Is My JRF Still Valid if I Drop Out of PhD and Reapply Within Two Years?

Embarking on a PhD journey is a significant commitment, and sometimes life circumstances may necessitate a pause or even a complete withdrawal from the program. If you’ve secured a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and find yourself in such a situation, you might be wondering if your JRF will still be valid if you drop out and reapply within two years. This article aims to provide clarity on this issue.

Understanding the JRF

The Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) is a prestigious grant awarded by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in India to students who wish to pursue research in their respective fields. The fellowship is valid for a period of five years or until the fellow completes his/her PhD, whichever comes first.

Validity of JRF after Dropping Out of PhD

According to the UGC guidelines, if a JRF awardee leaves the research work within two years of joining, the fellowship is cancelled. However, if the candidate leaves after two years, the fellowship can be transferred to another eligible candidate under the same supervisor. The key point here is that the fellowship is linked to the research work and not to the individual.

Reapplying for PhD within Two Years

If you drop out of your PhD program and reapply within two years, your JRF will not automatically be reinstated. You will need to reapply for the JRF and go through the selection process again. This is because the JRF is awarded based on the research proposal and the potential of the candidate to contribute to the field of study. If you are reapplying, it is assumed that your research proposal or your circumstances have changed, and hence a fresh evaluation is required.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you had to drop out due to medical reasons or other unforeseen circumstances, you may be allowed to continue with the fellowship if you rejoin within two years. However, this is subject to the discretion of the UGC and the concerned university.


In conclusion, while it is possible to reapply for a PhD within two years of dropping out, your JRF will not automatically be valid. You will need to reapply for the fellowship and go through the selection process again. However, there may be exceptions based on individual circumstances. It is always advisable to consult with your university or the UGC for specific guidance.