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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:

blog posts

  • Project Manager - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center is seeking to hire a Project Manager (up to four, depending on applicant pool and programmatic need)The Project Manager will perform functions during post award for a portfolio of projects. Examples of post award activities include, but are not limited to, (1) managing the collection of and updating information for Foreign Nationals (FN) or UIUC and subawardees? (2) managing and updating project budgets, (3) managing conflict of interest filings for UIUC and subawardees (4) assist project engineers to develop and monitor various schedules, performance metrics, and reporting functions for projects (5) maintaining project related Staff Plan updates and HR Transactions in PRI’s internal PRIDE system, (6) scheduling on-going project meetings  (7) coordinating with PRI Sponsored Research Coordinator/Fund Manager on project budget, (8) subaward coordination/monitoring, including subawardee invoice review (for PI final approval).  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Seasonal Full-time Field Work - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is seeking a field research assistant to work with Survey scientists to conduct statewide data collection on Illinois streams in support of the IEPA NPDES program.  

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Large River Ecology - Illinois Natural History Survey/PRI

    INHS is seeking a Large River Ecologist who will serve as field crew leader/coordinator for Water Quality component of the LTRM, an element of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program (UMRR). This position is focused on monitoring the status and trends of selected water quality parameters of the La Grange Reach (80 miles) of the Illinois River.  Additional research into other areas of study related to water quality and its effects on native biota will be encouraged. Funding for these efforts is made available through long-term agreements with US Army Corps of Engineers and The US Geological SurveyThis position is located in Havana, Illinois.

  • Aquatic Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey/Great Rivers Field Station

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking field technicians (2-4 possible) to conduct applied research in the area of large-river ecology in Southwestern Illinois. Technicians will assist large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term fish and water quality monitoring data and additional research projects. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be located at the Great Rivers Field Station in Alton, Illinois.

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

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Bedrock Geology to participate in critical minerals research and data preservation activities. 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 two, 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 Nature Preserves Commission, and Illinois Tollway.  This position will support the analysis and reporting for compliance with various federal (e.g., Clean Water Act) and state regulatory programs. While based in Champaign, fieldwork will require travel throughout Illinois up to 60 percent of the time.

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

    ISGS is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology (up to two, 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 Nature Preserves Commission, and Illinois Tollway.  This position will support the analysis and reporting for compliance with various federal (e.g., Clean Water Act) and state regulatory programs. While based in Champaign, fieldwork will require travel throughout Illinois up to 60 percent of the time.

  • Associate Research Scientist, Water Resources Engineering -- Illinois State Water Survey

    The Illinois State Water Survey is seeking to hire an Associate Research Scientist, Water Resources Engineering to lead and administer research activities by developing, planning, directing, initiating, and conducting basic and applied research, with an emphasis on conducting and/or reviewing hydrologic and hydraulic studies and communicating the scientific results. This role will serve as senior engineer, managing a staff of engineers and technical professionals.

  • Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Environmental Engineering - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center is seeking to hire a Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Environmental Engineering (up to two, depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to participate in research related to wastewater treatment, bioenergy production, carbon capture/utilization, and/or emerging contaminant issues (e.g., pharmaceuticals, per- fluorinated chemicals, disinfection by-products, algal toxins and microplastics). In particular, there is interest in developing new treatment systems using combinations of membranes, adsorbents, hydrothermal conversion processes and various specialized microorganisms (e.g., algae, anaerobes, and phosphorus-accumulating organisms) to accomplish multiple sustainability goals for food, energy, and water. This position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Engineering Assistant (Hourly) - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center is seeking an individual to participate in and assist with the original research pertinent to the development, characterization, and evaluation of new materials and processes for clean energy and environmental applications. Participate and assist in laboratory and bench-scale experiments and measurements for carbon capture & utilization and other clean energy research. Assist in troubleshooting of experimental setups. Assist in experimental data analysis, modeling, and techno-economic analysis. Conduct literature searches as well as prepare reports and documents.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Hazard Mitigation Planner - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI (Champaign, IL)

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is seeking to hire a Hazard Mitigation Planner (Official Titles:  Senior Scientific Specialist, Hazard Mitigation Planning [lower level], or Assistant Research Scientist, Hazard Mitigation Planning [higher level]) to conduct research related to hazard mitigation projects as well as perform outreach for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) grants and other projects as assigned within the Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mapping Program (CHAMP). Produce and prepare technical reports for FEMA regulatory and Risk MAP products and other projects and communicate and disseminate technical reports and research data.

    The ISWS CHAMP group has many funded projects that assess local flood hazards, identify high-risk areas, and engage community partners to inform, educate, and empower others to take action in preventing losses from natural hazards. CHAMP is a Cooperating Technical Partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency creating https://illinoisfloodmaps.org/.

  • Archaeological Field Technicians – American Bottom Field Station - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) is seeking 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 American Bottom Field Station in Collinsville, 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.

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

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) is seeking 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.

  • River Research Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking a river research technician to conduct fish surveys and assist in a telemetry project in the Mackinaw and Vermilion rivers. The position will be stationed in Champaign Illinois, but travel will occur throughout the state. 

  • Undergraduate Hourly Employee - Illinois Natural History Survey

    INHS is seeking Undergraduate Students to work on research projects related to the ecology, behavior, and management of corn and soybean insect pests (western corn rootworm beetles/larvae, soybean gall midge) in corn, soybean, or other crops. Some weekend work may be possible. This position is located at the Forbes Natural History Building in Champaign, IL.

  • Visiting Assistant Research Scientist, Project Engineer - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center is seeking to hire a Visiting Assistant Research Scientist, Project Engineer (up to five depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to design and lead technical teams to execute large scale research at various industrial host sites, develop project proposals, and provide technical oversight and leadership of design development tasks including management of project and task scope, schedule, and budget. Types of projects will include, but are not limited to, the following: carbon capture, waste valorization, wastewater treatment, biomass, renewable and other clean energy based systems.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Student Hourly (Multidisciplinary) Research - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI

    Water Supply Hydrology research programs seeking student hourly research assistant to help with preparing digitally available GIS data and analyzing streamflow statistics regionalization at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • Water Resources Engineer - Illinois State Water Survey

    ISWS is seeking to hire a 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.  Read full description, requirements, and to apply please visit https://bit.ly/36nWJq3

  • Archaeological Field Technicians (Hourly) - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) seeks Archaeological Field Technicians to fill hourly field crew positions for large-scale Phase I, II, and III projects conducted out of our Central Illinois Field Station in Champaign. These are temporary (with potential of long term), full-time (40 hour/week), non-benefits-eligible, field/laboratory positions that may also involve some additional fieldwork, data processing, and specialized-analysis opportunities. Technicians will need to relocate to the Champaign area.  In-house training in ISAS methods is provided, and lodging and per diem are paid on out-of-town projects.

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

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking field technicians (1-2) to conduct applied research in the area of 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.