PhD Scholarships in India

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PhD Scholarships in India

After completing a master’s degree, we either start our professional career or pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. Taking up a research degree is a big decision to make owing to the amount of time and resources it takes. But one of the constraints that come in the way of a scholar, especially when the doctorate program is self-funded, is the cost of studying. Spanning over 3-5 Years, the doctorate course can drain your savings if there is no scholarship to back it up. To give you clarity, we have collated some of the popular PhD scholarships in India that are known to offer a handsome amount to the scholars thus providing a hasslefree journey in establishing your career in research. These scholarships can cover up your expenses whether studying in the country or if you want to attain overseas education

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List of PhD Scholarships in India & Application Timelines 2021

From academic institutions to government ministries as well as organisations, there are a large number of PhD scholarships and research fellowships offered in India. Take a look at the following list which elucidates the varied Indian scholarships and fellowships for PhD programs in India.

PhD ScholarshipOrganisation/InstitutionApplication Deadlines 2021
Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF)MHRD, Government of IndiaBetween March and April
CSIR-UGC JRF FellowshipGovernment of IndiaOctober
DBT-JRF FellowshipGovernment of IndiaMarch
FITM – AYUSH Research Fellowships SchemeForum on Indian Traditional
Medicine (FITM) and Ministry of Ayush
Between November and December
SAARC Agricultural PhD ScholarshipsSAAR Agricultural CentreBetween March and April
Swami Vivekananda Single Child Scholarship for Research in Social ScienceUGCBetween November and January
ESSO-NCESS Junior Research FellowshipESSO- National Centre for Earth Science StudiesOpen throughout the year
Vision India Foundation (VIF) FellowshipVision India Foundation (VIF)Between December and January
Burning Questions Fellowship AwardsTiny Beam FundBetween May and June
Google PhD ScholarshipsGoogleBetween March and April
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund ScholarshipsJawaharlal Nehru Memorial FundBetween March and May
ICHR Junior Research Fellowships (JRF)Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR)Between November and December

Note: The application deadlines for the different fellowships and scholarships mentioned above are only tentative and might change as per their specific organisation/institution.

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List of Top International PhD Scholarships & Application Timelines 2021

Students looking for options to study abroad can avail financial aid benefits through various scholarships for their research programs. Some of the scholarships are fully funded, covering all tuition, travel and living expenses while others are partially funded. Tabulated below is the list of top PhD scholarships in India which one can apply for to pursue higher education abroad: 

PhD ScholarshipOrganisation/InstitutionApplication Timeline
UNU IAS PhD ScholarshipJapan Foundation of UNU (JFUNU)Between March and April
Dr Eduard Gubelin Research ScholarshipDr Eduard Gübelin Association
for Research
Last date to apply is June 30th
Sir Ratan Tata Trust & Navajbai Ratan TataTrust Education GrantsTata TrustsLast date to apply is May 31st
Commonwealth PhD ScholarshipsCommonwealth Scholarship CommissionBetween November and December
Raman-Charpak FellowshipGOI and Government of FranceBetween May and July
President’s PhD ScholarshipsImperial College LondonOpen throughout the year
Fulbright Kalam Climate FellowshipUSIEFBetween January and July
Japanese Government MEXT ScholarshipMEXT JapanBetween April and May
New Zealand Commonwealth ScholarshipsGovernment of New ZealandBetween February and March
Korean Government Scholarship ProgramGovernment of KoreaBetween February and March
Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD fellowshipBoehringer Ingelheim Fonds, GermanyBetween May and June
PhD Scholarships for International Candidates, Swansea UniversitySwansea UniversityOpen throughout the year
MAXQDA Research GrantsVERBI Software GmbHBetween April and June
IGLP Residential Fellowship Program, Harvard Law School, USAInstitute of Global Law & Policy (IGLP), Harvard Law SchoolBetween December and February
CBS PhD Scholarships at the Department of Operations ManagementDepartment of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School (CBS)Between May and June
IITB-Monash Research Academy PhD ScholarshipsIITB-Monash Research AcademyBetween February and March
HDR ScholarshipDeakin UniversityBetween April and May
Special Research Fun Doctoral Scholarships, Ghent UniversityGhent University, BelgiumBetween February and March
Cimi Toulous Doctoral FellowshipsInternational Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CIMI), Toulouse, FranceBetween January and February
Fujian Normal University President Scholarship for Foreign StudentsFujian Normal UniversityBetween May and June
Imperial College PhD Scholarship in Chemical EngineeringImperial College LondonBetween March and April

Note: The application deadlines for the different fellowships and scholarships mentioned above are only tentative and might change as per their specific organisation/institution.

Now that you are familiarised with the wide range of PhD scholarships in India as well as abroad, let’s explore some of these scholarship and fellowships in further detail.

Prime Minister Fellowship for Doctoral Research

The Ministry of Human Resource Development under the supervision of the Central Government of India has launched a scholarship scheme to provide financial support to the meritorious students going for a PhD. Offered to the candidates via IISc and IIT corridors, it is one of the prestigious PhD scholarships in India. Under the scheme, the scholar gets a monthly stipend of ₹70,000 for first-year which is increased to ₹80,000 per month during 4th and 5th year of the program. The scholarship is offered every year and scholars from all universities in India can apply for the scheme through the official website. 

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Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships

Another addition to the list of popular PhD scholarships in India is the Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships. It is awarded to scholars who have registered themselves for a PhD at an Indian University. These fellowships spanning over 6-9 months are designed to help students to advance their research in a vast range of fields like Sociology, Public Health, History, Machine Learning, etc. One of the popular scholarships for Indian students, it broadly covers the expenses related to J-1 visa, Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges, monthly stipend, round-trip economy class air travel, other allowances, and modest affiliation fees. To know about the eligibility criteria, visit the official website for the fellowship. The application deadline as per the official website is July 15, 2021, 23:59:59 hrs (IST). Tabulated below are the important dates for the fellowship:

DatesProcess
July 15, 2021Last date for Application (2021-2022 awards)
Early August 2021Review of applications
Ending August 2021Selected applicants informed by the USIEF
Late September 2021Interviews of short-listed candidates (To be conducted in Delhi)
Ending September 2021The principal and alternate nominees are notified by USIEF. Nominees take TOEFL
November 2021The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB)
receives the applications of shortlisted candidates from USIEF for final approval
March-April 2021USIEF notifies the finalists
May 2021Pre-Departure Orientation
July-August 2021Pre-academic training in the U.S. (if required)
August-September 2021Program commences

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund Scholarships

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund Scholarships is another PhD scholarship offered to Indian as well as students of Asian countries. It provides selected candidates with maintenance fee including the tuition cost of their program worth 18,000 INR every month as well as contingent costs of books, stationery, etc. worth 15,000 INR every month. The eligibility of Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund Scholarships is as follows:

  • Age limit: Not less than 35 years
  • First-division postgraduate degree holder
  • A minimum of 60% in undergraduate and postgraduate level
  • Must have applied for a PhD program at a recognised university in India
  • For full-time PhD programs

Physical Research Laboratory Junior Research Fellowship

Amongst the top PhD scholarships in India for postgraduates in the field of Physics and Astronomy, Physical Research Laboratory Junior Research Fellowship is offered in the following specialisations:

  • Astronomy
  • Astronomical Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • Planetary Sciences
  • Optical Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Space and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Astrochemistry
  • Theoretical Physics

It is exclusively for PhD research at Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) and provides monthly awards up to 35,000 INR. The eligibility criteria for this scholarship is as follows:

  • For Indian nationals under the age of 28 years
  • The candidate must have a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Engineering as well as Master of Science/Master of Engineering degree
  • First-division, i.e. 60% or equivalent in undergraduate as well as postgraduate degree.
  • Must have qualified GATE or CSIR NET or Joint Entrance Screening Test

Google PhD Fellowship India Program

This fellowship program is offered by Google for aspiring PhD scholars in Computer Science or related specialisations. The Google PhD Fellowship India Program provides monthly fellowship amount as well as covers the contingency expenses along with giving an internship offer at Google. The requirements for this Google Scholarship for PhD in India are:

  • The candidate must be enrolled in a PhD course at a recognised university in India.
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree holder from a university in India
  • A working professional at a recognised organisation in India

ICHR Junior Research Fellowships (JRF)

ICHR Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) are for PhD aspirants of Historical Studies and are offered by the Indian Council of Historical Research. It offers monthly stipend up to 17,600 INR as well as monthly contingency expenses of 16,500 p.a. for 2 years. The only eligibility requirement for this scholarship is that the applicant must be enrolled in a PhD in Historical Studies at a recognized higher education institution in India.

ICSSR Doctoral Research Fellowship

The Council of Social Science Research of MHRD, Government of India offers doctoral fellowships in Social Sciences to PhD scholars who are registered in a UGC recognized Indian university. A great opportunity for scholars looking for PhD scholarships in India, it is strictly applicable for two years and the value of the fellowship is ₹20,000 per month. Offered in around 25 subjects of Social Sciences that include Political Science, Social Work, Gender Studies, Public Administration, etc, to be eligible for the fellowship, a candidate must have confirmed PhD registration at a recognized university. The application process for the 2019-20 session has already been closed but you should be prepared for the 2021-22 session to avail the benefits. 

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Maulana Azad National Fellowship

The fellowship is provided by the Ministry of Minority Affairs of the Government of India. The objective of the fellowship is to provide students from minority communities with financial assistance to pursue higher education such as MPhil and PhD. The Maulana Azad National fellowship can be availed by taking admission in any of the recognized universities in the country. One of the lesser-known PhD scholarships in India, it is awarded to those candidates whose family income is not more than 6 Lakh. Under the scheme, the scholar gets ₹28,000 per month for 5 years. Candidates can apply for the fellowship on the official website of UGC.

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NCERT Doctoral Fellowship for PhD

The fellowship is intended to enable young scholars to excel in research in their subject of interest. The candidates who show exceptional aptitude for research are shortlisted for the fellowship. It can be availed by taking admission in a recognized university in India. The NET qualified NCERT Doctoral Fellows will receive ₹25,000 per month for a maximum period of three years from the date of registration into a PhD program. For the candidates who have not qualified for the NET exam, the amount is ₹23,000 per month. 

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CSIR-UGC JRF NET Fellowship

This is a fully-funded PhD scholarship offered by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) for the field of Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean & Planetary Science, Chemical Sciences, amongst others. For the year 2020, 17 October is the major deadline for this popular PhD scholarship in India which can be taken at all the universities and academic institutions around the country.

Must Read: CSIR NET Exam

DBT-JRF Fellowship

Another prominent scholarship for those planning to pursue their PhD in India, the DBT-JRF Fellowship is offered by the Government of India for Biotechnology scholars. Students need to clear the Biotechnology Eligibility Test (BET) to get selected for this scholarship. The registration window for the BET exam opens around February every year and the exam is conducted around April. It is one of the sought-after PhD scholarships in India amongst Biotechnology students and offers a fellowship amount of ₹25,000 + HRA to JRF students and ₹28,000 + HRA to SRF students.

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FAQs

Is there any scholarship for PhD in India?


There is a wide range of PhD Scholarships in India that you can choose from. The most popular PhD scholarships include, the Fullbright-Nehru Research Doctoral Fellowships, Prime Minister Fellowships for Doctoral Research, CSIR-UGC JRF NET Fellowship, NCERT Doctoral Fellowship for PhD, Maulana Azad National Fellowship, etc.

How can I get scholarship for PhD?


There are various ways to find a scholarship for your PhD program. You can either search for scholarship and research grants offered in your chosen field of study or fellowships and scholarships offered by the government, public organisations as well as academic institutions in the country where you want to study PhD.

How can I get funding for PhD in India?


Several PhD scholarships are offered by the Indian government, academic institutions as well as public organisations. Some of the major PhD fellowships and scholarships are PhD Scholarships For Electrical Engineering At IIT Delhi; CSIR- UGC JRF NET Fellowship; DBT-JRF Fellowship; Fullbright-Nehru Research Doctoral Fellowships; Prime Minister Fellowships for Doctoral Research, etc.

What is the general PhD scholarship amount in India?

The general scholarship amount for most scholarships in India for PhD students can range anywhere between INR 10,000 to INR 25,000. The amount of scholarship depends on the course you are pursuing.

Is NET compulsory for PhD?

It is not mandatory to have qualified the NET (National Eligibility Test) to get admission for a PhD course.

Want to know more? Check out our exclusive guide on the Top PhD Scholarships in the World!

Availing PhD scholarships in India will ensure that financial constraints don’t come in your way while you excel in research in the area of your interest. To know more about the scholarships and to get help with your admissions in top universities abroad, reach out to our career experts at Leverage Edu in a 30 minutes free career counselling session and take a step forward towards a rewarding career!

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6 comments
    1. Hi Akshat,
      To know about the universities offering PhD in Economics in India and abroad along with funding options, get in touch with our through a free e-emeting!

  1. Good afternoon sir,
    Am impressed with the article as I was too confused about how to start and whom to ask about phd.I cleared my UGC NET in dec2012 at first attempt only.
    Thanking you,
    NOORUSSABA ANSARI .
    New Delhi

    1. Hey Anam!

      You don’t need to wait for your acceptance letter to apply for scholarships. Every scholarship has a different deadline so adhere to that so you don’t miss out on any scholarships. If you have any doubts about the application process then call us on this number-1800572000!
      Best of Luck!

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