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The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) and its five constituent surveys—the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and Illinois State Water Survey—serve the state of Illinois by providing rigorous, objective scientific research, data, and expertise to help understand, manage, and protect our essential natural resources. With around 600 full-time staff, PRI is one of the largest research institutes at the University of Illinois.

PRI is based in Urbana-Champaign, a diverse, affordable, micro-urban community. Learn more about Urbana-Champaign

U of I HR provides more information about applying to and working at the University of Illinois, including available benefits.

If you have questions about any PRI open positions or the application process, contact a member of our human resources team:

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  • Procurement Officer Assistant or Procurement Officer

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI), a research and service institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, houses five large scientific surveys covering a wide range of expertise including biology, water resources, climate, geology, sustainable technology, and archaeology.  PRI’s mission is to provide objective, integrated scientific research and service that allow citizens and decision-makers to make choices that ensure sustainable economic development, enduring environmental quality, and cultural resource preservation for the people, businesses, and governments of Illinois. Learn more at go.illinois.edu/PRIjobs.

    Why Work at the Prairie Research Institute?

    Highlights of Employee Benefits

     

    The Prairie Research Institute is seeking a Procurement Officer Assistant or Procurement Officer (level is dependent on qualifications).

  • Fisheries Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    INHS is seeking a fisheries technician to work with survey scientists to conduct data collection on various projects related to the ecology of sport fishes in Illinois. This position will be based out of Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Scientific Specialist, Archaeological Collections - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is seeking to hire a Scientific Specialist, Archaeological Collections to assist with the management, inventory, documentation, and care of curated archaeological collections. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Botany Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is seeking 2 or more Field Technicians to work with Survey botanists to conduct statewide monitoring of forest, wetland, and grassland vegetation for the Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP).  Duties include: 1) assist with field surveys of plants in forests, wetlands, and grasslands throughout Illinois, 2) share extensive driving responsibilities to and from field sites, 3) conduct sweep samples of insects in the field, 4) enter data collected in the field into a Microsoft Access database and 5) assist with other office and field work as needed. This position in based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Aquatic Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey: Macomb, Illinois (Summer)

    INHS is seeking field technicians (1-3) to conduct applied research in aquatic ecology and large river systems throughout the state of Illinois, focusing on the Mississippi River. Technicians will assist large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term river monitoring data with additional targeted data collection and lab sample processing. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be based in Macomb, Illinois. 

    Technicians will need to be available to work from May 2023 - August 2023, with potential for extension. 

  • Aquatic Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey: Macomb, Illinois (Spring)

    INHS is seeking field technicians (1-3) to conduct applied research in aquatic ecology and large river systems throughout the state of Illinois, focusing on the Mississippi River. Technicians will assist large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term river monitoring data with additional targeted data collection and lab sample processing. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be based in Macomb, Illinois. 

    Technicians will need to be available February 2023 - May 2023, with potential for extension. 

  • Radio, Hardware & Data Engineering for Environmental Monitoring

    Continue work on developing radio telemetry capabilities for environmental data collection. Implement data conversion from hardware to radio transmission to backend encoding; create & tune driver for network parameters. Put incoming data from radios in a single table for future parse; Existing design utilizes ARM based (STM32) controllers with Digi Xbee radios for purpose of data receipt and transmission. Device will be implementing a variety of industry common sensor interfaces for communication with existing hardware (SDI-12, RS-232, SPI).

  • Aquatic Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey - Starved Rock State Park, Oglesby, Illinois

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking 3 Field technicians to conduct applied research in aquatic ecology and large river systems throughout the state of Illinois. Technicians will assist large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term river monitoring data with additional targeted data collection. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be located in Oglesby, Illinois at Starved Rock State Park.

  • Assistant to the Director - Illinois State Water Survey & Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire an Assistant to the Director to serve as executive assistant to the Director of Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), by carrying out all appropriate duties to ensure that the Director performs efficiently and effectively in the operations of the Surveys.

  • Invasive Species Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Program is seeking 4 qualified and self-motivated individuals to work as part of its field crops monitoring team. Successful candidates will travel throughout Illinois, conducting surveys aimed at detecting new pests in corn and soybeans. This position will be located in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Aquatic Field/Fisheries Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey - Havana, Illinois

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking up to 8 technicians to conduct applied research in aquatic ecology and large river systems throughout the state of Illinois. Technicians will assist large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term river monitoring data with additional targeted data collection. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be located in Havana, Illinois.

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center is seeking to hire a Postdoctoral Research Associate to conduct research related to emerging chemical contaminants, e.g., pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and/or disinfection by-products (DBPs). In particular, there is interest in developing new treatment/mitigation systems using combinations of biochar and hydrothermal conversion processes to destruct these emerging contaminants.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Seasonal Herpetological Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Natural History Survey and the Population and Community Ecology Lab (PaCE Lab) is seeking 2 motivated and passionate individuals to aid in the conservation of Illinois amphibians and reptiles.  Motivated Technicians will collect demographic data on the federally threatened Eastern Massasauga and state endangered Blanding’s Turtle.

  • Aquatic Ecology Research Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey - Yorkville, Illinois

    Field technicians (2) are needed to conduct applied research in aquatic invasive species control, aquatic ecology, and large river systems throughout the state of Illinois. Technicians will assist large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term river monitoring data with additional targeted data collection. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be located in Yorkville, Illinois.

  • Seasonal Fisheries Technician (Hourly): Kaskaskia Biological Station - Sullivan, Illinois

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking Seasonal Fisheries Technicians to work during the Summer of 2023 conducting fisheries related work for the Kaskaskia Biological Station located in Sullivan, Illinois. This position will be 40 hour per week (weekdays and weekend). 

  • Environmental Public Health Professional

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire an Environmental Public Health Professional (Official Title: Senior Scientific Specialist, Environmental Public Health) to lead and administer research activities within PRI by developing, planning, and conducting applied research related to groundwater, water quality, and private wells with emphasis on emerging contaminants and drinking water contamination; conduct outreach activities to disseminate research results and provide education to stakeholders; ensure data meet the rigorous standards required for scientific research and analysis; and advance institutional public health goals related to One Health.

  • Macroinvertebrate Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey : Macomb, Illinois

    The Illinois River Biological Station is seeking two technicians to conduct applied research in aquatic ecology and large river systems and process riverine samples for aquatic macroinvertebrates.  throughout the state of Illinois. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be based in Macomb, Illinois.

  • Visiting Assistant Research Scientist, Process Engineering - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center is seeking to hire a Visiting Assistant Research Scientist, Process Engineering (up to 5, depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to conduct research in the areas of carbon management, waste management, or other relevant clean energy/resource utilization topics.   Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Avian Ecology Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking 1-2 highly motivated field technician to assist with a project examining which bird species are using private lands enrolled in the Illinois Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and how habitat provided by these easements changes over time.

  • Seasonal Creel/Fisheries Technician (Hourly) - Lake Michigan Biological Station

    The Lake Michigan Biological Station is seeking a seasonal Creel/Fisheries Technician to conduct basic and applied research in the area of Aquatic Ecology. This position will be located at the Lake Michigan Biological Station in Zion, Illinois and field work will occure at several sites in Cook County and Lake County Illinois.