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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

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Hunter Research

    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 an Assistant Research Scientist who will contribute to the research activities of the Survey by conducting research essential to the Survey’s Illinois Learn to Hunt Program.  This position will contribute to the Regional Recruitment, Retention, and Reengagement of Illinois Hunters. Remote and Hybrid work options are available.  

  • Summer Hourly Position - Crop Sciences Research

    INHS is seeking Undergraduate Students to work on research projects related to the ecology, behavior, and management of corn and soybean insect pests (principally western corn rootworm beetles/larvae) in corn, soybean, or other crops.

  • 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, Historic Mining & Geology - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Historic Mining & Geology (up to 2 depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to conduct historical research on mining activities in Illinois to assist in the compilation and mapping of coal mine data.  Position is 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. 

  • 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. 

  • Strategic Content Specialist

    The Strategic Communications Team at PRI is seeking to hire a Strategic Content Specialist. This position will assist the team with conceptualizing, researching, and producing communication products to effectively reach PRI's internal and external stakeholders/audiences.

  • 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. 

  • Student Hourly - Operations Intern

    The Prairie Research Institute and the Illinois Water Resources Center, a multidisciplinary research institute at the University of Illinois, is seeking a motivated, resourceful, and tech-savvy undergraduate student to join our team.

  • Aquatic/Fisheries Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey - Havana, Illinois - Application Deadline: April 30, 2024

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking multiple 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 Havana, 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.

  • Director & Principal Research Scientist - Illinois Natural History Survey - Deadline to Apply: April 30, 2024 by 6:00pm

     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 Director who will provide strategic direction and overall administration for the Survey while also serving in a Principal Research Scientist role to administer research activities of the Survey by conceiving, recommending, implementing, directing, and participating in scientific research focused on the selected candidates area of study while contributing to the overall scientific mission of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI). This is an in-person position based in Champaign, Illinois. Applications must be received by 6:00pm (CST) on April 30, 2024. 

  • Fisheries/Aquatic Ecology Research Technician (Hourly): Sam Parr Biological Station: Kinmundy, Illinois - Application Deadline: May 31, 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 May 31, 2024. 

  • Scientific Specialist, Archaeology - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is seeking to hire a Scientific Specialist, Archaeology to assist with all levels of research projects including background research, fieldwork, artifact analysis, and report writing as well as post contact material recovery, analysis, and report writing.    Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Fisheries/Aquatic Ecology Research Technician (Hourly): Kaskaskia Biological Station: Sullivan, Illinois - Application Deadline: May 3, 2024

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking Research Technicians to conduct field and laboratory work in support of research projects on sportfish management and invasion biology in lakes and rivers. This position is based out of the Kaskaskia Biological Station in Sullivan, Illinois. Deadline to apply: May 3, 2024

  • Aquatic Ecology Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey - Macomb, IL

    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.  

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Geographic Information Science - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Geographic Information Science (up to 2 depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to assist and collaborate with an interdisciplinary project team to 1) conduct geospatial analysis of geologic, engineering, environmental, and societal datasets, 2) facilitate access to geospatial data and analysis products internally and on the web, and 3) help develop map and data products with a goal of translating complex geological and social analysis into decision support-input and community engagement tools that are easy to understand.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology (up to 3 depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to participate in specialized assessment and monitoring of the hydrogeology and geochemistry of wetlands, streams, bioswales, and other related environments. This position is for a specialist dedicated to field data collection and analysis to support Illinois state agencies under their environmental programs, including the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Tollway, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. This position will support the analysis and reporting for compliance with various federal (e.g., Clean Water Act) and state regulatory programs.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Undergraduate Hourly Technician (Entomology) - Illinois Natural History Survey/PRI

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking Undergraduate Students to work on research projects related to the ecology, behavior, and management of corn and soybean insect pests (principally western corn rootworm beetles/larvae) in corn, soybean, or other crops. This position will be based in Champaign, Illinois. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. 

  • Archaeological Field Technicians – Northern Illinois Field Station - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is seeking to hire Archaeological Field Technicians (Academic Hourly Assistants) to serve as excavators and surveyors capable of performing basic archaeological identification, interpretation, and recordation tasks under the direct supervision of a Research Archaeologist. Duties include, but are not limited to, participation in Phase I field surveys, Phase II site testing, Phase III archaeological mitigation projects, and associated analysis activities based at the ISAS Northern Illinois Field Station in Elgin, Illinois. These are full-time (40 hours per week), non-benefits eligible, field/laboratory positions with an hourly rate of $16 to $18 depending on qualifications.