate makes for the exam.

After being awarded the Fellowship, CSIR Junior Research Fellows should enroll for a Ph.D. within two years after starting their fellowship failing which the fellowship may be canceled. In rare cases, the CSIR may consider granting a further one-year extension. The Junior Research Fellowship will not be promoted to a Senior Research Fellowship during the extended duration. If the fellow is not registered for a Ph.D. by the end of the third year, the fellowship will be discontinued.

Duration and Examination Type

The exam lasts three hours and consists of 150 questions with a maximum score of 200 points. All of the papers are examined using an online Computer Based Test (CBT) format, in which applicants are presented with questions in random order on a computer screen. These are some Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) in the questions (four answer options out of which only ONE is correct, which has to be chosen).

The stipend of a Junior Research Fellow

For the first two years, a JRF selected through the CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) will be paid Rs 31,000 per month (+ HRA). In addition to this, the University / Institution will get an annual contingency grant of Rs. 20,000/- per fellow.

After two years as a JRF, if the fellow is registered for a Ph.D., the fellowship will be promoted to SRF (NET) and the stipend will be raised to Rs. 35,000/- per month (+ HRA), for the third and following years, based on an expert committee’s assessment of the Fellows’ research progress/ accomplishments.

Marking Scheme

SectionsNo. of Questions givenNo. of Questions to be attemptedMarksNegative Marking
Part- A2015300.5
Part- B5035700.5
Part- C80251001.32


Syllabus for CSIR – NET Earth Science

The Syllabus for CSIR NET Earth Science includes conceptual and factual knowledge of subjects from Earth, Oceanic, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. A detailed syllabus with subjects and topics can be found here.

In order to practice the questions frequently asked every time, it is important to practice the previous year’s papers of the CSIR NET Earth Science exam.¬†View and download previous year papers from¬†here