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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 and beyond 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:

blog posts

  • Scientific Specialist, Zooarchaeology - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is seeking to hire a Scientific Specialist, Zooarchaeology (up to 2 depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to conduct in-house inventory, documentation, analysis, and management of faunal material leading to the production of archaeological reports.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Fisheries/Aquatic Ecology Research Technician (Hourly): Kaskaskia Biological Station: Sullivan, Illinois: Deadline to Apply: July 12, 2024

    The Kaskaskia Biological Station which is part of the Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking field technicians to conduct field and laboratory work in support of research projects on sportfish management and invasion biology in lakes and rivers. Current research projects include spatial ecology and food web effects of habitat enhancements in reservoirs, experimental harvest regulations, and the ecology and management of invasive carp in the Illinois River. This position will be located in Sullivan, Illinois. 

  • Senior Scientific Specialist, Environmental Data - INHS/PRI - Deadline to Apply: June 25, 2024 by 6:00PM (CST)

    The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), which investigates and documents the biological resources of Illinois and other areas and acquires and provides natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources, is seeking a Senior Environmental Data Specialist who will administer research activities and database management for the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) Surveys by assisting the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) staff in coordinating database management specific to Illinois Department of Transportation projects.  This position will be stationed in Springfield, IL as an embedded position with the Illinois Department of Transportation. 

  • Fisheries/Aquatic Ecology Research Technician (Hourly): Sam Parr Biological Station: Kinmundy, Illinois - Application Deadline: June 30, 2024

    The Sam Parr Biological Station is seeking research technicians to conduct field and experimental work as well as laboratory tasks in support of research projects on sportfish management and invasion biology in lakes and ponds. This position is based out of the Sam Parr Biological Station in Kinmundy, Illinois. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2024.  

  • Academic Hourly Research - Illinois Water Inventory Program (IWIP), Illinois State Water Survey

    The IWIP Program is seeking assistant maintaining the Illinois Water Inventory Program (IWIP) Database and associated well records data by entering data, evaluating data quality, evaluating historical paper records for information, and conducting interviews with data suppliers from high-capacity water systems in Illinois. Process and file incoming and historical water well information.

  • Water Resources Engineer - Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, Illinois

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire a Water Resources Engineer (Official Title: Visiting Scientific Specialist, Water Resources Engineering) to administer research activities of the Survey by developing, planning, directing, and conducting basic and applied research as it relates to water resources hydrologic modeling, water-energy nexus, and water supply planning in the Watershed Sciences Section. https://www.isws.illinois.edu/watershed-science 

    This position setting is in the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). ISWS is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. ISWS research and service programs provide citizens, industries, and government agencies at all levels with timely, science-based information and analyses necessary to manage our water resources wisely for economic development and a sustainable environment.   ISTC integrates applied research, technical assistance, and information services to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; and materials recycling and beneficial reuse.  Learn more at https://prairie.illinois.edu/ 

  • Summer Cultural Preservation Opportunities - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey in partnership with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County is pleased to announce paid summer opportunities available to interested Tribal members. These paid positions ($15.30/hr) are available for 2-8 week periods, depending on interested individuals’ availability. Work will involve moderate physical exertion outdoors under sometimes challenging conditions.

  • Sustainability - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, PRI, UIUC

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Sustainability to collaborate with businesses and organizations, municipal entities, colleges and universities, manufacturing, and industrial entities throughout Illinois to provide technical assistance in identifying opportunities and implementing solutions that promote sustainable resource management. Solutions may include reducing and diverting solid waste, water conservation, reducing hazardous waste, reducing emissions, improving energy efficiency, etc. This position will primarily work as part of the Zero Waste Illinois team, but may support other areas.

    The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. ISTC integrates applied research, technical assistance, and information services to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; and materials recycling and beneficial reuse.

  • Scientific Specialist, Archaeology - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is seeking to hire a Scientific Specialist, Archaeology to assist with GIS-based spatial analysis, creating maps and other project deliverables, as well as conducting archaeological fieldwork.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Laboratory Helper - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI, UIUC

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Our research and service programs provide citizens, industries, and government agencies at all levels with timely, science-based information and analyses necessary to manage our water resources wisely for economic development and a sustainable environment.   Learn more at go.illinois.edu/PRIjobs.

    ISWS is seeking to hire a Laboratory Helper to assist laboratory (https://www.isws.illinois.edu/health-environmental-applications) personnel by cleaning glassware, logging in samples and performing other laboratory support duties. Provides technical and operational support for PRI labs following all UIUC, PRI and Survey regulations, procedures and policies.

  • Chemical Engineering Postdoctoral Research Associate - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. ISTC integrates applied research and technical assistance to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; renewable energy, greenhouse gas mitigation, materials recycling, and beneficial reuse. Learn more at go.illinois.edu/PRIjobs.


    The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.


    A postdoctoral research associate position is available to research and develop a process for the catalytic hydrothermal gasification of biomass to renewable natural gas. Key responsibilities will include catalyst development, testing, process engineering, and scale-up. The candidate will be expected to familiarize themself with the relevant literature, plan and execute experiments, analyze and interpret data, write reports, and prepare manuscripts for publication.

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Hydrogeology - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire an Assistant Research Scientist, Hydrogeology to carry out research including data analysis, groundwater aquifer assessments, and numerical modeling of subsurface fluid flow, to 1) characterize and describe the underground sources of drinking water (USDW) for a given area, 2) design sampling and analytical strategies to characterize the properties (e.g., composition, age, etc.) of basin fluids and, 3) conduct numerical flow modeling from basin-scale to understand the migration of basin fluids over geologic time to site-scale to predict the movement of fluids and distribution of pressure during and after active injection. develop and review engineering designs and models of geothermal systems.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Associate Research Scientist, Engineering - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire an Associate Research Scientist, Engineering to develop and review engineering designs and models of geothermal systems.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Mining & Geological Data Preservation - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Mining & Geological Data Preservation to catalog and archive historical data and map products of mining and geologic activities in Illinois. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Aquatic Ecology Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey - Macomb, IL - Application Deadline: May 24, 2024

    The Illinois Natural History Survey 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.  

  • Laboratory Assistant (Hourly) - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire an individual to assist in the laboratory analysis of geologic samples and participate in sample and data archiving activities.  Work up to 40 hours per week at $20.00 to $25.00 per hour depending on qualifications.  Position in based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Mining Data Preservation - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Mining Data Preservation to help prepare, coordinate, and copyedit technical and scientific reports and maps on mining activities in Illinois for contract fulfillment to funding agencies.. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Analytical Chemistry - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire an Analytical Chemist (Official Title: Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Analytical Chemistry) to plan, conduct, supervise, and formulate collaborations on research related to wastewater treatment and emerging contaminants issues  (aimed at advancing the characterization of coal combustion residual (CCR) effluents.

  • Medical Entomology Field Technician (Hourly): Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Natural History Survey’s Medial Entomology Lab is seeking undergraduate students or hourly technicians for seasonal field and lab work on mosquito and tick surveillance and research. The position is based at the Illinois Natural History Survey Medical Entomology Lab, within the University Research Park. 

  • Sustainability Technician – Academic Hourly

    This position will be part of the Technical Assistance Program (TAP) at ISTC. This position will primarily support others who work with companies and organizations to evaluate and identify opportunities to improve their sustainability, and to support and document their actual implementation of sustainability activities associated with materials, processes, water and wastewater, energy utilization, waste minimization and recycling.