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PHD Age Limit
No, there's no age limit for PhD so for doing Phd age limit not matters for achieving your goal but the age limit for Junior Research Fellow (JRF) is 28years. The upper age limit for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) is 35 years for men as on 1 July of the year of application and 45 years for women. PhD and JRF are different. Let me explain.
For JRF, after qualifying in CSIR you can get the fellowship which will be of 5 years (2years of JRF+3years of SRF). Once you join any institute as JRF, you can register yourself for PhD, within 2years. JRF is basically the name of a post.
For PhD, it is a degree for which you have to register yourself under any University. It needs a prior experience of 5years (JRF+SRF).
In other words, for JRF you don't need PhD but for PhD you need JRF and SRF.
While age is not a limiting factor for pursuing a PhD in India, it’s essential to keep in mind the following.
• If the intention is to make a career in research/college teaching, it’s best to enrol into a PhD course immediately after post-graduation.
• For teaching at the college level, a Master’s Degree (above 55 percent) and clearing the National Eligibility Test/State Level Eligibility Test are the basic requirements at entry level.
However, the career advancement of a college teacher is linked to getting a PhD. So depending on the circumstances people work on it, maybe up to retirement :)
• If the intention of doing a PhD is purely for gaining an in-depth knowledge in a given field of study, age is not a barrier.
Let’s look at the practical part of the question. I will try to answer your question from the point of research in the area of social sciences/commerce, about which I’m familiar with.
Doing an M.Phil. before embarking on a PhD is a good idea. It’s a kind of a mini research that exposes the student to the trials and travails of a full-fledged PhD program. In short, the student is better prepared and the PhD work can be an extension of one’s MPhil dissertation.
An M.Phil. would involve one year of coursework and 2–3years of dissertation work followed by submission and awaiting for results. All this would take about five years.
For a direct admission into a PhD program, it’s common to have an entrance exam followed by an interview of the qualified candidates.
An M.Phil. degree makes it easier to get an admission into a PhD course, as the candidate need to attend only a selection interview. Moreover, at this stage, the candidate has some level of clarity on the topic for research work. All that is required of the selected candidate is to start working straightaway, without wasting time.
A lot of time goes into selecting the research topic. It needs giving a few seminar presentations before finalising the broader topic of study. And it’s not uncommon to find that a candidate’s research proposal is rejected by the review committee multiple times.
Once the area of study is decided upon, it takes about five to six years of consistent and persistent work to bring the thesis upto submission stage. Another eight to twelve months of waiting period for the results.
PHD AGE LIMIT
Ages are 19–85 or so.
Typically, 22–28, but there are often 30’s and 40’s around, as well as super-brilliant under-21’s. The older people are often those who determined through their professional lives that they wanted to be researchers, or couldn’t do it when they first graduated from undergrad due to personal constraints (family obligations, typically).
Youngsters: Befriend these older folks, as they will help you feel centered and moving forward and also remind you of why you’re choosing to do research if you forget, or point out there’s a whole world beyond academia if you’re deciding that doing research is not as interesting as you’d thought.
Oldsters: you may feel a little swarmed by people in their 20’s, reminding you just how roller-coaster it is to be young. My suggestion is to feel grateful for your relative wisdom about the world, and realize in 10–20 years they’ll be your age and you’ll be glad to have built a positive bond, even if it was limited by your different life experiences and obligations.
Very young youngsters: Everything isn’t about being smart, though you’re in the right place for intelligent curve-breakers. Please allow yourself the time to learn more social and “soft” skills, as this may help tremendously with frustrations you may feel, now or in the future. I would also suggest hitting up the counselling services earlier than later, because you may need help understanding what the older people are getting at / doing socially in order to avoid feeling desperately lonely. I’ve seen more than one unbelievably talented very-young person crash and burn from emotional distress.
You’re an adult now (assuming you’re over 18 in the US), you are the one who needs to value your emotional wellbeing and do what is necessary to maintain it.
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