The Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) is a common qualifying test for admission to research programmes in physics at more than 20 premier research institutions in India.

The Joint Entrance Screening Test (JEST) is a common qualifying test for admission to Ph.D. programmes in physics at more than 20 premier Indian research institutions, and a Ph.D. programme in theoretical computer science at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The JEST is conducted to shortlist candidates. A fine score in the test does not automatically entitle one to get a research fellowship.

Based on JEST result, each participating institute will call a limited number of candidates for its own selection procedure depending on its requirements. All selected candidates will receive research fellowships from the respective institutes. The participating institutes along with the subject areas of research available in each of them are listed below.

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital

Areas of research: astronomy and astrophysics, and atmospheric physics.

Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Mumbai

Areas of research: physical and mathematical sciences, engineering

Harishchandra Research Institute (HRI), Allahabad

Areas of research: theoretical physics, astrophysics

Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam

Areas of research: materials science, condensed matter (experimental and theoretical), radiation damage and accelerator-based research, sensors and applications, science and technology of nanomaterials, computational materials science, reactor physics, radiation physics and atmospheric science.

Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore

Areas of research: astronomy and astrophysics, astronomical instrumentation, optics, and atomic physics.

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Areas of research: condensed matter physics (experiments and theory), astronomy and astrophysics (theoretical), atomic and optical physics (experimental), biocrystallography and bio-informatics, and high energy physics (theoretical).

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali

Areas of research: quantum theory, quantum information processing, NMR-methodology, optics, statistical mechanics, quantum thermodynamics, non-linear dynamics, string theory, ultrafast physics, and low temperature mesoscopic physics.

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune

Areas of research: field theory, theoretical particle physics, condensed matter physics, non-linear dynamics, complex systems and networks, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, quantum information processing, radio astrophysics, atomic physics and quantum optics, energy studies, solar and plasma physics, nanosciences, scanning probe techniques, and semiconductor physics and devices.

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram

Areas of research: experimental condensed matter: magnetic and superconducting materials, nanoscience and energy materials, photonics, soft condensed matter, semiconductor physics and devices, surface sciences and nano-scale plasmonics, terahertz and ultrafast spectroscopy; theory cosmology, classical and quantum gravity, gravitational wave physics, quantum information theory, quantum field theory, and statistical physics.

The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai

Areas of research: theoretical physics, and theoretical computer science.

Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar

Areas of research: condensed matter, nuclear and high energy physics and accelerator-based research.

Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar

Areas of research: physics (experimental and theoretical)

Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune

Areas of research: physics, astronomy and astrophysics.

Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore

Areas of research: experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics, statistical mechanics, and materials science.

National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, TIFR, Pune

Areas of research: astronomy and astrophysics

National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar

Areas of research: theoretical high energy physics and lattice QCD, experimental high energy physics, condensed matter physics (theory and experiment), optics and metamaterials.

Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore

Areas of research: lasers and their applications, laser plasma interaction, cold atom physics, condensed matter physics (superconductivity and magnetism, crystals and thin films), nanomaterials and applications, non-linear and ultrafast optical studies, beam physics, and free electron laser.

Raman Research Institute, Bangalore

Areas of research: astronomy and astrophysics, light and matter physics, soft condensed matter physics (liquid crystals, physics in biology), and theoretical physics.

Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata

Areas of research: condensed matter physics (theory and experiments), nuclear physics (theory and experiments), high energy physics (theory and experiments), astroparticle physics, quantum gravity, string theory, mathematical physics, and materials science (surface science and plasma physics).

Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata

Areas of research: astrophysics and cosmology, chemical and biological physics, condensed matter physics and material science, high energy physics and quantum field theory, mathematical physics, nanosciences, quantum optics and quantum information, statistical physics, and complex systems.

UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research, Indore

Areas of research: surfaces, interfaces, thin films and nanomaterials, physics at low temperatures and high magnetic fields, X-ray, optical and electron spectroscopic studies using synchrotron and laboratory sources; electrical, magnetic and thermal properties of condensed matter; condensed matter studies using magnetic neutron diffraction, nuclear technique based condensed matter physics-positron annihilation spectroscopy, mossbauer spectroscopy, experimental nuclear physics, gamma ray spectroscopy of nuclear high spin states, and nuclear reactions.

Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Kolkata

Areas of research: accelerator physics, condensed matter physics and materials science, nuclear physics (experiments and theory), relativistic heavy ion collisions (experiments, theory, QCD and QGP), and physics of neutrinos (experiments).

Before applying for the common test for admission to all these institutes, it is desirable that you decide your areas of possible research. Then, you may go to the web sites of the institutes that offer research facilities in your areas of interest.

The eligibility criteria may be checked and confirmed beforehand, so that you make intelligent decisions on your further procedure.

A general picture of eligibility is given below for general guidance. But specific details may be ascertained before registration.

Eligibility for Ph.D.

Physics: M.Sc. degree in physics or M.Sc. / ME/ M.Tech. in related disciplines.

Candidates with M.Sc. degree in mathematics/ applied physics/ applied mathematics/ optics and photonics/ instrumentation/ electronics will also be considered at IIA.

Graduates with a BE or B.Tech. will also be considered at IISc., IMSc., IUCAA, JNCASR, NCRA-TIFR RRI, IISER Mohali, IISER Pune, IISER Thiruvananthapuram, and SNBNCBS.

Talented final year B.Sc. and first year M.Sc. (in physics / electronics / astronomy / applied mathematics) students may also apply to be pre-selected for research scholarship at IUCAA. At IPR, candidates should have a Master's degree in physics, engineering physics or applied physics.

Theoretical computer science: M.Sc./ ME/ M.Tech. / MCA degree in computer science and related disciplines and should be interested in the mathematical aspects of computer science. Visit web site of IMSc. for further details.

Integrated course

At HRI, IISER-Pune, SNBNCBS, and NCRA-TIFR candidates with a Bachelor's degree will also be considered for the integrated M.Sc., Ph.D. programme in physics.

At IMSc, graduates with Bachelor's degree in science/ mathematics/ /statistics /computer science/information technology/ engineering will also be considered for admission in physics and in

theoretical computer science, as part of an integrated Ph.D. programme.

All candidates successful in the course work of this programme shall be awarded an M.Sc. degree.

At SNBNCBS, graduates with B.Sc. (physics) / BE / B.Tech. degree will be considered for the integrated post B.Sc.-Ph.D. programme in subject areas mentioned above.

At IIA, graduates with B.Sc. degree (physics / mathematics) / BE / B.Tech. in electrical / instrumentation / engineering physics / electronics and communications / computer science and engineering / optics and

photonics will be considered.

Graduates with M.Sc. degree (physics/ applied physics) / post-B.Sc. (Hons) in optics and optoelectronics / radio physics and electronics / BE / B.Tech. degree in subjects mentioned above will be considered. Visit IIA web site for details.

Notification will be issued each year inviting applications for appearing in JEST. The test is usually held in more than thirty centres distributes throughout the country.

There will be facility for online application as well as for filing hard copy after getting the forms by post from the institute in charge of conducting the test in the concerned year.

Normally applications would be invited in December, and the test held in February each year. There could be changes in schedules. You have to be in the look-out for notifications.

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