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How To Become A Psychologist At DRDO?

Prerna Singh, Ishita Wadwani

How to Become a Psychologist at DRDO?           

          Source: Logo taken from DRDO’s website

DRDO Recruitment for Psychologists


Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is India's premier research organization with 50 established labs. One such lab is called the Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), located in Delhi, committed to conducting Psychological research and providing Psychological Services to the Armed Forces of India. This blog shall throw light upon how one can become a Psychologist at DRDO!


Major Areas of Research for DRDO's- DIPR Laboratory

  • Primarily work on conducting psychological research for personnel selection, organizational behavior, human factors. 
  • Work on the construction of standardized tests for intelligence, aptitude, and personality used for personnel selection.
  • Modules on enhancing leadership skills, stress management, motivation, and morale applied to train the officers.
  • The institute conclusively researches in the field of military psychology, environmental psychology, and aviation psychology. 

Related Post: Military Psychology

                         Image Source

What is the Recruitment and Assessment Centre (RAC)?


To become a Psychologist at DRDO, one can apply for the position of a Scientist. DRDO periodically releases notice for a vacancy, the details given on the RAC website, as RAC is the recruitment agency for various labs of DRDO. 


RAC recruits scientists of Grade 'B' and higher grades ranging from 'C' to 'H.' Grade 'B' are for freshers, while for higher grades, specific years of experiences in research, design, development, or production are required. This is as follows:

  • Three years for Scientist 'C'
  • Seven years for Scientist 'D'
  • Ten years for Scientist 'E'
  • 13 years for Scientist 'F'
  • 15 years for Scientist 'G' and Scientist 'H'

Eligibility to Apply for a Position of Scientist B (as per 2020 recruitment notice)

Essential qualifications are: 

Details of corresponding

Essential Qualification (EQ) &

National Eligibility Test (NET)


Equivalent acceptable subjects of Essential Qualification Degree (M.A. OR M.SC. in the following)


Essential Qualification:


At least First-Class Master’s Degree in Psychology from a

UGC recognized university.

NET Qualification:


Aspiring candidates must have qualified the NET exam for eligibility to Assistant Professorship in Psychology [Subject Code: 04]

1. Psychology

2. Applied Psychology

3. Clinical Psychology

4. Counselling/ Counselling and Guidance Psychology

5. Health Psychology

6. Military Psychology

7. Cognitive Psychology

8. Psychology (Organizational Behaviour)

9. Physiological Psychology

10. Abnormal Psychology

11. Social Psychology

12. Educational Psychology

13. Industrial Psychology

14. Any combination of above-listed subjects


Though the essential qualification is a Master's degree, the RAC website also mentions about Doctorate Degree being the desirable one. However, one who has just completed their Master's degree and has qualified NET has an equal and fair chance to get selected. Although, when applying for higher grades, PhD., or research work plays a vital role in selection.


Age Requirements:

  • For Scientist 'B': not exceeding 28 years.
  • For Scientist 'C': not exceeding 35 years.
  • For Scientist 'D' and Scientist' E': not exceeding 45 years.
  • For Scientist 'F' and 'G': not exceeding 50 years.
  • For Scientist 'H': not exceeding 54 years.

For the following reserved categories, the age limit to apply for Scientist 'B' are:


OBC (Non-creamy layer)

31 years


33 years


Note: Only candidates of Indian Nationality can apply.

Selection Process

  • Candidates have to complete their registration online at the RAC website and fill the application form. 
  • Candidates have to attach supporting documents such as identity proof, passport size photograph, scanned copy of the signature, Qualifying degree and mark sheet, conversion formula for CGPA/ GPA into Percentage as per their respective college norms, UGC-NET scorecard, and caste certificate if applicable.
  • Submission of the application form is complete only after successful payment of the application form. For the general category and male candidates of OBC and EWS, the application fee is INR 100. The application form is free for candidates of the ST/SC/PwD category and female candidates.
  • Shortlisted candidates are called in for an interview round. Eligible applicants will be shortlisted for Personal interview from the candidates who have at least qualified for Assistant Professor, based on the aggregate percentage of marks in the NET and category-wise availability of seats. Usually, a panel of ten members interviews one candidate, where they try to sketch the candidate's personality and skills.

Areas of the Interviewing Board will Focus upon:

  • Research experience in both UG and PG.
  • Research publications in some recognized journals, if any, is an added advantage.

Note: It is beneficial to carry a copy of one's research work to the interview round.

  • Questions regarding the concepts upon which DIPR conducts the majority of their research shall be asked.

Final Selection: 


Based on category wise merit, 80% weightage is given to the NET score, and the remaining 20% is given to the personal interview.


Posting of Psychologists


After the final selection of the scientists, they are posted into various SSBs. As we know, through SSB, several officers are recruited into the Armed Forces of India. As a Scientist, the job is to assist in the process of selection. The job role will include conducting various psychological tests for screening out the best candidates. 


The three primary SSBs where Psychologists work in association with DRDO are Army SSB Headquarters (10 in number), Airforce SSB Headquarters (4 in number), and Navy SSB Headquarters (3 in number).


Post Recruitment:


Once recruited, candidates undergo theoretical training at DIPR. In this training, they are made equipped with researches carried out by DIPR and introduced to psychological tests and its norms used for selection purposes. Marks are awarded for this theoretical training. One has to clear this before their practical training begins. 


For the practical training, one shall be sent to a different SSB (not the one where they will be finally posted) for on-the-job training.


Applying for Research Fellowship


DIPR, at times, will also release notice for recruitment of candidates for Junior Research Fellow (JRF) and Research Associate (RA) posts for various projects undertaken by them. This recruitment is for a specified period. However, one thing to note, for JRF or RA, the advertisement of vacancy will be published on the DRDO's website and not the RAC's Website.


Eligibility Criteria


As per the last advertisement in 2020, the criteria for eligibility are-


For JRF:

  • Education Qualification: Post-Graduation in Psychology/Applied Psychology (Specialization in Organizational Behavior/Social Psychology/Personality Assessment) with first division.
  • NET qualification.
  • Age Limit: Maximum 28 years for general category. Relax-able by five years for SC/ST and by three years for OBC candidates.

For Research Associate:

  • Education Qualification: Ph.D. in Psychology.
  • Age Limit: Maximum 35 years for general category. Relax-able by five years for SC/ST and by three years for OBC candidates.

Related Post: How to Earn a PhD in Psychology?


Note: Within the application form, the location for submitting the application forms will be mentioned.


Source: Image 1- IIT Madras’ Alumni Website; Image 2- DIPR’s website


DRDO has given Psychologists a chance to partake in ensuring the country's armed forces are well backed up. All those intrigued by the field of Military Psychology and who are enthusiastic about research work can take up this opportunity to prepare and apply for a position at DRDO! 



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